is a medium size town in the center of Portugal, distancing 27 Km from Coimbra. The town is also in the foothills of a mountain range (Serra da Lousã), a very popular region for its nature-related tourism. Within the wide variety of offers like river beaches and water sports, bicycle and mountain bike trails, hiking stands out as the main attraction of the region.
Aldeias de Xisto (Shist Villages)
Behind Lousã’s importance for hikers are the schist villages. Small and ancient settlements spread and concealed by topography and vegetation, these villages appear to hikers like a true oasis.
Schist villages are a civilization glimpse within the deep forest, giving explores an opportunity to rest, have a cup of tea or a meal. But more important is the villages become an exciting and romantic discovery. Along the different trails, these colonies work like emotion triggers to adventurers.
There is always a less thrilling alternative to meet the innumerous schist villages, wich is to drive all the way there. Not much of an adventure indeed, but the roads are extremely secure, the landscape will be there and you can have a picnic alongside the road. Even by car, it is still possible to feel romantic atmosphere of discovery.
Portugal Hiking trails
Portugal Hiking trails are notably well maintained in Lousã area. There are plenty of possible circuits, with different lengths and degrees of difficulty. The pathways are very well flagged and it is easy to find paper maps or to download them for mobile apps like Wikiloc. Another important feature is the trails proximity to civilization. Providing confidence and a true sense of security for hikers.
To Hike in lousã
There is no special gear needed, however, there a few water streams to be crossed. I was able to overcome more than 10 of these small streams without wetting myself, but I must confess it demands some ahead planning, concentration while crossing, long legs and some body balance skills.
Some trails date centuries back and they are leveled and rock solid, but you can also expect enough steep slopes that will put your fitness to test.
Where to Stay in Lousã
Lousã Palace is the most suited choice because it is very close to the foothills of Lousã mountain range, and it distance less than 1 km from the nearest trail. Plus the hotel can provide hiking gear, like walking sticks, backpack, first aid kit as well as a picnic meal.
The 4 star Hotel is divided between a XVIII century palace and a modern wing. It caters all the aura of its history still providing all comfort and functionality of modern facilities.
The Lousã Palace has a pool area and private garden spaces where children can safely play or guests can spare relaxing moments.
After 6 hours walking and taking pictures (depending on the trail), rest time is necessary. For better recover the hotel has an Ayos Lomi treatment, a full body massage wich gathers Indian and Hawaiian traditions and techniques.
Where to eat
Definitely the hotel’s restaurant. It is a landmark that combines local ingredients and traditions with haute cuisine techniques. All senses are touched not only by the dishes and wine but also by the historical environment
Hiking in Lousã is a safe bet for all sort of travelers. From big families to those who travel alone, Lousã’s hiking experience is a warranty of adventure and long lasting memories.