Idanha-a-Velha houses along walk way

It’s a weekend trip to the most beautiful corners of the country’s interior regions.

The competition “The most Portuguese village in Portugal” was organized in 1938 by the National Propaganda Secretariat (SPN), in the middle of the Estado Novo (The New State). The competition sought to award the most genuine, pure and “resistant to foreign influences” locality. Monsanto won the prize in what was the first, but also the last, edition of the competition – some people question the permanence of the title, given its political slant. Even so, it is a region full of unforgettable landscapes that leave no one indifferent.

On the weekend, May 11 and 12, you’ll have the chance to discover it on your own two feet with Caminhando. The route will take in Penha Garcia, Monfortinho, Salvaterra do Extremo and other regions. The idea is to leave Lisbon at 6.30 a.m. and start the first trail of the activity at 11 a.m.: the historical route of Idanha-a-Velha. There are many points of interest for a route of just 2 kilometers. From the North Gate and the Walls, to the Cathedral and the Templar Tower, as well as the Lagar de Varas and the Epigraphic Museum, it will be impossible not to get excited about this start.

Then it’s off to Monsanto, which is also the holder of the Historic Village award, received in 1995, much more consensual than the previous one. On this four-kilometer route there are many stops to make, such as the Porta do Espírito Santo, the Castle and Citadel Walls, the Torre do Pião, the Chapel and Necropolis of São Miguel, among others.

Finally, the tour heads to Penha Garcia. Here, for three kilometers, you’ll see the typical houses, protected by imposing walls, which take the participant through winding alleys and lanes that lead to the top of the castle – where you can see a view over the valley where the River Pônsul flows, accompanied by its windmills. Halfway through there will be a stop at the House of Fossils.

On the last day, Sunday (12), the Vulture Route starts at 9.30 a.m. to visit Salvaterra do Extremo. It will be possible to see the River Erges, whose water flows through the middle of the hard granite mass. It is the border line that the abandoned castle of Peñafiel, in Spain, on the other bank and on top of a cliff, guarantees the symbolic and historical importance of this point. It will be the longest route, with a distance of 11 kilometers.

Finally, to recharge your batteries, you’ll have a well-deserved lunch in a traditional restaurant. The activity ends with a quieter proposal, a guided tour of Idanha-a-Nova. The return to the capital is scheduled for 16:30. The meeting point for departure and arrival is the bus terminal next to Oriente Station.

Registration can be done online at a cost of €200 per person in a double room, €240 for a single. It includes bus transportation to and from the locations of each walk and accommodation, breakfast at the hotel, Sunday lunch, guide and insurance. Reservations must be made by February 29th.

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