Things to do
Places to stay
08.11.2021 • 14.11.2021
Portuguese Inland Way of St. James
This week we continue to follow the paths of the St. James Way, unveiling a true hidden gem: the Portuguese Inland Way of St. James. This deeply fascinating way is 214 km long, crossing 8 municipalities: Viseu, Castro Daire, Lamego, Peso da Régua, Santa Marta de Penaguião, Vila Real, Vila Pouca de Aguiar and Chaves. The Inland Portuguese Way has been recently certified by the Portuguese government, in a recognition of the major role played by the St, James Way in the national cultural and historical heritage. It connects Viseu to Chaves, crossing the Galician border heading to Chaves, where it meets the Spanish Sanabrés or Ourense Way in direction to Santiago de Compostela. This is a journey of self-discovery across the purest natural landscapes.
Occupied since the Castro era, the History of Viseu is closely connected with the History of Portugal. If the mythical figure of Viriathus, the warrior who led Lusitanian tribes against the Romans, gave the old city vital importance during Roman times, King Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese King, established a close connection between the first years of the foundation of the country and this noble city. Viseu is the natural starting point of the Inland Portuguese St. James Way, located 387 km away from the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Cava de Viriato
Cava de Viriato, named after the iconic Lusitanian warrior, Viriato, is the greatest enigma of Portuguese archaeology. A perfect octagon, when seen from above. How did this gigantic fortress appear in Viseu? A question that remains unanswered. This national monument was recently featured on National Geographic's documentary: "Europe from above".
Montemuro Mountain is the 8th highest mountain range in Portugal. The Portuguese geographer, Amorim Girão, described Montemuro Mountain as "the most unknown mountain of Portugal". Owner of a great biodiversity, Montemuro Mountain has an average altitude of 838 meters. The geographical diversity of the region stems from its morphology, which displays two distinct types of landscape realities: the mountain landscape, arid and bare of vegetation, traditionally fostering subsistence agro-pastoral values; and the riverine landscape, marginal to the valleys of the Douro and its tributaries, rich in waters that descend from the granite peaks of the Montemuro, flooding the landscape with green.
The enchanting village of Moura Morta is located in the eastern slope of Montemuro Mountain. It is one of the best-preserved villages with its granite houses in traditional design.
Situated at the heart of Montemuro Mountain, the village of Mezio is placed in a truly wild natural setting. Ervital is a biological agriculture company that produces biological teas, engaging the local community of Mezio. The streets of Mezio are narrow and winding with typical granite houses. The Way of Santiago crosses the village, namely its greenest part. The historical heritage of Mezio is quite remarkable.
Food for body and soul
In Montemuro Mountain the knowledge of Mother Nature is as ancestral as the involving natural landscapes. The inhabitants of the cosy villages of Montemuro Mountain know by heart which is the best time to plant and the best time to harvest. Food has almost a sacred meaning, for every product must be eaten in its due time. This is the secret of absolutely unrivalled flavours: respecting the pace of Nature.