STAGES PT1001

Let’s cross Portugal?

It takes 1001km and 14 days to complete the entire challenge that is PT1001. A huge immersion in a country with a unique history and that marks a whole era of the world as we know it today.

There are 14 stages, spread over as many days, with distances between 60 and 80 km and with positive slopes between 1536 and 3750 meters. The longest stage is 4, which links Gouveia to Fundão and crosses Serra da Estrela mountain range and takes you to the heart of Estrela Geopark. It takes, onaverage, a daily 71,5 km to link the various towns that are part of this long journey.

Portugal is a small but very diverse country. In a few kilometers it is possible to see different biomes and landscapes, hear different accents, appreciate the different architecture and taste the most diverse flavors of a unique gastronomy. It is a country with the oldest defined border in Europe and one of the most stable in the world. It is a noble and brave nation with almost 1000 years of history.

The 1001km cross more than 30 counties, 8 intercity communities, 4 Portuguese Tourism regions, 3 Natural Parks and 2 Unesco Geoparks. We will cross rivers, bridges, old railway lines. Run along Roman roads, shepherds’ paths, and pass by Castles, convents, and century-old churches. We will have long climbs, as well as many descents, scenic roads, and a whole lot of time to enjoy the sites and the people. We will cross a country in 14 days.

HALF PT1001 (HPT1001)

A Portugal in half is a solution for those who cannot spend so many days of their professional life or for those to whom the distance of 1001km is still something scary. It still is, a very intense challenge, very immersive in all the culture of this people who were Heroes of the sea and are noble and brave.

AC / DC
Before the Center / After the Center

No. No, this has nothing to do with electric charges or the famous band. It is Before the Center and After the Center of Portugal. We have divided Portugal in half. Two halves with very different landscapes. If the first half, AC, up to the center, runs through areas where nature presents itself more explosive, more dense, more forest, more landscape diversity, the other half, DC, after the center, is more uniform, flatter. In the second half we connect the interior Alentejo to the Litoral and from there to Algarve.

 

AC – Before Center
Chaves – Castelo de Vide.
AC – 518Km / 18102m

DC – After Center
544Km/10272m

STAGE 1 – CHAVES – VILA REAL

From Alto Tâmega to Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro

Stage Description:

We start in Chaves, a Portuguese border town known for its thermal waters. It crosses the river Tâmega by thePonte de Trajano, follows it by one of the cycle paths along the river, passing through villages and with a new crossing of the river by the bridge Poldrado de Curalha.

following the old Corgo Railway Line, known in the past as “Jóia da Coroa”, and which today has become Corgo Line Ecotrail, which leads to Vila Real by a panoramic route. Once in Vila Real, up to the Hotel Miracorgo, the path follows the geological route in Parque Corgo along the Corgo River.

START: 8:00 am DATE: 25 September
TIME: 13 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 82m / 949m

Districts: Vila Real / Vila Real

Municipalities: Chaves / Vila Real

Stage references:

https://www.visitportugal.com/pt-pt/content/chaves

STAGE 2 – VILA REAL – CARVALHAL / CASTRO DAIRE

Long and hard climbs through the Alto Douro Vinhateiro

Route Description:

The Douro, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a great reference of this stage. It is one of the longest stages of this test and the one with the greatest positive difference. Its 3793 meters of D+ are carried out by the magnificent slopes of the Douro River, covered with vineyards.

The descent to the “heart of the Alto Douro Vinhateiro”, in Peso da Régua, helps to gain strength for the hardest part of the stage, which is the conquest of Lamego, by the Portuguese way of the Interior.

It’s a tough, difficult stage. There are long and steep climbs to reach a good port. As good news is the ease of navigation, which without distractions it is possible to do it flawlessly.

The route is crowned by historic sites such as the Roman Bridge of Lamelas, by the rurality and the closer contact with the people.

