The relics of the peoples of the Pre-History, patented in the rupestrian Art of the Rio Côa Valley (UNESCO Cultural and Natural Heritage), attest to the relevance and antiquity of the human presence in the region. Defined north by the Douro and the Natural Park that bears the name of this river, the district of Guarda could almost be drawn around the “loop” top of the Great Route of the Historical Villages (GR22) framed to the south by the Sierras of Malcata and Estrela.
The whole territory is marked by the hardness of the granite, the extreme climate of the mountain and its pure and dry air that help to differentiate the smokers, the wines and the cheeses of the region, these in particular in the Serra da Estrela. Moreover, the air of the Guard “5F’s” was even recognized for its wholesomeness and purity, having been awarded the title of first “Iberian bioclimatic city”!
It is also from this region that the flocks went out in transhumance and streams of water that contribute to the supply of Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto. In the Mountain Villages of the Estrela, the populations keep alive the community traditions, in almost isolated places privileged by Nature, progressively “discovered” by the lovers of the trekking and the BTT. And it will be by mountain biking that we will follow some of the GR22 trails, admiring and exploring along the route the villages, the castles, the river beaches, local living, and other natural and cultural assets that best match our particular motivations.