Lousã Mountain comprises the municipalities of Lousã, Góis, Castanheira de Pêra, Miranda do Corvo and Figueiró dos Vinhos. It is part of one of Portugal’s most important mountain ranges: the Central Mountain Range. Predominantly shale in nature, it does have some evergreen forest sections typical of mild climates. In the higher sunny and dry areas, we find the holm oak; in the sunny areas, the cork oak; in the more humid and cold areas, the chestnut and oak trees (Quercus robur and Q. pyrenaica). The habitats along the water lines are well preserved, especially the Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica) and the common holly (Ilex aquifolium).
Choose one of the many walking/mountain bike trails across the Shale Villages to admire the various landscapes, some of which are truly breathtaking for their beauty and magnitude. You might just run into some of the many animals that populate the area: roe deer, deer, kite, wild boar, to name but a few.
GPS: 40.057228, -8.215835
Protected Landscape of Açor Mountain
Situated in the Central Mountain Range, between the mountains of Lousã and Estrela, it comprises the municipalities of Arganil and Pampilhosa da Serra. The Açor Mountain is a predominantly shale mountain, with altitudes varying between 400 m and 1016 m. It has two special areas of interest: the Parcial Nature Reserve of Margaraça Forest and the Recreational Reserve of Fraga da Pena.
The Açor Mountain is marked by the two river valleys of Alva and Ceira – tributaries of the Mondego River – forming a unique monumental landscape where the terraces reflect the know-how and mastery of the local people.
As you go up the mountain, the landscape reveals itself lavishly with winding roads and the shale houses of Piódão, which appear to be shakily perched on the mountain side, forming a surprising sight. The Açor Mountain hides many delicate secrets: the lily (Lilium martagon), butcher’s broom, the English Oak or the Solomon’s seal all come together in great harmony in the Margaraça Forest. Due to the diversity of biotopes, there are quite a large number of birds, in particular the Goshawk, with its majestic flight.
GPS: 40.213491, -7.923921
Sicó Mountain – Sicó Massif
The Sicó Mountain massif stands 559 m high and is characterised by deep limestone formations waiting to be explored. Besides these limestone formations, we also find depressions, caves, chasms and canyons such as the Poios canyon, the Vale das Buracas canyon, or the spectacular canyon of the Mouros River, in Conímbriga.
The rich floristic diversity found in Sicó provide amazing itineraries: Bufarda forest, century-old oak trees and the amazing orchids.
GPS: 39.922810, -8.538097
Natural Monument of Cabo Mondego
The existing exceptional Jurassic outcrops are extremely important and renowned in both Portugal and abroad. Besides being important in terms of palaeontology for the study of ammonites, of palaeoecology for the study of transitional environments, sedimentology and palaeontology for the study of dinosaurs, this natural monument is particularly important in terms of stratigraphy.
Figueira da Foz
GPS: 40.199684, -8.898220
If you are a sports fan, then the Network of Shale Villages has a lot to offer: from walking trails to downhill! If you are more of the daring type, then don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the many rugged cliffs in the region. Climbing, rappeland slide will be the best sports for this adventure!
Whatever you choose, you will certainly enjoy this adventure!