START: 7:00 am DATE: 26 September
TIME: 15 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 50m / 840m

Municipalities: Vila Real, Viseu

Municipalities: Vila Real, Peso da Régua, Lamego, Castro Daire

Stage references:

https://www.visitportugal.com/pt-pt/node/73739

https://www.visitportugal.com/pt-pt/content/termas-do-carvalhal

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STAGE 3 – CARVALHAL/CASTRO DAIRE – GOUVEIA

The longest of all the stages that takes us to the lands of a medieval Portugal

Route Description:

The 76.6 km of this stage make it the longest of all. We will leave the steep and beautiful slopes of the Douro towards the point of one of the regions with the biggest and best medieval heritage. Granite and rurality begin to be more present with the crossing of small villages, sparsely inhabited, but with very genuine and very attentive people. This is a region of large granite manor houses, castles and walls, highlighting the Monastery of Maceira Dão.

Asphalt, on municipal roads and on the longest Portuguese road National 2, will always be very present.

In this part of the stage, in large parts of the route, there is greater exposure to the sun, however, along the route, there are several villages, where you can supply water or buy something you need. The final part will be in paths surrounded by high walls to the Hotel Eurosol Gouveia, which will welcome us.

START: 7:00 am DATE: 27 September
TIME: 15 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 390m/860m

Districts: Viseu – Guarda

Municipalities: Moimenta da Beira, Sernancelhe, Aguiar da Beira, Trancoso, Celorico da Beira, Fornos de Algodres.

Stage references:

https://www.visitportugal.com/pt-pt/content/posto-de-turismo-gouveia

https://turismodocentro.pt/concelho/gouveia/

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STAGE 4– GOUVEIA – FUNDÃO

Let’s conquer the highest point in Portugal: Serra da Estrela | Estrela Geopark

Stage references:

Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain in mainland Portugal is the great challenge of the 4th day. It is a long stage and the second one with the biggest positive difference. It’s 3556 D+. It is, for the most part, a stage of dirt roads, with long climbs and very different vegetation. Here and there, in the vicinity of villages, some stone paths and also Roman pavement.

Between plateaus and valleys, we highlight one of the 7 wonders of Portugal: the Zêzere Glacier Valley in Manteigas. Seen from above, this imposing valley shows us how small we are in the face of the enormity of the Serra and the river.

Highlight for the largest Portuguese protected area, the Natural Park of Serra da Estrela, in the initial part of this stage the route is mostly along municipal roads with little traffic, passing through villages and gradually climbing up to Folgosinho, a mountain village. on the way through Calçada dos Galhardos, is the first of four shelter houses, built by João de Vasconcelos in the forties, to serve as a refuge for those who came or went with herds and ears of rye, loaded in carts pulled by oxen

The landscape is superb, whether you look to the west or towards the mountains. The descent to Covão da Ponte is on an asphalt road, up to Manteigas there are small route marks, passing through a dense beech forest, there are also chestnut trees, broom, Oregon pine and the imposing monumental oaks on the way down to Manteigas

Highlight for the visit to one of the 7 natural wonders of Portugal, the glacier valley of Zêzere, paving a path of singular beauty. The route follows the refreshing River Zêzere, between paintings that frame the blue of the sky and the green of the Valley.

Following through Covão d’ Ametade, a depression of glacial origin and where navigation to Fundão is made by wide dirt roads, with views over the Serra da Gardunha, passing by the River Zêzere.

START: 6:00 am DATE: 28 September
TIME: 15 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 390m / 1610m

 

Districts: Guarda e Castelo Branco.

Municipalities: Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Manteigas, Covilhã and Fundão.

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STAGE 5 – FUNDÃO – PROENÇA-A-NOVA

From the cherry orchards to the Pinhal Interior Sul – The largest patch of maritime pine in Europe

Stage Description:

We leave Estrela behind and walk through the large cherry orchards of Cova da Beira. We enter Beira Baixa and cross the entire region on long dirt roads, also many municipal roads and agricultural paths. It is a path of large spaces of pine forest dotted, many times, by small agricultural areas and for own consumption.

Note, also, that it is a long step and with a large positive difference.

Up to Almaceda, the route crosses some villages, where it will be possible to get supplies, the floor varies between asphalt and earth.

