While wandering around the Serra do Açor hills, we are not only charmed by the majesty and purity of the landscape, but we are also overcome with curiosity and impatience. Piódão stubbornly remains hidden so that it can then astound us with its architecture, which is such a good example of Man’s ability to adapt harmoniously to the most inhospitable but sublime places. Like a crib, the houses stand along the terraces of the slopes, which show blue and schist between narrow winding streets. At each corner they hide the history of the village of Piódão.
Our history your time
O Piódão, aldeia classificada como "Imóvel de Interesse Público", localiza-se na Serra do Açôr, com uma implantação de escarpa abrupta e uma estrutura de malha cerrada e traçado sinuoso, bem adaptada à rugosidade do espaço envolvente. As pastagens da Serra de S. Pedro do Açor, recheada de nascentes, atraíram os pastores lusitanos que ali alimentaram os seus rebanhos. Na época medieval, formou-se um pequeno povoado a que foi dado o nome de Casas Piódam, depois transferido para a atual localização, talvez devido à instalação de um Mosteiro de Cister (de que já não restam vestígios) o que fará remontar o lugar ao séc. XIII. A este mosteiro poderá estar ligada a antiga invocação de Santa Maria (comum nas Abadias Cistercienses) da Igreja Matriz templo reformulado no séc. XVIII/XIX, o que o dotou duma curiosa fachada pautada por finas torres cilíndricas rematadas por cones.
No interior, uma imagem da Senhora da Conceição do séc. XV, atual invocação da igreja, altares de talha e azulejaria de fabrico coimbrão. De referir também a Capela de S. Pedro com a sua imagem do séc. XVI. Conta-se que aqui se teria fixado um dos assassinos de Inês de Castro - Diogo Lopes Pacheco, apelidos ainda hoje existentes no Piódão: os Lopes e os Pachecos, estes últimos tinham direito a tribuna própria na Igreja de Lourosa. No Numeramento Joanino de 1527, o primeiro recenseamento populacional nacional, Piódão aparece inserido na vila de Avô, como "casall do piodão" com dois moradores. Mais tarde integra a Freguesia de Aldeia das Dez, da qual é desanexado em 1676. Em 24 de Outubro de 1855, passa a fazer parte do Concelho de Arganil, quando o concelho de Avô é extinto. No entanto, no que respeita à jurisdição religiosa mantém-se ligado ao arciprestado de Avô.
Nos finais do séc. XIX, o Cónego Manuel Fernandes Nogueira funda um Colégio no Piódão, a que muitos chamam Seminário, que funcionou entre 1886 e 1906, e que aqui juntou muitos jovens, criando um pólo cultural de grande importância para a zona. A aldeia do Piódão é característica pela sua disposição em anfiteatro, o chamado presépio de xisto, com as casas de grande consistência formal, arquitetónica e estética. O casario, em alvenaria de pedra de xisto, tem cobertura de lajes no mesmo material. As janelas, de pequena modulação têm, tal como as portas, cor nos aros, e, pela Páscoa, cruzes feitas com o Ramo de loureiro benzido são postas nas vergas das portas para afastar o mau-olhado. Pelas suas ruelas íngremes, estreitas e tortuosas que formam recantos numa estrutura de malha cerrada e em grande parte preservada, corre aqui e ali um fio de água numa canada irregular: a Levada. De realçar a singela Fonte dos Algares. As atividades agrícolas e pastorícia continuam agora, como no passado, a ser dominantes no modo de vida dos habitantes do Piódão, encaradas essencialmente como forma de subsistência e sobrevivência. De notar a Eira, donde se desfruta uma bela panorâmica, e o Forno do Pão.
What to see
Busto do Cónego Manuel Fernandes Nogueira
São Pedro Chapel
There is a community threshing floor at the top of the village. In small, isolated villages like Fajão it is essential for the community to work together. This means not only in terms of equipment like the oven and threshing floor for use by all villagers but also their occupations such as farming, shepherding and gathering wild fruits. Working as a community brings all the members together and also leads to higher production and wellbeing. 17th/18th and 20th century A simple place of worship located inside the village. It contains a 16th century image of St. Peter.
The exterior: There is a community threshing floor at the top of the village. In small, isolated villages, the inhabitants worked as a community, as a way of using infrastructure (irrigation systems, oven, threshing floor) or places (common land). This was essential to their survival. This area was used to dry and thresh grain (e.g. rye) and legumes (e.g. beans). We can see carvings on the stones, such as dents and drawings, many of them representing individual or pairs of soles of feet. We can presume that they were connected to good luck charms for crops or preservation of products.
