Serra de Sao Mamede

At the heart of the Alto Alentejo lies the Parque Natural of the Serra de São Mamede whose diverse geology and capricious climate, caught between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, encourage a fascinating range of flora and fauna; griffon vultures and Bonellis eagle circle over head while deer and boar live among the chestnut and oak trees. On the green slopes of the Serra are the towns of Castelo de Vide with its famous castle and medieval Jewish quarter with the oldest synagogue in Europe and Marvão with its narrow streets of whitewashed houses and arguably the best-preserved castle in Portugal.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Some of Portugal’s prettiest villages and medieval fortress towns
  • The magnificent castles of Marvão and Castelo de Vide
  • Farms growing vines, almonds, oranges and much more
  • Wild flowers in abundance

ITINERARY

Day 1. Arrival

Day 2. A circular walk from Castelo de Vide northwards following ancient mule tracks through the heart of this region passing the much revered Fonte de Areia before passing old farmsteads. The route takes you to visit megalithic burial chambers at Pombias and Pincho before continuing through this ancient landscape. You can rest at the old church of Bom Jesus and fill your water bottle at the local spring before climbing back to Castelo de Vide. There is a climb of 500’ but otherwise the walking is almost flat, 12.8km / 7.7miles

Day 3. A beautiful walk in the Serra de São Mamede. You cross a bird- and wetland area with stepping stones over the Ribeiro de Galegos and the fast flowing water of the Rio Sever, where you might spot an otter or see a kingfisher. The route is located near the border with Spain and partly makes use of old smuggling trails. Beautiful views of the eagle nest Marvão, stone- and cork oaks, walnut- and olive trees, and huge rock formations made from granite. No steep climbs, easy walking 12km / 7.5miles

Day 4. The Esperance walk is located in the extreme south of the natural park and an hour’s buy soma online drive from the Castelo de Vide. Esperance is a typical Alentejo village with mostly yellow and sometimes blue-framed house with chimneys that are an important part of the architecture. The start is at the 16th century church Senhora da Esperance. After passing through the village, you will walk over fields dotted with cork oaks. On the walk you may see the Iberian frog, wild doves, eagles, falcons, wild board, hear numerous songbirds and rock drawings can be admired that were created around 2500-3000 B.C. No steep climbs, easy walking 16km / 10 miles

Day 5. Reguengo is situated in the midst of the natural park about 30 minutes from Castelo de Vide. The start is in Reguengo at the ‘Parish Church’, which was built in the 18th century and a typical example of North-Alentejo’s rural architecture. Between Reguengo and Relvas there is a hiking trail through a granite landscape which is over 500 million years old. On this landscape tour you will see various types of oaks: cork oaks, pine trees, and walnut trees.  One climb of 500’ 13km / 7.8miles

Day 6. Departure.

Your accommodation in Castelo da Vide will be the 4* Casa Amarela, a beautifully restored townhouse in the centre of the town.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Public transport to the Alto Alentejo is difficult this holiday is better suited to those that have a hire car.

INCLUDED

  • 5 night’s accommodation in a twin room with en-suite facilities and breakfast at a 17th century restored town house on the edge of Castelo de Vide
  • 4 picnics
  • Comprehensive walking notes with driving instructions to the start of each walk

NOT INCLUDED

  • 5 dinners
  • Transport to and from the area and to and from the walks
  • Travel insurance
Closest Airport – Lisbon (2.5 hour drive) or Faro (4 hour drive).
Cost per person: October – March: 445 euro, April – September: 525 euro
Single room supplement: 60 euro

If you prefer you can also pay in GBP or USD at the current exchange rate at the time of booking.