From Coast
to Mountain

close-up, immersion in nature

close-up, ria de aveiro — Serra da freita

A carefully selected experience revealing contrasts in landscapes and ways of life, marked by the peaceful tempo of nature in a single region covering a radius of less than 100 km.

· S.Jacinto, Ria de Aveiro
· Serra da Freita
· Frecha da Mizarela
· Geoparque de Arouca
· Aldeia da Castanheira
· Detrelo da Malhada
· Radar Meteorológico de Arouca
· Minas de Regoufe, Poça da Cadela
· Pedrógão

From the low ria of S. Jacinto, a land of salt and people of the sea, up to the lofty crags of Serra da Freita, the Geopark of Arouca and its shepherds, we will spend 4 days following the rhythm of the seasons. Discovering the best of the river and the best of the mountains, so different yet so close together.

Each evening will be characterized by a different landscape, which we will discover amongst the harmony of travels. The arrival at the overnight places is calculated to better appreciate its drama, after days full of meaningful activities.

Between boat strolls and soft walks through the mountains, we will discover the life strategies of those who know the secrets of the landscape, its biodiversity and its richness. People that produce what they eat, who know the ancestral practices and the earliest recipes.

A journey made of the authenticity of those who live and work, every day, in full respect for Nature.



Biodiversity in the Ria

On the first day,  let’s get carried away by the tides. Outings are made in a range of boats, from the traditional to the most recent models of solar boat, ecological and silent, to meander along the main channels of the river and its secondary branches. We will float among tall reeds, hyacinths and the gramata, a salty and tasty plant found on the banks that we are invited to try.

In the morning, we will go out in a Moliceiro boat through the canals and creeks of the Ria, with a stop for lunch at the Ostraveiro restaurant. The couple who run it, Sandro and Sandra, invite you to visit their traditional marine farm, called a Marinha, to see the artisanal tanks where they raise the tastes of the sea: triploid oysters, the best of their kind, and delicious salicornia, a plant and a healthy source of salt.

In the afternoon we will do a birdwatching tour on the Sterna boat, which is powered solely by solar energy. Guided with skill by Gabriel, who was driving boats before he’d learned how to walk. We can visit places inaccessible to many vessels, thanks to Sterna’s hull, with a draft of only 40 centimetres.

An expert in the surrounding fauna and flora, Gabriel notices the dance of birds among the tides of clear water: quiet gaivinhas (common terns) perched on the demarcation sticks, Kentish plovers that take flight in flocks, and, in the distance, flamingos with their curved necks (among many others birds).

At the end of the day we arrive at the inn, overlooking the Ria in sunset mode. We prepare for dinner and an exciting evening in the common room.



Landscape Metamorphosis

We say goodbye to the Ria with a lunch aboard the Moliceiro, after a morning trip through some emblematic and traditional seascapes.

At the confluence of the different channels and marine farms, we meet with fishermen. A chance to take the last photos of these aquatic landscapes.

In the afternoon, a peaceful journey to the Freita mountain range, bound for our Rural Hotel. We are greeted by David, grandson of the local family who built the Hotel in the village of Mizarela. He reveals some secrets about the landscape that stretches out into the horizon: the valley where we can find the source of the Caima River.

Form the Hotel there are several walking trails available in locations belonging to the Arouca Geopark, such as the dramatic Mizarela falls, a 60-metre waterfall located on a geological fault.

At the end of the day we find a different sunset with granite notes, oaks and rhododendrons that are lost in the landscape, setting the tone for a regional dinner.



Alternative Route in Arouca Geopark

This day will be spent discovering some of the best kept secrets of the Arouca Geopark.

A singular space, where unique worldwide geological phenomena abound, where we can find the “Birthing Stones” next to the village of Castanheira, rocks that give birth to stones (and that married women still put under their pillows so they will get pregnant).

The classified territory is managed by a local association that has been unique in creating information facilities so people can find out about and safeguard this natural heritage. Sites such as the panoramic view of the Trail of Malhada, which we will visit.

Lunch is served on the 10th floor of the Arouca Meteorological Radar, the highest point of the park, with a 360º view of the entire valley and the sierra around it, where on a clear day you can see as far as the neighbouring Serra do Marão, overlooking the beaches of Porto, to the north, and Figueira da Foz as we turn south.

Yeeeeee! Ksssss … we hear the cry through the crags of the mountain. The shepherd calls the sheep and the goats, a rural spectacle that brings the day to a close.

The end of the day will be dedicated to transhumance in a meeting with the shepherd Franklin, who gathers his flock to return to the village of Cabaços, next to the Pedras Boroas, or “bread rocks”, in Junqueiro.

The evening will be spent in Arouca, with a meal entirely produced using local products, part of a project developed by the Geopark. We will eat what the mountains produce: cheeses and sausages, bread, wine, vegetables and gastronomic traditions laid out on the table.



At the Foot of the Serra da Freita

This day will be dedicated to the lower area of the Serra da Freita, with a journey that stretches through the old mines of Regoufe, or Poça da Cadela, as it is called. A complex of abandoned granite buildings next to the village of the same name, where it is possible to see the history of wolfram exploitation in the context of the Second World War.

Our programme ends in the village of Pedrógão, with this singular meal.

The monochromatic granite ruins surprise us with the state of neglect and destruction, giving this place a strange calm.

Lunch is served at the family-run restaurant that has been in this area for generations. An experience to taste authentic food produced entirely in that place. Associated with the family’s self-sustainability strategy, which also acquires food through hunting and fishing, the restaurant is used as a way to dispose of surplus, and it is therefore an opportunity to sit at the table and share a moment of intimacy.


Cost per person in double room


Cost per each person in double room, (part of the root)

Alojamento, refeições, atividades, animação, transferes e seguros incluídos. Snacks and drinks outside meals are not included.

Reduced version of the course, with only two days. Contact us for more details on this proposal.

for arrival the day before with overnight stay and transfer to and from the airport — 145€. Increase for single room — 75€. Trip for a maximum of 8 people, with different specialized guides. The programme may change for reasons beyond the organization’s control.


Cost per person in double room

Accommodation, meals, activities, animation, transfers and insurance included. Snacks and drinks outside meals are not included.


Cost per each person in double room, (part of the route)

Reduced version of the course, with only two days. Contact us for more details on this proposal

for arrival the day before with overnight stay and transfer to and from the airport — 145€. Increase for single room — 75€. Trip for a maximum of 8 people, with different specialized guides. The programme may change for reasons beyond the organization’s control.


Olá. Estamos felizes com o teu contacto. Clube ADU é um projeto participativo, para quem ama a viagem, feito por pessoas, para pessoas. Queremos saber de ti, queremos que nos digas o que pensas, o que sentes, as tuas dúvidas e sugestões. Seja o que for, faz-nos chegar a tua mensagem através deste primeiro contacto: um canal de comunicação, que te iniciará neste novo projeto. Sempre enquanto for do teu interesse. 

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Hi! We’re happy to hear from you! Clube ADU is for everyone who loves to travel, a participatory project, made by people, for people. We’d like to know more about you, we’d like you to tell us what you think, what you feel, your questions and suggestions. Whatever they are, let us hear your questions in this first contact: a communication channel that will start your journey in this new project. For as long as it’s in your interests to do so.

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    We do not send spam or give any personal information to third parties.