Schist villages

These beautiful stone villages (Aldeias do Xisto) are dotted around the area, often tucked away between hill slopes and via windy lanes. They are all different and some sell locally produced handicrafts and offer food and accommodation.

The nearest to us is Casal de São Simão – only a 15 minute drive. The restored stone houses are really beautiful and you can wander down the valley to the water falls and rocks at Fragas, with clear water to swim in and even a café for a quick drink or snack. There is also a restaurant at the top serving traditional regional food.

If you want to explore more schist villages take our guide book out for the day or download the app “aldeias do xisto” on your smartphone.


Former seat of the Order of the Knights Templar, Tomar is a city of great charm for its artistic and cultural wealth, whose greatest expression is in the Convent of Christ, one of the chief works of the Portuguese Renaissance. Whatever your reason is for visiting the city, climbing up to the Templar castle and discovering the monumental work of the Convent of Christ is a must. From the Convent, you can walk down through the Sete Montes Woods to the historic centre.