We were hosted in Campo do Gerês and between walks and peaceful days there, the idea came up to spend a day in Arcos de Vardevez.
We left early with the idea of doing a morning walk on a well-known walkway that exists in that area and that extends for several kilometers, but once there, we changed plans and decided to continue our journey towards Sistelo and its walkways.
The Sistelo walkways went from the best kept secret of Gerês to the most wanted destination in less than a year after being declared a National Monument in 2017.
The village of Sistelo is one of the winning villages of the 7 Wonders of Portugal, located in the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, also known as the small Portuguese Tibet due to its terraces.
It is the first time that such a classification is given to a village as a whole, cultural and natural heritage, which until now was only attributed to the built heritage, but the need for this safeguard results from the need to preserve a place with such particular characteristics.
The photos i´m going to share today do not do justice to the beauty of the place we found.
Unfortunately nothing on this trip was planned and as you can testify throughout this post until the weather conditions were against us, and for this same reason a new visit is already scheduled to make a record worth sharing.
In the next visit I will be equipped with my camera and with the necessary time to register all the nooks and crannies with the attention and all the deserved value.
When we arrived it was already lunchtime and after a brief search I was only able to identify 1 place next to the central square where it would be possible to have a meal, in Tasquinha da Ti Mélia, and one thing I must say, I am writing this post and I am already drooling by just remembering that phenomenon ... I can go through a lot of kilometers just to taste that menu again, just superb.
After a good lunch and with a "cozy" belly we decided to go out and take a short walk around the village to take some pictures and digest it before heading for the walk towards the nearest entrance to the Sistelo walkway.
Castelo do Sistelo " Sistelo Castle" is the jewel in the crown of the village's built heritage, which in the 19th century was the home of Visconde do Sistelo and today houses an interpretive center of the cultural landscape, to welcome tourists.
The terraces are the basis of the agro-pastoral economy of this region with a marked relief. The terraces allow the use of the soil for subsistence agriculture of corn, beans and potatoes and grazing of animals, mainly the barrosã cow and cachena adapted to the climate and relief of the region.
Something we can see all over the village are the granaries for the ears of corn and the public lavatories fed by the immense streams and water courses that abound in the region, the granite slab paths, the Roman Bridge over the River, Mills, chapels, viewpoints ...
For such a small village, after all it has a lot to fill in a beautiful day out.
But we had gone there mainly for the walk and because this small mountain village keeps some of the most beautiful trails in the Peneda Gerês National Park, among them the mediatic Sistelo walkways , which connect the medieval bridge of Vilela to the iconic Sistelo village along the River Vez, and the extraordinary Brandas de Sistelo trail, for many, the most beautiful walking routes in Portugal.
But the task was not easy because on that day the temperatures were around 40 degrees in the shade, and although it is a journey that takes place in the middle of the forest, our daughter was with us and we quickly realized that it would not be possible to go much further and after a few stops we had to go back.
Just to give you an idea, the soles of the sneakers took off with the heat ... simply unbearable .. we went back to the village, at Ti Mélia's tavern to drink something fresh, rest and continue the journey again to the Gerês field ... but before we passed the viewpoint to take some pictures to frame the whole scene of the village and its terraces.
I hope to return there soon, for sure that I will share some magical moments here.
See you soon
Thank you for watching :)