They are all short-distance loop trails with an acceptable difficulty level, which makes them suitable for short breaks and day hikes, and for any kind of hiker or walker. You can download these GPS trails and waypoints from Google Maps.
Ruta Convento dos Capuchos, near Capuchos (Lisboa)
Distance: 13 km – Uphill: 933 m – Downhill: 933 m – Time: 5:00/6:10 hrs
This trail winds through the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a protected area of approximately 145 sq km that includes the Serra de Sintra Mountain Range.
Serra do Gerês, near Ermida (Braga)
Distance: 13 km – Uphill: 873 m – Downhill: 873 m – Time: 4:50/6:00 hrs
Peneda-Gerês is the only national park in Portugal. The area features distinct micro-climates that result in an abundant variation in vegetation and soils.
Fórnea e Nascente do Lena, near Zambujal (Leiria)
Distance: 13 km – Uphill: 592 m – Downhill: 592 m – Time: 4:20/5:20 hrs
The route is not marked, but passes through some impressive points of interest: a waterfall that flows only during the rainy season, natural amphitheaters of up to 250 meters high, springs, caves, fossil findings, and archaeological remains.
Trilho do Megalitismo do Gião, near Boimo (Viana do Castelo)
Distance: 11 km – Uphill: 356 m – Downhill: 356 m – Time: 3:30/4:20 hrs
Alto do Gião hosts one of the most important Bronze Age rock art complexes of the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of several megalithic monuments and sites.
Rota das Lagoas da Serra da Estrela, near Sabugueiro (Guarda)
Distance: 9 km – Uphill: 330 m – Downhill: 330 m – Time: 3:00/3:40 hrs
A relatively short circular trail that starts/ends in Lagoa Comprida, passing by other four mountain lakes. Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain range in mainland Portugal and boasts a famous ski resort at its summit (1,993 m).
Best time to go to Portugal: Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct
Backpacker cost per day: 45 USD = 40 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Portugal Travel Guide.
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