Some historic villages of Portugal!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Tigerswift, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Tigerswift

    Tigerswift Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Portugal
    Taking advantage of the passage through “Beira Alta”, we decided to visit some of the historical villages of Portugal. The historical villages, congregate a group of 12 villages, in the “Beiras”region, all of them with previous foundation of the Portuguese nation.

    They are distinguished by the existence of castles and fortresses and their historical importance. A few years ago a rehabilitation program was set up for these villages and they currently offer multiple cultural and recreational events and programs. The Great Route of the Historical Villages was also created, that in less than 600km, it crosses the 12 villages.

    But we didn’t had time, so we decided to visit just some of them. We arrived at city of Trancoso, which would be our base for 2 nights, in the evening and as soon we entered the city we were surprised by its beauty. Trancoso, a city and not a village, has a remarkable historical center, surrounded by walls and with multiple points of historical interest, from the castle, through the churches and pillories, to the Jewish quarter.

    We took advantage of the last hours of light to stroll around the city and know the main sights. Despite being a county seat, Trancoso is still a small inland city, yet it manages to perfectly marry the historical facet with progress. There is life in Trancoso. The streets, full of people, with commerce and foods for all tastes.

    The night fell and as the next day was full one, we thought it would be best to return to our lodging, the D. Dinis Residencial, where we were extremely well received. Although they did not have closed parking, they provided a space in the warehouse for the two-wheeler to sleep warmly.

    Trancoso:

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    After an excellent breakfast at D. Dinis, we were on the road to visit two more historical villages, “Almeida” and “Castelo Rodrigo", and “Pinhel”, which is not officially part of this itinerary, has very similar characteristics.

    The first stop was in the village of Almeida, recognized as a masterpiece of military architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries and a key border defence. We parked the Tracer in the main square and walked the village on foot. Although smaller than Trancoso, Almeida is also a spectacular example of these historical-medieval places. Although it has been subject to several sieges and attacks, notably during the French invasions, it maintains a considerable part of its structure intact, being possible to cross its walls, with six polygonal bastions. Its possible to visit the Castle although only remains vestiges. We also find several emblazoned houses, the El Cueiro del Rey and the iconic Clock Tower, probably built on the ruins of the missing Mother Church of Nossa Senhora das Candeias.

    Almeida:

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    "whoever you are,
    notice how I am,
    I was once like you are,
    and thou shalt be as I am."

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    #1
  2. Tigerswift

    Tigerswift Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Portugal
    Visited Almeida, we continue our journey towards Castelo Rodrigo. The clear day, with little wind and mild temperatures, together with the good conditions of the roads and the little traffic, made the tour even more pleasant. Along the way, we went through several locations, also filled with this historic charm, with cobbled streets, small churches and traditional houses. Past these small settlements, roads are lined mostly by vast fields, where olive, chestnut and almond trees reign. The fauna is also rich, making this region a destination of choice for many hunters. On the way we were surprised by a huge flock of birds of prey, whose species we could not decode, but which circled over our heads, impressively.

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    We arrived at Castelo Rodrigo. The village is situated on a high plane and concentrates all the buildings within the walls. Although of very small dimensions and with little more than 500 inhabitants, the village offers a vast collection of monuments, reflecting its importance over time and the different communities that have passed through it. From the Túrdulos, passing through the Romans, until more recent to the Spaniards, until becoming Portuguese in the reign of D. Dinis. Also noteworthy was the strong Jewish presence which left many marks, including the medieval cistern. Castelo Rodrigo, looks like taken from fairy tale, with its winding little streets and breathtaking views. To brighten up this scenario, we find some commercial establishments that bet on regional products and overflow with authenticity and friendliness. In "Sabores do Castelo", for example, in addition to being able to enjoy a coffee shop with a spectacular terrace, we find a small shop with several articles, among them sweet almonds, worked here in a manual and traditional way, which we can observe "in loco ".

