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Portugal Historic Village Hiking Tour

Picturesque Trails from Lisbon to the Central Massif


Explore Iberian Europe's best-kept secret on this fascinating hiking tour through Portugal's picturesque countryside. Discover a land dotted with medieval castles and hilltop villages as you journey along Roman roads and ancient paths. Experience the old-world charm of Monsanto, where houses are wedged between giant boulders, and Sortelha with its walled fortress. Then head to the rugged Serra da Estrela Natural Park, where great hiking trails abound. End by taking in the haunting sounds of fado singers on a walking tour of Lisbon's old quarter. Feel the soul of Portugal as expert local guides bring the past and present to life.

8 Days

From: $4,820

Explore Iberian Europe's best-kept secret on this fascinating hiking tour through Portugal's picturesque countryside. Discover a land dotted with medieval castles and hilltop villages as you journey along Roman roads and ancient paths. Experience the old-world charm of Monsanto, where houses are wedged between giant boulders, and Sortelha with its walled fortress. Then head to the rugged Serra da Estrela Natural Park, where great hiking trails abound. End by taking in the haunting sounds of fado singers on a walking tour of Lisbon's old quarter. Feel the soul of Portugal as expert local guides bring the past and present to life.

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Enjoy hikes through the Serra da Estrela National Park in the mountainous central massif

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Highlights


  • Marvel at stunning views from a mountaintop castle overlooking "the most Portuguese village in Portugal"
  • Enjoy hikes through the Serra da Estrela National Park in the mountainous central massif
  • Take a walking tour of Lisbon, with its Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries, and narrow lanes

Portugal Historic Village Hiking

Start: Lisbon, Portugal  End: Lisbon, Portugal

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Lisbon

    Day 1

    Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport in the morning and meet your MT Sobek representative, who will transfer you to the hotel. Enjoy some time to check in and freshen up before lunch, then take a walking tour through the old town of Lisbon, and the Mouraria and Alfama neighborhoods. Finish the first day with a festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

    Accommodation: Lisbon Plaza Hotel

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to Salvaterra do Extremo & Hike to Monfortinho

    Day 2

    After a hearty breakfast, begin the journey inland to the small village of Salvaterra do Extremo, near the border of Spain, to begin today's hike on varied terrain along an ancient Roman road. Stroll around this charming place, a former stronghold used by the Romans and the Arabs, seeing traditional homes made of shale, the House of Sardoes (lizards), a moon-shaped well, the bell tower of Casa da Camara (complete with storks in the belfry!), and the cylindrical granite stiles. Continue on to Monfortinho, home for the next two nights.

    Accommodation: Hotel Fonte Santa

    Activity: 4 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 954' elevation gain & 990' elevation loss

    Transportation: 3-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to the Villages of Idanha-a-Velha, Monsanto & Penha Garcia

    Day 3

    Hike through a dazzling landscape today, from village to village. Begin in Idanha-a-Velha, a former Roman settlement dating back to 16 A.D. Hike up to ancient Monsanto, "the most Portuguese village in Portugal," perched against the face of a rocky cliff where houses sit wedged between giant boulders. Hike up to the castle above it, for a picnic lunch and stunning panoramas. En route back, take a brief side hike to the village of Penha Garcia, with its labyrinth of streets winding among small, flower-covered houses. Hike back to Monfortinho for dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Fonte Santa

    Activity: 5.5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,795' elevation gain & 495' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Villages of Sortelha, Belmonte & Linhares da Beira

    Day 4

    Leave Monfortinho after breakfast and head to the medieval village of Sortelha, with its walled fortress high atop a rocky promontory at 2,500 feet. Continue to Belmonte village, dominated by a 13th-century castle and a labyrinth of ancient alleyways that make up the old Jewish quarter; Belmonte is still home to the largest Jewish community in Portugal. Continue to Linhares da Beira, a Lusitanian hill fort on the western slopes of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park. Today ends at Penhas Douradas on the central high plains of Estrela Mountain.

