Duration: 8 days/ 7 nights
Difficulty level: Medium/ High
Type and number of accommodation: House tourism or Hotels; 2 houses or 1 hotel for all the program.
Type of horses used: Portuguese horses - Lusitano, Garrano, Sorraia and Portuguese Cross Breed.
Arrival to Ponte de Lima.
Knowing the accommodation; choice of the horses and recognition of the area.
The journey of day one, connects the protected area of the lagoons “Lagoas de São Pedro D’Arcos e Bertiandos”, to Cerquido Village.
Located on the edge Northwest Estorãos parish, Ponte de Lima municipality, rural core Cerquido is implemented in the south-eastern slope of the Serra de Arga, developing between 400 and 430 meters, a flattened sector providing form a well-defined stone.
It boasts a privileged geostrategic location, enjoying a unique visual basin relative to the river valley Estorãos and medium sector limiana veiga, benefiting both the protection of rocky granitic massif of the Serra d’Arga escarpment, located upstream.
You can safely say that the population fixation in place of Cerquido dates back at least to the Middle Ages, as indicted by the discovery of tégulas, type of clay tile introduced in the Iberian Peninsula during the Romanization, whose use it spreads to the century VII / VIII.
The Cerquido Path - from Veiga (fertile plain) Mountain to Santa Justa. The course aims to provide the historical and geographical narrative of territory to explore, through the interpretation of settlement models in different historical periods, starting from Limiana veiga towards the southeast slope of the mountain d'Arga, to the place of Cerquido, in the parish of Estorãos.
The barracks of Santa Justa, the 450m altitude, we catch sight of the Lima River valley, to its mouth and witness four levels of use of mountainous areas: i) the basic level, in the alluvial plain of the river Lima, where predominantly irrigated crops; . Ii) the level of permanent crops (eg vineyards, orchards and olive groves), with a more dispersed pattern of distribution; iii) the forest level, which develops an intermediate altimetry ring with maritime pine and eucalyptus for afforestation, interrupted by small copses and galleries of native species; and iv) the above-forest level, area predominantly pastoralists thickets.
The arrival is to the old barracks of Santa Justa, linked to popular belief related to the martyrdom place of two sisters, Justa and Rufina, which include Santa Justa chapel suffered deserved requalification and gain a new life, becoming an Interpretation Center and Experience Active from nature.
Free day to visit the surrounding in Serra d’raga, to get to know the restaurant in Santa Justa and to enjoy the views and natural swimming pool!
5th Day Trail “Pedra Alçada”
It is a pedestrian resource of ecological and scenic character, small route. The distance is 11.5 km and the degree of difficulty is considered to be moderate.
This trail allows you to reach the highest point of the county - Alçada Stone, at 742 meters above sea level, from where you can observe a magnificent view over the sea and the mouth of the Minho and Coura Rivers.
Besides the wonderful scenery during the trail can be enjoyed several tree, shrub and herbaceous species, the Monastery of St. John d'Arga, waterfalls and natural landscapes created by Brook S. John and the typical village of São João d’Arga.
6th Day Trail “Chã da Franqueira”
It is a walking tour of cultural and landscape context, small route whose route is 5 km, with a degree of difficulty rated as easy.
This trail is intended to raise awareness of the rich historical and natural heritage of Serra d'Arga. Along the route can be visited singularly beautiful places like the only rural areas, waterfalls and fields of agricultural Penas worked in terraces.
7th Day Trail “Between Mountain and Sea”
This trail of scenic and ecological context and short route, has a route of 19.3 km, with a moderate degree of difficulty.
It begins with the Camping Camarido Park, through the walls to the Alto da Espiga, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful view over the estuary of Minho and Coura Rivers. Continues to Romanesque hermitage of S. Pedro de Clotheslines, where we observe a magnificent view over the valley of the Anchor and the Atlantic coast. Can be reached following the geodesic landmark Cobertorinho and, further, a cruise culminating in rock bell of the Moors. After crossing the EN 13, comes to the beach Moledo!
Fairwell to Ponte de Lima! Day spent by the Historical Ponte de Lima and by the Equestrian Center “Centro Equestre Vale do Lima”, observing Lusitanos’ work, having nice food and wine and, perhaps, having a more advanced class of Dressage or Working Equitation, on a Lusitano!