Just You and the Valley.
Route: Quinta da Ponte – Qta. Dos Ferreiros - Entre Águas - Ponte Dum - Quinta da Ponte
Coordinates starting point: 40.701599, -7.579616
Distance: 15 km
Duration: 5 - 6 hrs depending on group
Hiking level: moderate
Lunch: vegetarian picnic provided by Moinhos do Dão ~ Eco Quinta
Costs: € 40 (incl. guide, insurance and vegetarian lunch)
This day hike leads through one of the most biodiverse and quiet parts of the Dão valley. We start at the beautiful old village of Quinta da Ponte situated on the north side of the valley and overlooking a narrow passage of the Dão. From here we walk down to the Dão and start walking downstream.
For most of the hike we’ll be following the old paths that are on the edge between the forests and the floodplains of the river valley. You will experience the typical river valley landscape with the openness of the fields that are used for cultivation and grazing, the ribbon of tall trees (Alders and Ashes) directly on margins of the river and the forests on the valley slopes. The hike leads through a few beautifully preserved patches of native oak and riparian forest and we will get to enjoy our lunch in their cool shade by an abandoned water mill. At the midway point we cross the river over well-preserved stepping stones and walk back on the other side of the valley.
Wildlife that can be observed on this trail includes bee-eaters, kingfishers, otters, various birds of prey, an abundance of butterflies and other insects, and many kinds of lizards.