|DAY 1: PR2.1 – Piódão a Foz d’Égua (1st May 2015)|
|Accommodation: Alojamento Local de Pardieiros – 65€/room/4 pax (16.25€/pax)
Restaurant (dinner): Alojamento Local de Pardieiros – 7.50€/pax
|DAY 2: PR1 AGN – Caminho do Xisto da Benfeita (2nd May 2015)|
|Accommodation: Quinta da Valeira – 42€/house (10.50€/pax)|
|DAY 3: Arganil (3rd May 2015)|
|Restaurant (lunch): O cantinho do Bitoque (Vila Nova de Poiares) – 7.50€|
We left home on Friday, 1st May 2015. Although the weather wasn’t the most inviting for outdoor activities, we were not intimidated by it.
We arrived in the village of Côja at about 10:30. The only purpose to stop in Côja was to go to “Boutique da Tuxa”, a shop where, among other things, one finds bread, jams and delicious pastries from that region, namely the “Cajadas do Piodão”. Cajadas do Piódão are some pastries made of honey, walnuts and chestnuts and they are delicious!
We first visited the mother church, which is the most emblematic building in Piódão. From far, the church, dated from the 17th century, is one of the few white building that one sees in Piódão, the majority of the buildings have schist walls.
Then, we followed the narrow and steep streets that, first, took us inside the village and then took us to the path that lead us to the village of Foz d’Égua.About 45 minutes after we had initiated the hiking, we passed by a small group of persons who was already returning to Piódão. Then another group, and another, and another one, and when it seemed that there was no more people coming, there was someone else passing by us. They all belonged to a really large group!
There are several geocaches hidden along that trail. Of course, we looked for all of them. When we were logging one of the geocaches, two persons of the huge group of hikers approached us, also looking for that geocache.
We took about an hour and a half to go from Piódão to Foz d’Égua. Foz d’Égua is an idyllic and unforgettable small village. The well preserved schist houses, the two stone bridges that cross the streams that meet in Foz d’Égua giving place to the astonishing fluvial beach, the suspended bridge that reminds us of the Indiana Jones adventures, the shrine on the top of the village…everything contributes for the beauty and mystic of this place.
Before leaving Piódão, we went to “A Gruta café” to drink some beers. This establishment is a good place to buy regional products such as honey, pastries, liquorice and cheese. We bought there a delicious cheese.
The last destination of that day was the village of Benfeita, where we spent the night. We stayed at “Alojamento Local de Benfeita” (Local Accomodation of Benfeita), which also has a nice restaurant.
On the way from Piódão to Benfeita we passed through “Mata da Margaraça” (Margaraça Forest). Margaraça Forest is considered the last stronghold of the original forest that covered the entire region of Beira Serra, formed mainly by oak and chestnut trees. Several traces of the ancient Laurissilva Forest that dominated Portugal before the last glacial period can be founded in Margaraça Forest.
Characteristics of the route
Arrival and departure: Piódão – square in front of the Mother Church
Scope of the route: panoramic and environmental
Extension: 6.5 km
Duration: 4 hours
Level of difficulty: moderate