WHO WE ARE
Trilhos Rurais, a series of tourist experiences which will place you in contact with the nature and history of the Entre Douro e Paiva and Baixo Tamega regions. This region provides visitors with breathtaking views and sites brimming with history and identity waiting for you to discover.
We would like to take you on an adventure and introduce you to what we have fallen in love with – trekking along paths where, millions of years ago, the marks of the birth of planet Earth and the beginnings of humanity were etched into the stone; where nature now toasts us every step of the way. Wandering along these paths is akin to walking through a region´s history and identity.
For those who enjoy a more direct contact with nature.
Pre-defined programmes of one or half a day, or taylor made. It’s up to you.
We help you get where you need to be.
Take our programmes is to know the history and identity of a region.
[And you’ll be doing it with Maria dos Trilhos, our mischievous mascot, who promises to make you smile.]
From hiking and canoeing to rafting, with more or less adrenaline, our experiences will make you surrender to the natural beauty of the region we take you.
WHERE TO GO
Owners of exceptional beauty and heritage over millions of years, these are places that offer visitors breathtaking landscapes
and places full of history and identity to discover.
The Magic Mountains lie in central-northern Portugal between the Douro and Vouga rivers, encompassing the Freita, Arada and Arestal hills, part of the Gralheira massif and the Montemuro hills, part of the massif of the same name.
A land of exceptional natural values, which has been certified as a sustainable tourist destination since November 2013, the Magic Mountains feature four sites protected by the Natura 2000 network and a UNESCO geopark, based on the provision of a responsible and sustainable tourist model focused on ecotourism, geotourism and active tourism. The unique nature of the geological phenomena present here, the region´s remarkable biodiversity and the particular characteristics of its geomorphology, make the Magic Mountains the ideal destination for observing and interpreting nature and for engaging in countless sporting and adventure activities.
Occupied since prehistoric times, the region is dotted with archeological remains and monuments testifying to its long history: enigmatic Atlantic art rock engravings, megalithic monument, Roman bridges and roads, medieval monasteries and temples, shrines and churches of differing styles, typical shale and granite villages, historic mines and much more.
A Geopark is an area of land with clearly defined boundaries and a significant geological heritage, associated with a strategy of sustainable development.
Arouca Geopark, part of the administrative area of the district of Arouca, has been acknowledged by UNESCO since 2009 for its exceptional geological heritage of international renown.
The most noteworthy of the 41 registered geosites, due to their unique nature and value and from a perspective of science, education and tourism, are the Pedras Parideiras da Castanheira, the Giant Trilobites of Canelas and the Ichnofossils of the Paiva Valley.
This authentic open-air museum, covering an area of 328 km², is surrounded by the Freita, Montemuro and Arada hils and criss-crossed by a number of rivers, providing the ideal conditions for activities including canyoning, canoeing, kayaking and rock climbing. The rapids of the Paiva river provide some of the best spots in Portugal for rafting and kayak-rafting.
To ensure people can enjoy these landscapes in full, the Arouca Geopark has created a network of 14 walking trails, 13 of which are short routes (PR) and one of which is a long route (GR), all duly signed as a means of valorising the disclosure and promotion of this priceless heritage.
HISTORY AND IDENTITY
CINFÃES: HISTORY AND IDENTITY
From the pre-Celts, who left behind megalithic monuments, and Romans, who created civilisations and road networks, in more recent times the people have been evolving in accordance with the changes associated with the orders of the Church.
Egas Moniz, the Lord of Ribadouro, was from here, and Afonso Henriques – the 1st King of Portugal, spent his childhood in the region.
More recently, the improved conditions of navigation on the Douro river and the important location of Porto Antigo geared to the outflow of farming production attracted an increasing number of to the region, and General Alexandre Serpa Pinto was born from among powerful families and hard workers. He left the region to discover and map Africa and returned to disseminate his knowledge of the world.
Featuring the series of landmarks of the times, the Douro river channel now provides the best experiences on arrival. The Montemuro hills, an excellent region for cattle of the Arouquesa breed, is today one of the places with the greatest traditional rural presence. The amazingly beautiful Bestança valley is full of natural green meadows, rivers and streams and the most genuine species of biodiversity, in an environment of locations protected against invasion.
Due to everything that is associated with it, Cinfães is, as the poet J. Saraiva says,
“the pleasant region where the Gods strive to provide favours”
PRINCESS OF TAMEGA
AMARANTE, PRINCESS OF TAMEGA
As rich as desire and as diverse as luck, the routes located in the municipality of Amarante provide so many images and flavours for visitors to take home with them: architecture, religion, art, nature, cuisine.
It was here that S. Gonçalo settled, where French troops attempted to invade were repelled, and where Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso and Teixeira de Pascoaes were born, important names which magnified the arts and literature in the domestic and international scenario.
And it is here that the Tamega and its bucolic banks and the Marão and Aboboreira hills invite you to engage in open-air activities ranging from pleasure tours, on foot or by boat, golf, and even more radical adventures.
BAIÃO, NATURAL LIFE
Baião is the municipality with the highest percentage of green areas and forests in the entire district of Porto (63.5%), and possesses natural resources of a rare beauty such as the Aboboreira hills, the Marão hills, the Castelo de Matos hills and the Douro, Teixeira and Ovil rivers.
Baião is home to one of the biggest megalithic necropoles in the country. In addition to the megalithic scenario composed of the Aboboreira and Castelo de Matos hills, which includes the Aboboreira Hills Archeological Field (CASA), with over 5,000 years of uninterrupted settlement, this region boasts species of wildlife which are only found here in the entire Iberian Peninsula and is also home to 30 to 40 per cent of all certain animal and plant species existing in Portugal.
The Santo André de Ancede Convent (1113 A.D.), prior to the founding of the Portuguese nation, the social and economic influence of which was felt from Porto to Regua during the Middle Ages.
It was here that the writer Eça de Queirós took inspiration from the local people, landscapes, uses and customs for one of his best known works, “A Cidade e as Serras”, and it is thanks to him that the Vila Nova estate in the parish of Santa Cruz do Douro and Aregos railway station are still today known as Tormes House and Station respectively.
WHERE WE ARE
Very close and in the center of the city of Porto. From here we take you to the most beautiful places.