The crossing by Almaceda, known for its River Beach, where you can see unique natural landscapes, following along the Almaceda stream, which has olive groves and small family gardens, exquisitely cultivated on its banks. The path through pine forests and new forest plantations will be on asphalt or by land, passing through several villages to Proença-a-Nova.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 29 September
TIME: 14 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 240m / 720m

 

Districts: Castelo Branco.

Municipalities: Fundão, Castelo Branco, Proença-a-Nova.

Stage references:

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STAGE 6 – PROENÇA-A-NOVA – CASTELO DE VIDE

From the purest interior of Beirão to Alto Alentejo, we leave the north to go beyond the Tagus

Stage references:

Proença-a-Nova will be a transition stage between the pine forest area, with a steep slope towards the long plains of Alentejo. Closer to Vila Velha de Ródão, flanking and crossing the long olive groves, we begin to notice a change in the landscape. We are still in the heart of the Naturtejo Geopark, the first in Portugal, but soon, after crossing the Tagus River near Portas de Ródão, we will be in the long plains of Alto Alentejo.

The paths of this stage allow for comfortable navigation, without big turns that often lead to the mistake of the most distracted. Route with few villages and many kilometers on asphalt.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 30 September
TIME: 13 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 87m / 589m

 

Districts: Castelo Branco, Portalegre.

Municipalities: Proença-a-Nova, Vila Velha de Ródão, Nisa e Castelo de Vide.

Stage references:

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STAGE 7 – CASTELO DE VIDE – ALTER DO CHÃO

Land of white houses and generous people with horizons as far as the eye can see

Stage references:

Historical and secular crossing between Castelo de Vide and Marvão along old walled paths, with some sectors still in medieval pavement. It should be noted an important representation of the black oak that, in this region, forms small forests of high ecological value. The last 3 km, always uphill, are a challenge that is mitigated by the magnificent, and well-preserved, medieval pavement that crosses the famous chestnut groves that give rise to the Castanha de Marvão.

We are in the Alentejo of the long plains and this is starting to be noticeable. The slope is less steep and views extend beyond the horizon.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 1 October
TIME: 13 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 270m / 810m

 

District: Portalegre.

Municipalities: Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Portalegre e Alter do Chão.

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STAGE 8 – ALTER DO CHÃO – ESTREMOZ

Solitude and evasion in the immense Alentejo plain and many kilometers without villages and possibilities of supplying.

Route Description:

A more difficult terrain in the first kilometers heralds a stage with special management and autonomy needs. Easy to navigate but with very long distances without any population, which greatly limits autonomy.

Navigation follows the ecotrack that connects Cabeço de Vide to Fronteira between olive trees, cereals and streams. They are green paths on a plain as far as the eye can see.

Area without tree protection, which on very sunny and hot days requires advance care: hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 2 October
TIME: 11 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 180 m / 430 m

 

District: Portalegre, Évora

Municipalities: Alter do Chão, Fronteira, Sousel e Extremoz

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STAGE 9 – ESTREMOZ – ÉVORA

Only you and the way, a long journey to test physical strength and the ability to manage the necessary goods and a total absence of villages

Stage references:

Up to Évoramonte we will have a long journey of intimacy with the cork and holm oak forest, snaking through the dark green of the cork oak forests and the buildings of the few farms. It is essential that everyone prepares themselves, both in terms of physical supplies and mental strength, as it is not foreseeable that we will find any type of support on the Path. It is an immense path of solitude.

We are in the heart of Alentejo. Very sparsely populated region with long distances between villages. Get ready for a journey of solitude. Don’t despair, at some point we will be there to help you.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: October 3
TIME: 15 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 189m / 444m

 

District: Évora

Municipalities: Extremoz e Évora

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STAGE 10 – ÉVORA – ALCÁCER DO SAL

You can’t see the sea yet, but we feel the freshest wind

Stage references:

We start for a new phase of the race. We walked with long strides towards coastal areas and we began to notice the type of vegetation, more humid air and, sometimes, the smell of the sea air.

This stage takes place along rural paths at the beginning of the day and that they are part of the environmental routes of Monfurado. Interconnecting paths take us to the various villages in the county and access some megalithic monuments.

