This hiking Experience is a wondwerful opportunity to admire the Sistelo natural and cultural landscape, classified as a national monument, along ancient paths off the beaten track.
This track takes you along ancient paths and constitutes a fantastic opportunity to discover the Sistelo natural and cultural landscape, classified as a national monument. At the end of the route, we will taste some Portuguese regional products and a glass of the local «vinho verde» (green wine) around the picnic table!
Sistelo is the national winner of the “7 Wonders of Portugal”, in the category of Rural Village. It is an ancient medieval town, known as the “little Portuguese Tibet” for its fabulous terraces shaped over hundreds of years by human intervention, true symbol of the secular coexistence between Man and Nature, creating a unique landscape. It is considered one of the best hidden gems in Europe.
Retaining the land, guiding the waters through a specific irrigation system and creating true vertical “stairs”, the Sistelo terraces represent a smart and sustainable way of obtaining agricultural and livestock income.
This is a trail where we will be slowly gaining altitude, which offers us breathtaking views over the valley of the river Vez and the village of Sistelo, always with the majestic mountain of Peneda surrounding us.
We will pass through several «Brandas» along the way. The «Brandas» and «Inverneiras» served the agro-pastoral economy of survival that implied transhumance: in the summer months, the shepherds went up to the “Brandas” with the cattle, and stayed there while the weather favored the highest altitude pastures, then descending to the lower villages, the “Inverneiras”, to withstand the rigors of the winter cold. The “Brandas” are generally located at levels above 600 meters, while the winter villages are usually between 400 and 600 meters.
Associated with mountain pastoral activity, we will also find, in the highest areas of the mountain, the “cortelhos” (shelters), where stone slabs were placed semi-overlapping, tapering the roof towards the center. This, sometimes, had no closure, in order to create a natural chimney for the open fire lit inside. Others, more complex, included two levels of use: the lower were the cattle and the upper the people, benefiting from the heat generated by the animals.
Extension: 10 Km
Departure / arrival point: Sistelo, branda do Alhal (coordinates: 41.974456, -8.349665), 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
Warm clothes in winter as a fleece coat
An extra pair of socks
A bag for trash
Walking poles (optional)
Registered in Turismo de Portugal with RNAAT nº: 721/2020
Certificates – about.