Take your time. This route will take you through a scenic road between the mountains towns of Seia and Covilhã. Along the way, you will go through the beautiful mountain village of Loriga, home to one of Portugal's best know natural pools and very good pastry. The route is mostly made of soft climbs and descents, and that is the reason why it is perfect to relax and transition from one town to another. During the first 40km's you will ride across a beautiful forest of oaks, chestnut and pine trees, crossing a few small rivers along the way. The remaining part of the route will mostly be a soft descent towards Tortosendo, with a last push uphill to Covilhã, always with a panoramic view to your right. All along the way you will feel the presence of Estrela's granit peaks to your left.
Just 10km after leaving Seia, you will pass through the beautifull small village of Valezim. With its natural river pools and green pastures, it's worth stopping to take a deep breath and enjoy the views.
20 Km| Altitude: 750m - Village of 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.
59 Km | Altitude: 650m - Unhais da Serra
The village of Unhais da Serra is also nestled in a glaciar valley, and it is famous for its thermal mineral water. In recent years, a very good 4* hotel was built, with some pro cycling teams using it as training HQ.
78 Km | Altitude: 640m - Covilhã
You've reached the city of Covilhã, with it's narrow cobblestoned streets and spectacular views. It was Portugal's capital of wool and a textile hub. The climb between Covilhã - Torre is one of the most classic stages in any Volta a Portugal (Portugal's cycling tour). Why don't you take the rest of the day off and go all-in tomorrow?