Exploring Dão's Ecopista in Portugal

Exploring Dão's Ecopista in Portugal

03/02/2017

Exploring Dão's Ecopista is a truly exciting adventure. With an extension of 47.5 km, it is the longest portuguese walking/cycling path. This fantastic ecological path used to be the old railway line of the Dão region, crossing one of the most beautiful landscapes of the country, connecting the cities of Viseu, Tondela and Santa Comba Dão.

If we leave from Santa Comba Dão, we can appreciate the banks of river Dão and its affluent, river Paiva. Each curve is synonymous with dazzling and magnificent views of nature. Further on, the Ecopista leads away from the river, but the landscape remains beautiful, with many cork oaks, chestnut trees and oaks, but also some vineyards, cultivated fields and villages, and further afield, views of the Serra do Caramulo to the north, and of Serra da Estrela to the south.

By bicycle or on foot, it is an easy way to go since there aren’t any steep climbs and the pavement is cemented, smooth and comfortable. To point us the direction, each segment was painted with a different color: blue for Santa Comba Dão, green for Tondela and red in Viseu.

Due to its length, excellent infrastructures, and the absence of motorized traffic, Ecopista do Dão is also ideal for training different  running distances, including the marathon.

The Viseu track is 17 km long, starting at the Aguieira Urban Park. Roman bridges and old train stations are some of the surprises you will find along the way.

The track of Tondela is 19 km long, crossing a mainly rural landscape, full of charm. The main highlights are: the old Canas de Santa Maria Church, a Roman-Gothic temple built in the 14th century; and the bridge of Tinhela, metallic bridge over the river Dinha; Manueline style windows; Medieval graves and pillars. Both cycling and walking are allowed.

The Santa Comba Dão trail begins at km 37.5. It is a delightful journey along the Dão river through mountain landscapes of shale and granite. It has non-slip pavement in asphalt. In addition to cycling, hiking is allowed.

Suggestions:

Start the route in Santa Comba Dão / Quinta da Abelenda. This way you climb slightly to Viseu, almost effortlessly, making it even easier on the way back.

14 km (coming and going):

From Quinta da Abelenda to Km 40. After a metal bridge over a small affluent of the river Dão, you will find a spectacular place on the bank. Go down (100m) along a dirt track to the river. Ideal spot for picnicking or swimming.

40 km (coming and going):

From Quinta da Abelenda to Tondela. At Km 28.7 leave the Ecopista and turn left, go through the center of Tondela to Tonda. You can have lunch in Tonda in the restaurant "Os 3 pipos". Then go down to the Ecopista, visit the place described in the first suggestion and return to Quinta da Abelenda.

47 km (only descent): 

Go from Quinta da Abelenda (Santa Comba Dão) to Viseu with our transport, and go down from Viseu to Quinta da Abelenda by bicycle.

94 km (coming and going):

Make the Ecopista in full.

Eat and drink:

Leaving the Ecopista you will find several restaurants and cafes, especially in Viseu and Tondela. But it is best to go prepared. You will not find much offer along the Ecopista, except in:

Km 7,5 - Figueiró. The station of Figueiró was renovated and next to it there is a café with a pleasant terrace. Open every day of the year from 7am to 2pm.

Km 16,5 - Farminhão Station. There is a cafe and restaurant.

Posted on Home, Ride.Bike, Rails 0
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