If you ever wanted to experience Portugal with a local and off the beaten path, this trip is the way to do it.
It starts off in Lisbon, the historic and cultural capital, with traditional dinner at one of the city's popular cafes in the colorful neighborhood of Alfama. At night, the soulful melodies of the traditional Fado music flow through the narrow streets and can be heard around every corner. In the day, the multi-colored patchwork of rooftops, balconies, and stairways makes one feel like being inside a jigsaw puzzle, and the labyrinth-like streets are filled with local residents, shop owners, and other visitors.
Our local guide, Ivo Canelas, is a Lisbon native who will take you off the beaten path on an Urban run/walk through Lisbon on the first morning of the trip. Participants get to discover hidden alleyways, historic buildings, morning street markets, and the best local cafes.
After Lisbon, we travel to the castle-like city of Sintra to explore its medieval beginnings. We'll hike on a trail around Sintra and have lunch.
Heading up further north, we will arrive at a yoga retreat in the mountains near Serra de Estrela mountain range which has the highest point in Portugal. Around the retreat lodge, we will trek into the mountains, practice daily yoga with local yoga teachers, swim and kayak on a river, and eat delicious healthy food. The runners in the group will have a chance to participate in a short trail run. At the same time, we will have plenty of time to relax, lounge in the hammocks, and even get a Thai massage.
Rested and rejuvenated, we will head further up north to a little village of Geres in the Peneda-Geres National Park famous for its thermal baths. Our hotel contains natural baths on its property with indoor and outdoor pools, perfect for soaking achy muscles for recovery after long hikes or runs in the park.
The park is the largest conservation land in Portugal. Full of ancient trails, Roman trade routes, and shepherd paths that have been used for over a thousand years, the park is the ideal place to hike and explore the natural beauty of this part of the country.
We will spend a couple of days exploring Peneda Geres National Park trekking to ancient castles and monasteries within the park, as well as up to some higher ground. The park is home to 300-million year old granite formations. Do not be surprised to see foxes, ibex, deer, wild boar, and wild Garrano ponies, the park's most famous inhabitants.
To balance out the hiking load, we will continue to practice daily yoga, and soak in the hot baths.
There are multiple opportunities to meet local hikers and runners. Participants will walk away with unforgettable memories and friendships.
At the end of the trip, we will head back to Lisbon, where we will spend the last night browsing the streets, shops, and cafes.