Hidden among leafy vegetation, the shale villages are one of our best-kept secrets, but the inhabitants, pleasant and friendly, like to help unravel.
In this magical world, where the hours pass more slowly, live cozy populations with time to welcome well who visits them. And to share their stories, arts and traditions. How we like to taste their gastronomic delicacies, made according to recipes that pass from generation to generation! Or bring with us a piece of handicraft in linen or wood in which the artisans put all their knowledge.
This preserved territory also has castles that seem to come out of fairy tales emerging in the haze, or monuments and museums that witness how life was many years ago.
But much of its charm is in pure Nature. On the river beaches of crystal clear water where we can spend moments of relaxation. And in the forests to discover on foot following the ”Shale Paths”, or the bike rails defined by the MTB Centers according to various levels of difficulty, which also provide support to practitioners. There are still other alternatives for more extreme sportsmen like canoeing, climbing, rappel and slide.
Shale calls, because this is the stone used in the construction of houses and the most abundant in the region, the 27 villages spread by the Sierras of Lousã and the Azores, near the Serra da Estrela. The various shades of this rock, also used in the pavements of the narrow winding streets, blend perfectly in the colors of the natural landscape, and it is not always easy to distinguish them. But it’s worth a try.