Arouca, Castelo de Paiva, Castro Daire, Cinfães, São Pedro do Sul, Sever do Vouga and Vale de Cambra will inaugurate on July 1 a pedestrian route that crosses through four mountains and six rivers.
Involving the territory of the North and Central regions of the country, the new Great Route of the Magic Mountains, which covers 280km, was designed by ADRIMAG - Association for the Integrated Regional Development of the Montemuro, Arada and Gralheira Mountains, after research that also involved the Portuguese Cycling Federation, the Federation of Camping and Mountaineering of Portugal, Tourism of Porto and North and Tourism of the Centre.
For lovers of nature
The president of ADRIMAG, João Carlos Pinto, says that this circular route was “designed for lovers of nature and adventure tourism”, and believes that, due to the quality of the landscape, the diversity of the heritage covered and the structuring of the route, the new tourist product will quickly become “a national and international reference” among mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts.
The Great Route of the Magic Mountains crosses the Freita, Arada, Arestal and Montemuro mountains, as well as the valleys of the Douro, Vouga, Paiva, Bestança, Caima and Teixeira rivers, in an extension that crosses routes of the Water and Stone Routes and also four zones classified as Rede Natura 2000.
These last four areas, subject to special protection as they are habitats for endangered wild species, represent, together with the Arouca Geopark, classified by UNESCO as a Geological Heritage of Humanity, “more than 50% of the total area of the Great Route”.
João Carlos Pinho mentions some of the points of particular interest along the route: 10 villages classified as “Aldeia de Portugal”; structures on previously inaccessible cliffs, such as the Paiva Walkways; several manor houses, manor houses, sanctuaries and calvaries; ruins of mining complexes such as Braçal and Chãs; the thermal spas of São Pedro do Sul and Carvalhais; several museums, craft workshops and interpretation centers; and forests punctuated by geosites, waterfalls, lagoons and reservoirs.
With a difference of between 53.7 and 1,209 meters, the GR60 involves a total of 96.4 kilometers of ascent and 108.9 of descent – with the complete route being 280 kilometers by bicycle, while the walk is 275.