Nadine ~ May 2019
It started as a quest. A quest for what walking could mean for me. Away from everything, from the hectic life to silence and doing things at a slower pace. Often I look at the caminho from above and I can still see myself walking. Through this beautiful valley with beautiful nature and its friendly people.
From its origin to its mouth in the Mondeo. A clear goal but with a certain endlessness. After all, the flowing water does not end anywhere, it constantly mixes and merges into a larger whole. The Dão takes you along, teaches you to move with its flow.
It was a great pleasure to walk this walk with Freya. Not only does she know the Portuguese culture and language, but she also knows a lot about the valley, its history and the flora and fauna. In addition to her knowledge, she will also take you along in her love for this environment and she knows how to convey this in such a way that the Dão and its valley become a part of you and I am grateful to her for that.
Vitor ~ October 7 2019
Hiked day 1 starting at the source of the Dão ending at Quinta da Ponte.
It was really thrilling to walk this valley. I thought I knew this region, where I have lived and worked for years, but this spot was missing and it was quite surprising to "discover" it (thanks Freya).
We were there in late Autumn, there was few or no water in the first 20 kms (we had suffered 2 years of droughts) but the valley with its oaks, pine-trees, big rocks, fresh air and beautiful landscapes made us feel like we were so distant from "civilization". Even mobiles frequently couldn't reach any signal. Lucky us! I strongly recommend this track which, by the way, I haven't completed yet.
Juliette ~ October 10 2019
Hiked day 5 from Sangemil to Ferreiros do Dão.
I loved walking the Caminho do Dão with you. It has been a very special adventure. The Dão valley is so beautiful and the landscapes around so different every time you get a little further. Canyon like rocky borders and grassy meadows, never a dull moment. It's a relatively small river but its water gives life, and this is evident when you look around you while walking. Even after the dry summer there is still a lot of green to be seen and the river is still flowing, though with less force then in the spring. So important for flora and fauna. The villages are inviting and genuine in this part of Portugal, the people you meet are extremely kind and helpful. When can I go again? 🙂
Piet ~ October 2019
Hiked a part of day 3 (between Penalva do Castello and Alcafache) and the full day 5 from Sangemil to Ferreiros do Dão. Has been hiking in the Dão valley since 1992.
Herewith some of my thoughts and feelings about hiking along a river and along the river Dao.
A river makes you curious about where it comes from and were it goes. You want to see the source and the end. It makes you meditative because of the ever ever flowing of the water. It gives you a target to follow the river up or down and to try to walk as near the river as possible. The Dao is a relatively small river and it has a good length for a good hike, and there are a lot of nice paths along the river or in the valley. There is a lot variety in the landscape so it makes the Dao very suitable. On hot days there are a lot of possibilities to bath or swim. The source of the river is a very very nice place, it could not be nicer and impressive.