Crossing the Peneda and Soajo’s Hill

Arcos de Valdevez

The Crossing of the “Serra da Peneda e Soajo” (Peneda and Soajo’s Hill), is classified and signalized as a long route, running through all this mountainous cluster, by paths and sidewalks that boosted a mountain ecosystem of different contrasts sometimes gentle and bucolic, sometimes imposing and wild.

In the landscape, stands out the effort of ancestors as far as the conquering agricultural soils goes, so scarce hereabout. An example of this, is the thousands of existing terraces that reach its magnificence in the Sistelo’s village. Also expressed in the extensive agro-pastoral infrastructure set, wisely implemented, such as stable, housing, den, “mariolas” (several stones artificial mount indicating direction), fences, sidewalks, irrigation, threshing-floors and “espigueiros” (cereals warehouses).

The route passes through different habitats, offering a wide and diverse community of flora and fauna. We discern the Galician-Portuguese oak, the riparian forests, the natural and semi natural meadows of the mountain, the scrub and the marshes. In this natural space survives one of the most emblematic species of the Portuguese fauna - Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus). The geological and geomorphological resources have a well-marked presence, where highlights the Alto Vale do Rio Vez, a glacial valley and the granitic massif of the Peneda.

The historical and anthropological importance of this crossing is expressed consistently when passing through the population cluster, in particular the community villages and their respective “brandas”, transmitting an art and a unique wisdom of the way to survive in mountain territories.

In this context, we propose to the mountaineers, a walk for a few days, loaded with a strong and natural human component, in a territory moulded since the megalithic.
Points of interest:
PNPG Gate – Mezio;
Bouças Donas Rural Community;
Bostelinhos Rural Community;
Cabrita’s Den;
Avelar Rural Community;
Lordelo Rural Community;
Sistelo Rural Community;
Padrão Rural Community;
Porto Cova Rural Community;
Branda do Furado;
Branda de Real;
Branda de Bosgalinhas;
Branda de S. Bento do Cando;
Our Lady of Peneda Sanctuary;
Beleiral Rural Community.

Typology: Long Route
Length: 77 km
Duration (hours – approximate): 4 days
Type of tread: sidewalks and trucker’s way
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
Starting point: Mezio – Cabana Maior’s village
Arrival: Mezio – Cabana Maior’s village

Location: Arcos de Valdevez


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