Center of Portugal

Meet Center of Portugal

Family Walking Tours & Mountain Bike Rides in the Schist Villages!

Finding hidden treasures in Central Portugal is the feeling one embodies after walking amidst the mountains and rivers that lead to the Schist Villages of Portugal. A world of secular trails connecting each unique village to another, where centuries of History, tradition, and landscape remain preserved.

Located between Lisbon and Oporto and accessible through Coimbra, Guarda or Castelo Branco, the Schist Villages of Portugal quickly transport you into another world.

Coming across a deer, a wild boar or a fox is something not that rare to happen while traveling through the territory of the Schist Villages of Portugal. The latest annual census reported already over a thousand identified cervids in Lousã Mountains.

And it is precisely in this mountain range that A2Z invites you to discover 10 of a total of 27 Schist Villages. Here, you will be able to spend a whole week walking the trails from village to village, eating and sleeping in local houses made of stone fully restored and ready to welcome you with all the comfort.

Lousã is also known for hosting one of Portugal’s first and hardest ultra-trail run: UTAX. Now in its 10th edition, this ultramarathon attracts hundreds of runners every year. A little further east, deep in the heart of Portugal, Zêzere river tears up this region from north to south, bathing 5 other Schist Villages. Along this very same river, flows the GRZ, the Great Route of Zêzere, a worldwide innovation that integrates Walking, Cycling and Paddling, all in the same route, making use of stations along the way to change to the desired locomotion option.

The Schist Villages are tiny hamlets with dozens or hundreds of inhabitants who warmly welcome anyone who passes by. Nowadays, the Villages not only home their original settler families but also a new wave of outsiders who reformed some of the houses into charming inns with a soul and restaurants dedicated to local cuisine. The fresh water streaming down the mountains forming secret pools and crystal-clear river beaches complete a whole set of wonders inviting you for a week of silence, nature and contemplation, one village after another, walking or cycling.

Each Village holds its own identity so you can perfectly enjoy several days in the same village while exploring the Caminhos do Xisto (a network of circular walking trails) or the mountain-bike tracks designed by the 4 Mountain-Bike Centres existing in the area. Either way, A2Z invites you, your family, your friends to come along and get down to it, whether exploring or baking bread in a wood oven, making artisanal goat cheese, carving wood, cooking clay-pottery, weaving, producing olive oil or simply relaxing.


11 Reasons to Visit Portugal Now


Anyone who has set foot in Portugal can attest to its incredible charm. The sunny skies and friendly locals welcome you with open arms to explore the country’s pristine beaches, mountains, valleys, and villages.


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When planning your holiday, we know how important it is to get the timing just right. And despite Portugal’s compact size, weather patterns actually vary greatly throughout the country making it a little trickier to plan the best time of year to go to Portugal. But whether you’re planning to hit the coast for some sun or enjoy the country’s rural charm in the countryside, check out our guide below to find out the best time to go to Portugal.


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From the turquoise waters of the Algarve in the south to the rolling green hills of the Douro Valley in the north, Portugal is waiting for you with its diverse landscapes, rich history, and fascinating traditions. Once you’re here, you will find there are countless ways to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the best that Portugal has to offer. If you’re not quite sure where to start yet, read below to find our top suggestions of the 12 best things to do in Portugal:


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Compact yet diverse, there’s no doubt Portugal has a lot to offer. From pre-historic dinosaur footprints to some of the world’s most delectable wines, there is very little you won’t find here. But that only makes it much more difficult to answer the question: which region of Portugal should you visit? Read below to find some of our top suggestions to enjoy the very best that Portugal has to offer you.


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