Mountain biking is a very popular sport in Portugal. When we set out to discover and hike along the mountain landscapes around the remote Schist villages with Ana and Fernando of Go Outdoor, Fernando pointed out some very interesting facilities for enthusiasts of mountain biking. Stations had been set up so that bikers could park their cars and have a comfortable place to work on their bikes, wash them, and even take a shower after their ride.
One such facility was just a few hundred meters of the Bed and Breakfast in which we were spending the night, the Casa do Ze Sapateiro, where we had an excellent room for cheap that came with free wifi. We even managed not to explode from a dinner of local specialties with wine that took three hours to consume--a meal that come with a ridiculously low price tag of €15 per person.
And speaking of food in this rural outpost, the food of the Schist Villages may very well surprise you. The cuisine is a modernized version of the hearty country fare that came from this fertile soil for centuries, so it is very, very good.
Fernando told me that competitive mountain bikers would come to the Schist Villages and the Lousã mountains after a competition, not just to train but because they loved biking here. It wasn't hard to find teams of downhill mountain bikers slaloming around trees in the mountains, so we asked Fernando to talk about some of facilities around the Schist Villages, which resulted in a short video: Mountain biking the Schist Villages of Central Portugal.
The picture is of one of the downhill mountain biking trails seen on a foggy April morning. If you'd like to find out more about planning a trip to the Schist Villages and perhaps renting a mountain bike, please continue to read using the links below.