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    Castelo Rodrigo:

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    #2
  3. rrtips

    rrtips LifeUnloadedRTW.com

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    Long Island.
    hey mate. If you are gonna be in Portugal this weekend we will be touring the country for a month. My riding partner is from there. If you are down gimmie a shout. LifeunloadedRTW@gmail.com
    #3
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  4. 15's Pop

    15's Pop Adventurer

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    oh-boy! what an amazing report. I dream of riding Spain, and your report just makes me ponder the notion even harder.
    safe travels
    pops
    #4
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  5. Manrider218

    Manrider218 Been here awhile

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    USA
    beautiful
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    #5
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  6. Tigerswift

    Tigerswift Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Thanks guys! :)

    We leaved marvelled. Before we returned to Trancoso, we had still planned a stop in Pinhel and to get there, we would have to cross a part of the N221 road, also known by the “excommunicated road”, thus named for its dangerousness. The Excommunicated is in itself a reason of interest for lovers of two wheels. The route, by the Hill of Marofa and that does not reach 30 km, has more than 150 turns, mostly tight and flanked by cliffs along the Côa valley. Caution is advised in driving, but it is well worth it, since the natural settings are magnificent.

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    Arriving at the city of Pinhel, without much energy for walks, we drove to the top of the city, where we were just resting and enjoying the spectacular view. Pinhel, which has a pine tree, a hawk and a rabbit on is family crest, is also known as hawk city, an epithet originally given by D. João I, given its position of privileged observation and observation. Not part of the route of the historic villages, it is a city equally marked by a medieval architecture and flooded with monuments. Definitely worth a visit.

    Pinhel:

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    #6
  7. Tigerswift

    Tigerswift Adventurer

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    We returned to our base in Trancoso and the night was reserved to relax and enjoy the regional delicacies. We had in mind try the typical Barrosan beef, but the recommended restaurant was closed which forced us to change the plans. We ended up having dinner at "Taberna do Pica-Pau", a delicious little tavern, with snacks to eat and cry for more... to finish the night, we only needed to taste the typical sweet of Trancoso, the Sardines... and there we went, fishing in the streets of the city. By that time, it was almost all closed, and we began to think we were not going to get lucky. We stoped at the Castiço Retreat, still open and with 2 sardines in the hammock ... although we did come to dinner and only wanted to try the sardines, we were welcomed with open arms and we stayed for a lively conversation. The sardines, very sweet, were accompanied by “blood of Jews”, a typical drink of the region. All five stars. To help digest the meal, we went for the last time to traverse the labyrinthine streets of the city and the castle walls, souls overflowing and flooded by the mysterious atmosphere that night brought.

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    Trancoso:

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    Taberna do Pica-Pau

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    Castiço Retreat

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    Here is the video of this tour:



    If you liked the video, please, subscribe to our Youtube channel, to see more videos of our tours. Thanks!

    https://www.youtube.com/user/rakmarc
    #7
  8. windmills

    windmills Gnearly Adventurer

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    Thank you, loving this look around your amazing country.

    I visited for the first time last year and absolutely fell in love with what I saw. I didn't have a bike that time, but hope to get the Guzzi out there to enjoy those fantastic roads! (Probably it was ok being bike-less, as the temperatures for my visit were in the 40-47C range all week!)

    We were in a small village near to Tomar, you can feel the presence of history all around you... wonderful!

    Obrigado!
    #8
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  9. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    #9
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  10. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Thanks for taking us along on your Portugal Adventure. Planning a trip to that area in the future. A world away from this Texans life. Looks awesome.
    #10
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  11. Knobbly Studios

    Knobbly Studios Knob

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    Beautiful tour! I spent a couple weeks in that area May 2018. It was a life highlight. We also spontaneously took up the habit of Castelo hunting on the trip and went to some of the same places as your tour! We are planning to ride there again this August. Because we had so much fun.
    Thanks for showing us how it looks to a local ;)
    #11
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  12. Tigerswift

    Tigerswift Adventurer

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    Thank you all :)
    im glad you guys liked!

    I must warn you that in August the temperatures may hit 35/40Cº.
    Safe travel and have fun ;)
    #12
  13. Tigerswift

    Tigerswift Adventurer

    Joined:
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    The trip was more or less like this:

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    #13
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  14. Essbee

    Essbee Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing! Loving this RR. What stunning unspoilt villages.
    #14
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  15. bout2ride

    bout2ride Been here awhile

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    great report, villages like I try to visit. will be in Portugal later this year and look forward to revisiting your trip. just now investigating where to stay during dec 2019 & jan 2020..mind boggling!
    #15
  16. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Been here awhile

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    Looks like a place I'd love to visit. Thanks for the great pics and report.
    #16
  17. Oldschoolrocker

    Oldschoolrocker a.k.a. EZE Supporter

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    Great pictures! They all say so much ...wow! Just seems like such a kicked back place in time. Thanks for that! Cheers!
    #17