    Accommodation: Casa das Penhas Douradas

    Activity: Three historic village walking tours

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike in Serra da Estrela Natural Park

    Day 5

    Today hike through the diverse landscapes of Penhas Douradas, a region of Serra da Estrela Natural Park marked by rocky outcrops, boulders and crags, several of which resemble human forms. The destination today is the dam of the Vale do Rossim, a picturesque lake with a small beach perfect for resting, soaking your feet, and enjoying a nice picnic. Then head back to the hotel, arriving in the late afternoon.

    Accommodation: Casa das Penhas Douradas

    Activity: 3 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,092' elevation gain & 1,046' elevation loss

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit the Village of Piodao & Arrive in Lousa

    Day 6

    Today leave Serra da Estrela behind, heading towards the small town of Lousa. En route, visit the photogenic village of Piodao, where cobblestone avenues lined with shale houses cascade down a gentle slope. With its white facades and cylindrical buttresses, a beautiful 19th-century church dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Conceicao stands out among the shale houses. Reach today's destination, the charming town of Lousa, in the late afternoon.

    Accommodation: Octant Palacio da Lousa
    Accommodation: Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas

    Transportation: 2-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Leave Lousa & Enjoy Fado in Lisbon

    Day 7

    Start at the Castle of Arouce and hike on the magnificent Serra da Lousa trail, passing through villages seemingly lost in time. Wander through the winding alleyways of Talasnal and drink straight from the village's spring fountain. Continue across bridges and creeks and climb towards the village of Casal Novo, then catch amazing views of the valley and the castle. After lunch, take a dip in a river pool before returning to Lisbon. Check in and head out for dinner in a casa de fado, a restaurant that features Portuguese fado music.

    Accommodation: Lisbon Plaza Hotel

    Activity: 3 hours/4 miles hiking with 1,607' elevation gain & loss

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Lisbon

    Day 8

    Enjoy breakfast before your guide assists with your airport transfer.

    Meals: Breakfast

Why Travel With Us?


  • MT Sobek has been leading guests on spectacular routes through Europe for over 50 years and this unique hiking journey follows age-old paths through Portugal's most historic villages.

  • In 8 days you will enjoy a memorable and well-paced hiking tour through the Central Massif, plus time to explore Portugal's capital, Lisbon, and enjoy a fado dinner show.

  • Local expert guides lead you from one picture-perfect village to the next, providing insight into Portugal's people, culture, and heritage. Come away knowing the people as well as the place.

Dates & Prices


  • 2024
  • 2025
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2024

Scheduled Dates


Price is per person, double occupancy in USD.

The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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View 2025 Departure Dates

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Scheduled Dates


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The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.


Looking for a private family adventure?


This trip can accommodate guests with a
minimum age of 16.

Private Trip Pricing: 2024


4 to 5 guests from $5,495 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,295 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $4,995 per person double occupancy

Private Trip Pricing: 2025


5 guests from $5,695 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $5,495 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,195 per person double occupancy

4 guests from $5,795 per person double occupancy

10 guests from $4,895 per person double occupancy

*Seasonal rates may apply.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Take Over One of These Dates


Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Carla H.

Carla H.

Carla’s passion for the great outdoors was ignited during her childhood travels across Portugal with family and friends. Her early enthusiasm and desire to learn more about the natural world led her to pursue studies at the prestigious Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She then traveled far and wide across the globe, but her heart remained in Portugal and its enchanting landscapes. Dedicated to share her deep-rooted love of her home country with travelers, join Carla for an unforgettable adventure to experience the wonder and beauty of Portugal's countryside.

Pedro L.

Pedro L.

Pedro hails from the south of Portugal and is a graduate of the School of Hospitality and Tourism of Coimbra (EHTC). He is an adventurous person who loves to experience the people, cultures, and ecosystems of other countries through travel. After his own explorations on a grand six-month journey through South America, he returned to Portugal’s familiar and fantastic environs where he has become an avid birdwatcher. He delights in sharing his knowledge, spotting and identifying Portugal’s rich birdlife along the trail!

