These are old paths that presents us with a whole cultural heritage linked to the people of Soajo. And it is wonderful to do it in summer as it gives us the opportunity to bathe in magical lagoons along the river. At the end of our tour, a snack with regional products and a glass of local green wine awaits us to celebrate the experience!
Hiking these are old paths that takes us through sidewalks, corn fields, levadas and water mills, and strolls along the riverbed just to make us discover more fields and levadas and mills and a whole culture and nature in synergy for the survival of the people of the mountains: the people of Soajo.
The village of Soajo
Located in the heart of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the village of Soajo is a millenary village, located in area of great beauty, predominantly rural.
The village is characterized by its streets paved with granite slabs and houses built with stone blocks, where peace of mind reigns and time seems to have stopped, surrounded by an almost immaculate nature.
The population of the Soajo region is lost in time. The Rock Sanctuary of Gião and the countless Antas and Mamoas are some of the innumerable documentary landmarks.
During the Middle Ages its Monteiros had specific privileges of independence and guarded an area of enormous importance for the Portuguese crown.
D. Manuel granted him Foral and Vila privileges in 1514; it was a municipality, covering the parishes of Ermelo and Gavieira, being integrated into that of Arcos de Valdevez as a result of the liberal reforms of the 19th century.
Until about a century ago the village lived under a community regime, basing its activity on agriculture, and with its own laws and activities.
Its 16th century pillory is unique and one of the most enigmatic examples of its kind, sharing its value with a remarkable set of 24 granaries overlooking the Lima River valley, built between the 18th and 19th centuries, supported on rounded stones to prevent rodents from reaching the corn, each possessing one cross crowning it in order to protect and bless the grain.
This is a path made up of paths.
Old working paths through which thousands of ox carts with gorse passed by with the animals’ beds and with organic fertilizer hedding the fields that were going to receive the seeds, Later, in September, the grain harvested filled the granaries and, later, they went up the path again, carring the corn to the mills, where the grains were crushed into flour.
Old transhumance paths where the herds of cattle moved upwards in May, just to return in September after the Pilgrimage of Senhora da Peneda.
And, above all, paths of faith and religious festivities of people from the mountains. Paths always traveled by pilgrims with infinite faith and promises to fulfill on the way to Senhor da Paz, Senhora da Peneda, S. Bento Cando, until Santiago de Compostela.
In this trail we travel along the Calçada de Pena Curveira until the branda do Murço, then go down to the river to discover the windmills of the river Adrão.
The Adrão River is a small watercourse in the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez that rises in the town of Adrão and travels about 8 kilometers until its confluence with the Lima river passing through Soajo. This river will be a real “water path” for us, where we will stop to bathe in the magical lagoons that we find along its bed, until we reach an old path that will take us through the woods back to our starting point, where a nice snack with the famous soajo cake awaits us!
Extension: 7 Km
Departure / arrival point: village of Soajo, Soajo public parking (coordinates: 41.871928, -8.263423), 9h00
Guide, insurance, picnic with regional products at the end of the trail.
What’s not included?
All items not mentioned in “included”
We advise you to bring along the route:
Footwear suitable for hiking
Food (energy snacks) and Water (minimum 1.5 liters)
Sunscreen and hat
An extra pair of socks
A bag for trash
Walking poles (optional)
Bathing clothes and a towel
Certificates – more.