End of the world
Do Piodao you don't come for the monuments. You come here to get to know and feel the truly indigenous Portuguese atmosphere and character of the deep Portuguese province.
See the map above. I marked the location of Piodao on it. At first glance, it seems that this small village has a very favorable location. In the middle of Portugal, about 90 km in a straight line from the coast and 50 km from Coimbra, the capital of the region. However, the first impression is very misleading. In fact Piodao is one of the most isolated places in Portugal. Until the early 70s, there was no road leading to it that could be traveled by car. The last 12 kilometers could only be covered on foot or on horseback. The first regular road connection was established only in 1972. Currently, only 120 people live here, and since 1950 (then 1125 people lived here), Piodao has been regularly depopulated.
But to be honest, bringing a paved road probably didn't really change much, because the road to Piodao is still very long and tiring. This is due to the terrain. Piodao lies hidden deep in the mountains Serra to Acor and to get here you have to overcome probably a million turns. Depending on the direction you are coming from, the road may be of different quality. In our case, for a long stretch it ran along a narrow ledge on the hillside and was one car wide. Sometimes it gave the impression that it had never been renovated since it was built (since 1972). On my right I had a mountainside wall and on my left there was an abyss. I was hugging the wall with my right mirror and I still had the impression that my left wheel barely fit on the edge of the slope.
We left Piodao in a different direction and on a different road. Its quality and width were much better, so where you plan to get here is important.
The long isolation of Piodao meant that the village retained its traditional character and did not succumb to the influence of modern construction and architectural fashions. When building everything in the village, the inhabitants were forced to use the materials they had on hand. In this way, the limitation related to the lack of a road significantly influenced the appearance of the village. Everything in the village is made of common stone slate and wood. The inhabitants of Piodao perfected the use of stone with a characteristic flat shape, making it even beautiful, shapely, flat and slender roof tiles. They can make almost anything out of stone slate. Even plates in the restaurant. Their excellent knowledge of the material and the highest skill in using it is evidenced by the fact that many houses in Piodao were built without the use of mortar.
The whole picture is complemented by wooden windows and doors, painted in traditional colors: white and blue.
The entire town is exceptionally coherent in this respect, even ascetic. The cleanliness of the preserved building form is very pleasing to the eye and walking around the village is a great pleasure. It's worth going further and looking everywhere.
Piodao - sightseeing
Piodao is tiny and you'll see it all very quickly. No plan needed here. The parking lot whose coordinates I have provided below is right next to the main square of the town. From your fingertips you can immediately see the characteristic white church (Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Conceicao), to the right of it the museum, and to the left the rest of the city. You can see everything at your fingertips and you immediately know where to go. Take a walk around the town (it only has a few short streets), see the church, the museum, go down to the river and the stone bridges, then you can come back and... after half an hour you've seen everything.
You can check the street layout in the village and the location of the parking lot on the map below.
Or maybe to Foz d'Egua?
You will probably feel a bit dissatisfied after sightseeing, especially since the journey was demanding. Would like more of this Piodao! But don't worry, because I have a surprise prepared for such a situation. A short trail starts in Piodao Trilho PR2.1, which you can take a very pleasant walk to the neighboring, even smaller, stone village Foz d'Egua. The trail runs along a narrow, dirt path and shoes with good soles will be useful (beach flip-flops are out of the question).
Foz d'Egua is small and beautiful. Houses, stone bridges, a river (and even a mini beach), all surrounded by lush greenery. Like in a fairy tale.
Trail one way it is about 3 km long, so you need about 2 hours to walk at a leisurely pace in both directions. A map of the trail and GPS coordinates of characteristic points that will help you orient yourself in the area can be found below.
Useful data and GPS coordinates
Point (1) on the map – beginning of the trail to Foz d'Egua, GPS coordinates:
After leaving Piodao, when you see a small cemetery behind a small wall on your right, leave the main road to the left, onto a dirt path (like the man in the picture below). The car and the dog lying there will probably no longer be there, although I have some doubts about the dog. He was so focused on maximum laziness that maybe he's still there :)
Point (2) on the map – end of the trail in Foz d'Egua, GPS coordinates:
40.246903, -7.812630 - click and route
Parking by the road, which is the entry and exit loop from Piodao, GPS coordinates:
40.228711, -7.825459 - click and route
Several parking spaces can also be found in the small square at the end of the entrance loop, GPS coordinates:
40.229247, -7.825059 - click and route
Accommodation in Piodao
Piodao is tiny, so the force of things choice of accommodation – [click] It's not big. Below are some suggestions. Clicking on any of them will take you to a detailed description and will also display several similar accommodations available nearby. This should make your search much easier.
Portugal sightseeing planThis entry is part of a complete one Portugal sightseeing plan - [click]. The guide contains plans, maps and descriptions of specific sightseeing routes.
To see all currently available descriptions of attractions in Portugal, click on the link: Continental Portugal - [click].
Safe car rental guide: Portugal - car rental without credit card, no deposit
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