Francisco T.

Francisco T.

Francisco believes in transformations! He experienced one of the most meaningful changes in his life when fueled by his passion for outdoor adventure, curiosity for travel, and joy in discovering our world, he shifted from eight years in the tech world to permanently adopting an out-of-office lifestyle! Instead of sitting at a desk, he spent his time exploring the landscapes around him and found his true calling. He is always inspired by the trips he takes, the ones he guides, and the people he meets along the way.

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Arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport in the morning and meet your MT Sobek representative, who will transfer you to the hotel. Enjoy some time to check in and freshen up before lunch, then take a walking tour through the old town of Lisbon, and the Mouraria and Alfama neighborhoods. Finish the first day with a festive welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

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After a hearty breakfast, begin the journey inland to the small village of Salvaterra do Extremo, near the border of Spain, to begin today\'s hike on varied terrain along an ancient Roman road. Stroll around this charming place, a former stronghold used by the Romans and the Arabs, seeing traditional homes made of shale, the House of Sardoes (lizards), a moon-shaped well, the bell tower of Casa da Camara (complete with storks in the belfry!), and the cylindrical granite stiles. Continue on to Monfortinho, home for the next two nights.

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Hike through a dazzling landscape today, from village to village. Begin in Idanha-a-Velha, a former Roman settlement dating back to 16 A.D. Hike up to ancient Monsanto, "the most Portuguese village in Portugal," perched against the face of a rocky cliff where houses sit wedged between giant boulders. Hike up to the castle above it, for a picnic lunch and stunning panoramas. En route back, take a brief side hike to the village of Penha Garcia, with its labyrinth of streets winding among small, flower-covered houses. Hike back to Monfortinho for dinner.

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Leave Monfortinho after breakfast and head to the medieval village of Sortelha, with its walled fortress high atop a rocky promontory at 2,500 feet. Continue to Belmonte village, dominated by a 13th-century castle and a labyrinth of ancient alleyways that make up the old Jewish quarter; Belmonte is still home to the largest Jewish community in Portugal. Continue to Linhares da Beira, a Lusitanian hill fort on the western slopes of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park. Today ends at Penhas Douradas on the central high plains of Estrela Mountain.

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Today hike through the diverse landscapes of Penhas Douradas, a region of Serra da Estrela Natural Park marked by rocky outcrops, boulders and crags, several of which resemble human forms. The destination today is the dam of the Vale do Rossim, a picturesque lake with a small beach perfect for resting, soaking your feet, and enjoying a nice picnic. Then head back to the hotel, arriving in the late afternoon.

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Today leave Serra da Estrela behind, heading towards the small town of Lousa. En route, visit the photogenic village of Piodao, where cobblestone avenues lined with shale houses cascade down a gentle slope. With its white facades and cylindrical buttresses, a beautiful 19th-century church dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Conceicao stands out among the shale houses. Reach today\'s destination, the charming town of Lousa, in the late afternoon.

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Start at the Castle of Arouce and hike on the magnificent Serra da Lousa trail, passing through villages seemingly lost in time. Wander through the winding alleyways of Talasnal and drink straight from the village\'s spring fountain. Continue across bridges and creeks and climb towards the village of Casal Novo, then catch amazing views of the valley and the castle. After lunch, take a dip in a river pool before returning to Lisbon. Check in and head out for dinner in a casa de fado, a restaurant that features Portuguese fado music.