It’s a long stage, 74km, but one with the smallest positive difference. The paths of this stage allow for comfortable navigation, without big turns that often lead to the mistake of the most distracted. Route with few villages and many kilometers on asphalt.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 4 October
TIME: 14 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 10m / 267m

 

District: Évora e Setúbal

Municipalities: Évora, Montemor-o-Novo, Alcácer do Sal.

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STAGE 11 – ALCÁCER DO SAL – SANTIAGO DO CACÉM

The long sandy paths announce the proximity to the sea and the patches of cork oak forest protect us from the inclement sun.

Stage references:

In the first ones, we go between rice fields, mountains and dams, dirt roads and a river crossing…by boat. Arrival at the village of Vale do Guizo will be by boat. We still don’t know how we’re going to do it. We know that we will have to pass you to the other side, Vale do Guizo.

The sand will make it difficult to progress past the village, the vegetation thickens with the accompaniment by successive streams until we cross the viaduct over the A2 motorway. We continued along long straights on wide dirt roads that were increasingly sandy and where landscapes of cork oak forests, pastures and pine forests were adapted. The landscape changes to a rural mosaic of small farms with varied cultures. In Grândola we continue through a bucolic scenery of the mountains, through curves and counter-curves following the valley formed by the water line. The final part of the stage is always covered on a road between Sobreiros.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 5 October
TIME: 14 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 4m / 265m

 

District: Setúbal

Municipalities: Alcácer do Sal, Grândola e Santiago do Cacém.

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STAGE12 – SANTIAGO DO CACÉM – VILA NOVA DE MIL FONTES

Finally, the sea and the quiet beaches of the Southwest Alentejo

Stage references:

Let’s start smelling the sea.

Leaving Santigo do Cacém, the stretch develops in a landscape characterized by the abundance of cork oak forests, old ruins, water lines and sandy paths. Navigation continues along winding and narrow paths next to small agricultural properties.

The final part of this route combines the green placidity of the small farms, their vegetable gardens and orchards, with a feeling of progressive abandonment. As we enter the mountains, we will have moments of pure delight, for the unexpected landscapes, for the breathtaking panoramic views of the coast, for the unique and rich flora.

Along this stage there are many brands of great MTB routes facilitating navigation.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 6 October
TIME: 14 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 22m / 267m

 

District: Setúbal e Beja

Municipalities: Santiago do Cacém, Sines e Odemira

Natural Park of Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina – http://www2.icnf.pt/portal/ap/p-nat/pnsacv

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STAGE 13 – VILA NOVA DE MIL FONTES – ALJEZUR

Imposing cliffs make us realize our smallness and enjoy peace because we are almost at the end of this odyssey

Stage references:

The sea, the cliffs, the sand.

The route guides us along a spectacular coastal path along the imposing cliffs of the Alentejo Coast, crossing several villages to Cabo Sardão, and for 6 km, along the cliffs with beautiful views of the sea. Then, following an asphalt road before descending a dirt road to the beautiful village of Odeceixe. This village marks the border with the Alentejo coast. We enter Algarve.

The irrigation canals of Odeceixe take us along gravel paths to Aljezur, the heart of the Costa Vicentina. We are in the Algarve.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 7 October
TIME: 12 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 5m / 133m

 

District: Beja e Faro

Municipalities: Odemira e Aljezur.

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STAGE 14 – ALJEZUR – SAGRES

… finally the end of this small but glorious Portugal. We ended our journey where 500 years ago the Portuguese set out to discover new worlds.

Stage references:

With the ocean on one side and hills and valleys on the other, we descend to the canal beach, with a unique view over the coast and the sand. This is the last stage and everything seems to come together in a rhythm of nostalgia. The landscape feels more soothing.

With easy follow-up of the route, this stage has very sandy terrain and some asphalt at the end of the route.

We end this epic in one of the most emblematic and representative places in Portugal: Sagres.

 

START: 6:00 am DATE: 8 October
TIME: 11 hours MIN / MAX ALTITUDE: 7m / 154m

 

District: Faro

Municipalities: Aljezur e Vila do Bispo.

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