Located in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the Sistelo village is one of the most beautiful villages in northern Portugal. It even won the 7 Wonders of Portugal award in the category of Villages, and you can easily understand why. So, throughout this post, I will tell you about what you can visit in Sistelo including a small trail that makes everyone fall in with this village.
As soon as we arrive at the Sistelo village, it’s hard not to fall in love: the landscape, the colours, and all the surroundings – worthy of a fairy tale 🥰. In fact, it’s not surprising that the Sistelo village was already considered the Portuguese Tibet.
More recently, the Sistelo village has also become known for its walkways that attract many visitors every year. So keep reading to find out more about how to visit the Sistelo village.
What is the best time of the year to visit Sistelo?
Like the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the Sistelo village is quite cold and rainy in winter and quite hot in summer. So, I recommend visiting Sistelo in late spring or early autumn.
However, to hike the walkways and since there is a river beach in between, visiting in the summer is not a bad idea at all! There are actually many trees along the trail, which protect you from the sun.
How many days do you need to visit Sistelo?
Sistelo is a fairly small village, so in less than an hour we visit its points of interest, except for the hiking trails. However, all the surroundings of the village make us want to extend our stay.
So, I recommend at least one day to visit Sistelo village. Add a day and you have the perfect combination for a magnificent weekend getaway 🤩.
Accommodation in Sistelo
There isn’t much accommodation offer in Sistelo village, so if you wish to stay overnight in the village centre, I recommend you book accommodation as soon as possible. Another option is to stay in places on the outskirts of the village, such as Monção, Melgaço or Arcos de Valdevez.
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What to visit in Sistelo village?
Also known as the Castle House, Sistelo Castle is one of the first elements of the village centre to stand out. It is a rectangular-plan palace and was built in the 19th century by the first Viscount of Sistelo.
» Sistelo’s Granaries
Although the granaries are scattered all over the village – as in many places in Gerês – it is the communal threshing floor that steals all the attention, as it is there that we find the greatest concentration of granaries.
» Mother Church
Sistelo’s Mother Church is a big question mark in the history of the village, as it is not known for sure when it was built. It is of small dimension, doing justice to the number of inhabitants of the village, but it is still worth visiting.
» Estrica Viewpoint
The terraced land is clearly the village’s trademark. And one of the best places to appreciate this landscape that so characterizes the Sistelo village is the Estrica viewpoint.
This viewpoint is located on the other side of the Vez river, making it an excellent viewpoint for panoramic views over Sistelo. And the best part is that it’s only a 10-minute drive from the Sistelo village to get there!
💡 EXTRA TIP: It is also possible to reach the Estrica Viewpoint through a trail (PR 27) from the Sistelo village.
» Sistelo Walkways
One of the points that brings more and more visitors to the village of Sistelo is its walkways. There are several trails that you can hike in the area, with different levels of difficulty and duration. However, in this post, I will only mention the Sistelo Walkways Trail (PR 25).
The Sistelo Walkway trail starts and ends at the village’s pillory, and it is about 2 km long round trip. The trail is quite simple. However, you should wear appropriate footwear, as the path is not entirely flat and regular.
💡 EXTRA TIP: The Sistelo Walkways are included in the Ecovia do Vez, so you can always choose to extend this trail. The Ecovia do Vez can be done on foot or by bike and is 32.5 kms long.
The trail is always well-marked, just follow the PR25 signs.
Although the trail is short, the landscapes we find along the way are enough to make anyone want to come back. The leafy vegetation, the river water running… it looks like something out of a movie.
And, as if this weren’t enough, halfway through the trail we pass the Sistelo River Beach. On hot days, it’ll be hard to resist dipping in the water. The water is rather cold, but I promise you’ll feel amazing 😉.
💡 EXTRA TIP: In wetter seasons, part of the trail may be underwater (the part near the river beach where you have to cross the Vez river). In this case, the trail has to be done across the Sistelo Medieval Bridge.
Practical information about the trail
- Distance: 2 km
- Circular route
- Difficulty: Easy, despite sometimes the terrain being uneven
- Start/End: Pillory in Sistelo Village
However, for those who feel more like getting to know this region, I leave here a list of other trails available in the village of Sistelo:
- Brandas do Sistelo Trail (PR 14)- 9 km
- Socalcos de Sistelo Trail (PR 24) – 5 km
- Miradouro da Estrica Trail (PR 27) – 4,5 km
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