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Enjoy breakfast before your guide assists with your airport transfer.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 3. Walks average about 6 miles per day, with approximately 1200 feet of elevation gain per day on average. The walks go from village to village, taking you on old Roman roads, walking paths, through forests and up some steep rocky slopes. There are some stairs and cobblestones in the villages as well, so be prepared for a variety of terrain.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

4 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 954' elevation gain & 990' elevation loss

Day 3

5.5 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,795' elevation gain & 495' elevation loss

Day 4

Three historic village walking tours

Day 5

3 hours/5.5 miles hiking with 1,092' elevation gain & 1,046' elevation loss

Day 7

3 hours/4 miles hiking with 1,607' elevation gain & loss

Accommodations


Boutique hotels exuding historical charm, restored palace hideaways, mountain resorts, and modern city hotels, all featuring upscale amenities.

Hotel Fonte Santa
Hotel Fonte Santa

Recently renovated, the Fonte Santa is a charming, upscale hotel that was built in the early 1940s, surrounded by a wild natural landscape in the foothills of Penha Garcia. All rooms offer modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, minibars and safes, and breathtaking views of the beautiful surroundings.

Casa das Penhas Douradas
Casa das Penhas Douradas

A four-star boutique hotel nestled in the heart of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the Casa das Penhas Douradas showcases minimalist design that brings the natural surroundings to life. Rooms feature panoramic windows and a full spectrum of luxe amenities. The spa has a swimming pool and sauna, while the restaurant serves delicious gourmet fare.

Octant Palacio da Lousa
Octant Palacio da Lousa

Inside an 18th-century palace in Lousa's historical center, Octant Palacio da Lousa has been reimagined as a boutique hotel that blends the charm of an historical setting with state-of-the-art technology. Guests can enjoy an excellent meal in the restaurant, a dip in the pool, or a cocktail outside on the patio with great mountain views.

Lisbon Plaza Hotel
Lisbon Plaza Hotel
Located close to the historic center of Lisbon, the charming Lisbon Plaza Hotel features decorated rooms infused with Portuguese style. Enjoy modern amenities that include a free safe, a satellite TV, air-conditioning, a hair dryer, and a complimentary set of cozy bathrobes. Start your day with a delectable breakfast buffet, sip on refreshing cocktails at the bar, indulge in a workout at their fitness center, or simply unwind on their rooftop terrace.
Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas
Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas
The historic Quinta das Lagrimas is said to be the site of a 14th-century prince's forbidden love affair. Surrounded by botanical gardens, the grand palace exterior is complemented by charming modern rooms with a nod to the site's history. The garden spa includes indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a Turkish bath and steam room. The restaurants focus on fresh ingredients, locally sourced, sometimes from the hotel's own garden.

Weather


Portugal boasts a warm, Mediterranean climate, with dry summers. There is often a sea-breeze that helps to keep the summer months bearable.

 
Apr
Sep
Lisbon 
High
Low
High
Low
Lisbon
68
53
80
63
Lousa 
High
Low
High
Low
Lousa
65
46
78
56

FAQs


Who will meet me on arrival?

Arrive at the Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) by 11 AM on Day 1. After clearing customs, an MT Sobek representative will welcome you and transfer you to the hotel in Lisbon.

Do I need hiking boots for this trip?

No. The best footwear for this trip would be cross-training shoes or lightweight hiking boots.

What is the food like in Portugal?

You can expect a variety of wonderful fish dishes, particularly cod (bacalhau), shellfish, cheese, pork, salads, olive oil, and some incredible red and white wines as well.

What type of clothing should I wear in Portugal?

You will want to wear comfortable shoes for walking, and bring a layer in case of light rain. In the evenings, you might prefer to dress smart casual for dinners.

Do I need a visa to enter Portugal?

No. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for tourist stays of 90 days or less.

What language is spoken in Portugal?

Portuguese!

Does this trip contribute to any local conservation efforts?

Yes! This trip supports the One Hiker - One Tree program, which started in 2003 after forest fires burned over 133,000 acres. One tree is donated to the Sao Mamede National Park for every hiker. Over 2,000 trees have been donated to date.

What is the minimum age for this trip?
The standard minimum age for this trip is 18, but check out our private trip options for families and groups with younger guests.

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