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Dão valley gems: 12th century Monastery & river stepping stones.

Highlights: Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Cabeça ~ Monastery of Santa Maria de Maceira Dão ~ valley vistas and vineyards ~ shaded path along the river ~ river scape with stepping stones ~ picnic with a view on the Monastery.

Distance: 8 km
Starting time: 10:00 h
Coordinates starting point: 40.615829, -7.828865
Duration: 3-4 hrs depending on group
Hiking level: moderate
Lunch: vegetarian picnic provided by Que Viso Eu; dedicated to promoting the best that is produced in the Centro Region.
Costs: adults € 30 and half price for children ages 5 to 10. (price incl. guide, insurance and lunch)
Additional activities in the area: lake side relaxing at Casa do Rio or Binodão, vineyard visit and winetasting at Soito Wines.

Get to know one of the most magnificent cultural heritage sites of the Dão valley: Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Maceira Dão. Founded in 1173 by monks of the Cistern Order and active till the early 19th century. The hike will include a guided tour of the outside of the building and adjacent lands. From the monastery the hike passes the Chapel of ‘nossa Senhora da Cabeça’ that offers a beautiful perspective on the Monastery and the way it's uniquely situated in the valley.

The walk goes up the Dão valley to enjoy some nice valley views and then go down to follow the river closely until a river crossing of stepping stones. Here the group can enjoy the shallow water and river scape and observe a lot of freshwater wildlife such as a variety of dragonflies dancing above the water, fish in the river and if we are lucky the metalic blue Kingfisher.

From the stepping stones we walk back to the Monastery and enjoy our picnic lunch in the historic setting.