The Alva river starts flowing in Serra da Estrela at an altitude of 1540m and has moulded the region, as several villages have grown along the banks such as Sandomil, São Gião, Avô and Côja.
This scenic circular route kicks off at the village of Vide, which is also the starting point for the HC climb to Torre. We like starting at Vide, because from there to Sandomil it's 20 easy kilometers along the Alvoco and Alva rivers, and you will be nice and warm for the 15km soft climb that follows. Once you reach the village of Vasco Esteves de Baixo, you will leave the state road and the route will take you through a beautifull, narrow, mountain road which follows along another tributary river with a few waterfalls along te way.
Vide is a beautiful mountain village with a roman-style bridge. The village has grown on the banks of the Alvoco river.
12 Km| Altitude: 250m - Ponte das 3 entradas
Turn right just before you reach the bridge of Ponte das 3 entradas. This is the confluence between Alva and Alvoco rivers.
23 Km | Altitude: 288m - Sandomil
Between Ponte das 3 entradas and Sandomil, you will pedal along the Alva river with all it's beauty. Big trees, green pastures and some roman-styled bridges over the river's clear waters, are sure to give you more than a couple of memorable moments. Just after Sandomil there is a 4km climb averaging 7% with good tarmac and even better view.
33 Km | Altitude: 620m - São Romão
The town of São Romão, on the outskirts of Seia, marks the beginning of the 15km soft climb that will take to 1000m in altitude (averaging 3%), through a beautifull native forest, bridges and pastures. Pace yourself and enjoy! Once you reach the roundabout (Portela do Arão), continue straight ahead and descend towards Loriga. Alternatively, if you want to call it a day, turn right and descend directly towards Vide.
47 Km | Altitude: 750m - Loriga
Loriga is a symbol of Serra da Estrela: historically a textile manufacturing village (wool), it is nowadays mostly known for its natural river pools and the infamous Garganta de Loriga, a sharp valley sculpted in the rock due to glaciar erosion. Thousands of tourist go through a beatifull, yet challenging, footpath that crosses the glaciar valley. If you fancy some delicious pastry, stop at Loripão.
64 Km | Altitude: 630m - Vasco Esteves de Baixo and the Alvoco River
Once you reach Vasco Esteves de Baixo, leave the main road and head down. After a short steep descent, you will reach a small bridge over the Alvoco River. Cross the bridge and continue through the narrow road, always along the mountain river, towards Vide.