Stage 2 East - Vilar Maior - Quinta Nova

Villages where you can start this stage: Miuzela, Badamalos, Porto de Ovelha, Malhada Sorda, Jardo, Paraisal, Castelo Bom, Senouras, Aldeia Nova, Cinco Vilas
After crossing Vilar Maior and Badamalos, once you find the route, follow the right shore of Côa, sided by green pastures dotted with big trees. The path crosses the brooks of Nave and Vilar Maior and later the Côa. At that point, there is the chance to reach the village of Porto de Ovelha, through a 570m way (without Route signs).

Follow the alternative trail for BTT/Horseback riding Porto de Ovelha/Jardo.
The Route proceeds across pastures and old vegetable gardens until it reaches the place of Açude, where it is possible to follow an access to the village of Malhada Sorda, through a 2,9km track (without Route signs). The Route climbs up towards the village of Jardo and then travels down to the mouth of the Noemi river. There an interesting group of watermills can be seen.

The path continues along fields, pastures and cork oak woods on the left shore of Côa. It crosses the train track and reaches Porto de S. Miguel, where it overlaps the Grand Route of Historical Villages (GR22). There is a non-marked trail towards the Historical Village of Castelo Mendo. (2,3 km). The route matches the road towards Castelo Bom.

The Route keeps on going through thickets and woods, either close to the river or climbing up the slope to avoid the hilly areas. In the pontoon Manuel José, one crosses the Côa river. Here, it is possible to follow a non-signaled way to Aldeia Nova (3km) and to choose an alternative route for horse-riding that avoids more rocky parts (identified as 'Desvio Equestre Aldeia Nova'). Once on the right shore of the river, the Route points towards the town of Almeida.

When it reaches the road EN340, it overlaps with the Grand Route of the Historical Villages (coded GR22). Here, one chooses to pursue the Route through its East track on the way to Almeida or through its West track on the way to the village of Valverde.

The first one goes up to finally reach Almeida, where it passes by the Convent of Senhor da Barca and enters the fortress through the double gates of Santo António. From there the way is not signaled.

In order to reach the Route, one has to go out of the fortress passing through the double gates of Santo António (546m, without signs). There the Route proceeds its way around the fortress and goes north through the outskirt area of Santo António, and then through a forest area of cork oak and holm oak. Nearby the thermal baths of Fonte Santa.

The Route continues along the right-side slope of Côa, crossing a large area of diverse woods and pastures. The first olivetrees are a sign that one is getting close to the village of Cinco Vilas. After this village is crossed, one starts traveling down towards Côa. Once the bottom of the valley is reached, the track turns into a rougher footpath until the 'Côa's Old Bridge', one of the most impressive ruins of the entire Route.

The Route crosses the river through a pontoon without protection (only possible during Spring and Summer). Here, one can take a non-signaled path to the village of Vale de Madeira and to its river beach. The Route climbs up the hill until the place of Pesqueiro, from where one can take a path to Pinhel (without signs). Finally, following the 'Brook of the Jew' and skirting the crag, the path leads to the village of Quinta Nova (1,8km without signs).

Technical Info

Starting point: Vilar Maior
Arrival: Quinta Nova
Distance: 65,7 km
Highest point: 791 m
Lowest point: 451 m
Cumulative increase: 1317 m
Cumulative decrease: 1504 m
Physical Difficulty: high
BTT 02

Tips

List of services, accomodation and contacts available on Downloads.

Alerts

Overlaps the Grand Route of the Historical Villages (GR22)
- Castelo Mendo
- Almeida
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