Most of the time in Portugal, a hike is an opportunity to discover a beautiful village. Today’s hike (PR4 VLR) is in one of the Aldeias do Xisto, Água Formosa. You can learn more about the Aldeias do Xisto in their dedicated website.
PR4 VLR – Caminho de Xisto de Água Formosa
The trail begins in the cutest village of Schist. From there you’re going for a 7km easy path but relatively exposed to the sun.
It starts with a gorgeous paved trail under the pine tress, and then continue on a more regular path following the river. You can appreciate water sounds and birds singing all along. Having almost no roads around and with very few traffic, you feel literally in the middle of nature.
This trail is the perfect place to find little treasures. Wild fruits and vegetables are playing hide and seeks in the middle of the bushes. The running river shelter fishes and I even spotted a tortoise!
The last part of the trail is a little less appealing as there is no shade at all. Mostly in a eucalyptus field, the soil is dry and unfortunately the intensive cultivation does not leave room for the endemic flora to grow. You’ll get a quick sight of Ribeiros and Vilar Chão, two villages that might be pleasant to explore in the Winter when the sun is the less harsh.
Visiting the village of Água Formosa
Returning back to the village, it is in the afternoon light that it reveals itself. The orange roofs and multicolored stones are tucked on the cliffside, to catch as much light as possible. Off season, the village is so calm that you can appreciate how it would be to live there, as a local. As usual is rural villages of Portugal, there’s a great attention to detail. Água Formosa is no exception to the rule. Façades are decorated with terracotta pots and multicolored flowers. Gardens are full of trees or vegetable patches.
Find more trails in the Hike in Portugal category and discover Portugal by walking in the middle of nature!