ATN and ECO123
Details of the Trail
Duration: 13 days (11 walking + 2 for arrival in and departure from the region, option of departing directly on the day of arrival in Foz, and not sleeping there that night, making the trip 12 days in total)
Total distance: 223.6 km
Trail: difficult to very difficult
Max./min. altitude: 1164/129 m
Discover a valley of heritage
Meandering between fertile plains and rocky escarpments, the Côa makes its way down to the Douro, narrating the stories of the communities that lived here for millennia, who made good use of a valley rich in biodiversity and natural resources. From the source of the Côa in Fóios, in the municipality of Sabugal, to its mouth at Vila Nova de Foz Côa, there is a valley rich in archaeological, historical, cultural and natural heritage to be discovered.
A journey back in time
Over its final seventeen kilometres, the schist rocks flanking the river bed of the Côa were converted into panels of art, with thousands of rock carvings recognised as World Heritage by UNESCO. Remains of the nomadic groups who lived in the valley more than 25,000 years ago can be visited in the Archaeological Park and the Côa Museum. This area has also preserved its rich built heritage, represented by the roads, bridges, castles and remote villages, and in the museums in each of the municipalities.
Experience the communities
The present-day network of villages and towns has its origin in the late Middle Ages, a time when the peninsular kingdoms began to form. Since then, until the present day, different ways of building have come into being in the area, different ways of moulding the landscape, and of naming it, of herding flocks and cultivating the fields. But also different ways of socialising, and of preparing food, giving it the full, vigorous flavours of the land of the Ribacoa. And the trail also invites you to discover all these things.
Venture out into nature
Humans have moulded the landscape over the generations, cultivating Mediterranean plants such as vines, olive trees and almond trees, and using scrubland and forests for herding sheep and goats. These human activities helped to preserve a great wealth of biodiversity, a veritable treasure of nature, protected and disseminated by the protected areas of the Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve and the Faia Brava Reserve.
During the different stages, the group will always be accompanied by an ATN guide, and another will give logistical support, with an ATN vehicle in which all the participants’ material will be transported. This guide will also do transfers, whenever necessary, and will help with the preparation of meals. The cost of accommodation is based on the average cost of all the places where we will stay, which will mostly be rural accommodation, and sharing rooms. The only camping day will be at the Faia Brava Reserve.
Along the trail, participants will visit a number of riverside beaches and places of historical interest. They will also learn how to bake bread in a traditional wood-burning oven, discover the Faia Brava Reserve and have a guided tour of the Vale do Côa rock carvings.
Price all included: 1290.00 €