Alto da Pedrice and Poios Brancos
During this very varied hike from Penhas da Saúde we visit several tops of the Serra da Estrela: Alto da Pedrice, Cascalvo, Poios Brancos and Curral do Vento. The tops are all different in character and during the entire hike we have an interesting perspective on the Serra da Estrela because we walk next to the central part of the mountain range and in the distance we see Torre and Cantaro Magro.
- From the restaurant Estrela (1) we continue straight ahead and ignore a number of side paths. After about five minutes the dirt road (2) splits and we keep to the right.
- About five minutes later, just in front of a house (3), we turn right, onto a wide path. This path turns first to the right and then to the left. After a few minutes we ignore a small trail on the left (4) and follow the wide path with the bend to the right.
- A little further on we come out on a path that lies in front of the dam, where we go to the left (5). We walk via a narrow trail and get out under the dam. Here we have to cross a small stream and continue the trail on the other side, where we see milestones again.
- The path takes us uphill and behind us we have a nice view of the lake Lago do Viriato. Eventually we end up on a wide path (6) where we turn left, further uphill.
- After a few minutes we arrive at a crossing of paths (7) and turn left. After 15 minutes we take the path that splits off on the right (8), marked by milestones.
- Five minutes later, the wide path somewhat disappears (9) and we keep to the right, where we see milestones. Further on the right we see a large pile of stones on the top of the Alto da Pedrice, to where we walk.
- About ten minutes later we come out on the top of the Alto da Pedrice (10). Because this is a large flat top, you have the best views when you walk to the edges. From the top wecontinue in north-northeast direction and follow the milestones.
- We follow the milestones through the open field via a vague, sometimes slightly overgrown, path until after about 20 minutes we reach a wide path (11), where we turn left.
- After about 5-10 minutes we come out at the crossing of paths where we already were earlier (7) and we now go left. Five minutes later we end up on a wide path (12) where we turn left. A few minutes later we leave the wide path and turn left to walk to the top of the Cascalvo.
- From the Cascalvo (14) we walk back a little bit and then go left to walk back to the wide path, where we go left and walk further downhill. After about five minutes (15) we keep to the right and walk to a car park and then end up on an asphalt road (16) where we walk straight ahead towards the N-339 asphalt road.
- After five minutes we end up at the N-339 (17) which we cross and then turn right to walk along it a short stretch. Soon we find milestones on our left hand which we ignore and continue a bit until we find a wide path on the left (18), which we enter.
- After five minutes, the path splits (19) and we keep to the right, marked with milestones. On our left we now have a beautiful view of the Cantaro Magro and the central part of the Serra da Estrela. After 5-10 minutes, the path splits again (20) and we turn right, further uphill. This part of the hike is marked with milestones and yellow-red (PR route).
- Ten minutes later we leave the wide path on the left onto the narrow trail (21), towards the top of Poios Brancos, marked with milestones. In ten minutes we reach the top of Poios Brancos (22), where unfortunately we cannot walk to the highest point because of the shape of the rock.
- From Poios Brancos we walk without a path in a south-easterly direction until after five minutes we get on a wide path (23), where we turn left. Ten minutes later we see a path with milestones (24) on the right. However, we keep to the left on the wide path.
- After more than 20 minutes (25) at a large rock we go right onto a trail, marked with milestones. Through this trail we reach the top of Curral do Vento (26) in 15 minutes. You have to look out for the trail to get to the peak itself, but eventually it turns out to be quite doable.
- From Curral do Vento there are several milestones. We need to take a path that runs south-west and then turns west. We get to see the lake Lago do Viriato lying in front of us again.
- After about 10 minutes we end up at the village of Penhas da Saúde and we walk down the asphalt road. We come across a car park (27) where we go straight ahead, further downhill. A little further on we turn right (29).
- A little later we come to an asphalt road (30) that we cross. On the other side of the road on the left we see a dirt road. However, we enter a small trail right in front of us. A little further on we end up at an asphalt road where we turn right and walk back to the restaurant Estrela (1).