aldeia de xisto
Europe,  Portugal

Traditional schist villages in Portugal

Visiting the Lousã Hills is synonymous of nature, trails and Schist Villages. During the summer it is also synonymous of beautiful river beaches and some waterfalls. Discover the Lousã hills in Center of Portugal, near Coimbra, on our itinerary and you will see that it will be a nice surprise.


Our little tour of the Lousã hills range was carried out in just two days. However, if there is availability, spare one more day to visit all the villages, viewpoints and follow the various existing trails, thus enjoying the fullness of the Mountain and its Nature.

Itinerary Map

These were the schist villages that we visited and are very close to each other. In addition to the villages, we also pass by several viewpoints and the Trevim Swing.


Gondramaz Schist Village

The Gondramaz Village is located on a slope on the western slope of the Serra da Lousã and is essentially structured around a main street that follows the slope.

Gondramaz, like the most well-known schist villages, is very well preserved and is essentially geared towards local accommodation. This aspect came to give life to this village and restore many of the houses.

Aldeia de Gondramaz

One of the differentiating points of all the houses is the small Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição that deserves a visit.

For lovers of hiking and mountain biking, there are several walking routes that connect this village to others, passing through unforgettable landscapes in the Serra da Lousã.

Aldeia de Gondramaz

Gondramaz Stay

Talasnal Schist Village

This village is one of the best known villages and that brought more fame to the schist villages.

Talasnal centro da aldeia
Talasnal – Village center

Upon arrival, we are greeted by a viewpoint on the road in a recess in the vegetation that allows us to fully observe the entire village that is on one of the slopes of the mountain.

miradouro talasnal
Talasnal viewpoint

At the entrance of the village, we are surprised by a small fountain from where the various alleys that run through the village start.

casa talasnal
rua talasnal
Talasnal Streets

Currently, many of the houses are recovered and are for second homes or for local accommodation. This fact makes the village quite well-kept and busy at times. There is also some small business that energizes the village in high season and also on weekends.

centro talasnal
Ruas do Talasnal

In this village you can see the Castle of Lousã which is a short distance away in a straight line. In the village there are also several pedestrian paths for nature lovers.

vista talasnal
View from Talasnal

Candal Schist Village

The village is an authentic amphitheatre due to the position of the houses on the mountainside and where it is trodden by the stream that crosses it and gives it life, through the sounds of the water meandering over the rocks.

When visiting, go up to the viewpoint from where you can have a privileged view of the village and also of its valley. Take the opportunity and walk along the stream’s banks to the end of the houses.

In the village, there are also several pedestrian paths for those who love hiking. Access by car is one of the easiest in the case of the Schist villages visited by us, as it is located on the National Road that connects Lousã to Castanheira de Pera.

Cerdeira Schist Village

Cerdeira is more than a shale village. This small village, which was completely abandoned and without access, without sanitation and without electricity, lost on one of the many slopes of the mountain, 700 meters above sea level, is today a recovered and tourist village.



Currently, most of the houses are recovered and serve as local accommodations. The village became Cerdeira – Home for Creativity and is a rural tourism space closely linked to creation and artistic training.

In the village, there are small catering spaces, ateliers and art workshops, in addition to residences. Each house is a work of art since in its recovery all the old features of the houses were maintained, not disfiguring the old shale houses.

We can mention that the village is very beautiful and all its space is well preserved. In the small parking lot, we can see the entire slope where the village is located, also looking like an amphitheatre.

Walking towards the village, we cross a small stream, a sound that merges with the village itself and the surrounding nature.

This is also another village linked by footpaths that can be travelled on foot or, if you are a fan, by mountain bike.

Lousã hotel stay

What to visit between villages?

The Lousã mountain range, among the various schist villages and all the natural beauty, has several viewpoints that delight those who visit it. As part of an effort to attract more tourists, several viewpoints and a swing were created that we visited and loved. Were it not for the cold, we would have enjoyed the landscapes even more.


Isto é Lousã

isto é lousa

Two viewpoints in Lousã Hills next to one of the roads that allow you to walk through the mountains and visit the schist villages. The view is over Lousã.

Trevim swing

The Trevim Swing is a swing located in the highest part of the mountain at 1,200 meters of altitude. This giant swing is the ideal place to take pictures for social media.

Lousã Castle

Lousã Castle or Arouce Castle is a small castle located next to Sra da Piedade Sanctuary and a river beach.

It belongs to one of the defensive lines created to control access to Coimbra, appearing in documents for the first time in 1087.

A little further down from the castle is the river beach of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, which has excellent conditions for a day at the beach. The river beach is also famous for a swing set next to a small waterfall. This is the postcard shared on this beach’s social networks.

A little further up is the small Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Piedade.

Outside the summer season, this whole place is quiet, ideal for strolling and enjoying the lush greenery.

There is currently a walkway that connects the Castle of Lousã to Lousã. There are also several trails that connect the Schist villages and pass through the castle.

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One Comment

  • Anonymous

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