This simple church was built in the second half of the 18th century. In the late 19th century its façade was in danger of collapsing. To reach the church you have to climb wide schist steps. It has two juxtaposed parts and a vestry. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception and has been restored and extended several times. The work done in 1898-1900 resulted in the current façade with four strong cylindrical buttresses that rise above the nave and are topped by cone. This work also involved construction of the bell tower and choir loft. The church’s chancel was extended and was fitted with four cylindrical columns with buttresses in each corner. The alterations were mentored by Canon Manuel Nogueira. Inside the high altar there is a renaissance-style carved altarpiece in gilded wood with image of Our Lady of the Conception, St Michael and St Sebastian. Other heritage items in the church: A 16th century limestone image of Our Lady of the Conception in a niche at the front watches over the square and blesses passers-by.
Where to eat
It has been open since 1989, but was recently remodelled in 2012. This restaurant serves traditional regional food, such as goat stew in a wood oven, pork sausage, grilled trout, among others. We also accept orders for roast kid. Restaurante Fontinha is inside the village (near the fountain), making it the perfect rustic spirit. The building is made of traditional schist on the outside and inside, making it exceptionally beautiful.
Story Studio Piódão
The contemporary-style Story Studio Piódão is a house in schist with blue painted doors and windows. It is located within the Historical Village of Piódão and features a mezzanine bedroom, living room, kitchenette and bathroom. For our guest's comfort, the accommodation is equipped with underfloor heating, bioethanol fireplaces, free wifi, TV with over 150 channels, and two electric bikes. Maximum occupancy 4 persons, of which: 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children.
Casa da Padaria
Inspired by local architecture, Casa da Padaria is located in the historical village do Piódão in Serra do Açor. Many call it the nativity village because of the layout of the houses on the hillside. It´s most seductive feature is the landscape and its welcoming atmosphere. The restoration of the old bakery was completed in 1998 and artisanal construction methods and natural regional materials were used, such as wood and schist to cover and insulate the house.
Hotel Inatel Piódão
This hotel is built in schist and is located in the beautiful, isolated historical village of Piódão. If you’re looking for adventure this hotel is a good starting point for exploring the mountains. It has 27 fully equipped rooms, bar, restaurant, heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, games room, meeting room and wi-fi. Private parking
What to do
Pedal to Enjoy – AMBikes
A nossa empresa nasceu no final do ano de 2014, iniciando a sua atividade ao público no dia 5 de Janeiro de 2015.
Sobe a denominação comercial AMBikes, sediámo-nos na Rua de Olivença, localizada na vila de Arganil, com uma loja física e oficina dedicada ao ramo da comercialização e reparação de bicicletas e acessórios.
Contudo, desde o primeiro dia que foi objetivo da empresa a ligação à área da Animação Turística, nomeadamente com a oferta de atividades que envolvessem a utilização da bicicleta. Assim, em 2020 nasceu o projeto Pedal to Enjoy, e nesse mesmo ano a empresa passou a possuir registo na Rede Nacional dos Agentes de Animação Turística (RNAAT) e CAE para o devido efeito.
Apesar da AMBikes operar em vários ramos económicos diferentes, todos eles são complementares e centrados nesta nossa paixão que é a bicicleta.
Posto isto, a nossa visão para o projeto de Animação Turística passa por posicionar a empresa como uma referência no ramo do cicloturismo, comercializando serviços premium de elevada qualidade. Temos ainda a ambição de oferecer dinâmica à região onde estamos sedeados, efetuando atividades e eventos que convidem as pessoas a visitar esta zona com assiduidade, sendo isso um fator positivo para o desenvolvimento sustentável da economia local.
Assim, a nossa missão passa por oferecer uma experiência única ao turista, conjugando um passeio de bicicleta elétrica por locais de elevado valor natural, cultural e histórico, guiado e apoiado por pessoas experientes e de grande conhecimento regional, com o melhor da gastronomia tradicional local, o artesanato e o convívio.
TRY PORTUGAL – Adventure, Nature & Culture
TRY PORTUGAL promotes personalized programs and experiences of active and cultural tourism, exploring the Natural, Historical and Cultural heritage of the country. All programs in autonomy or with guides are created to guarantee experiences of gastronomy & wines, culture & traditions. We highlight the interior regions that are still unknown to most travelers, through thematic vacation programs, the provision of tourist services, and the organization of sports & cultural events. Services: Thematic tours, active tourism programs, guided tours, organization of cultural and sporting events. Our tours are designed to include one or more of the following activities that are available in the region: Walking & Hiking - Mountain & Road Cycling - Water trails activities - Air activities- Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing – Wellness & Yoga Retreats - Ecotourism - Geo-tourism - Cultural & Historical Tourism - Creative Residences - Impact Tourism & Volunteering COME TRY PORTUGAL!
Adventure and nature trips
We are a registered tour operating company and we base our activity on the values of legal compliance, nature protection and sustainability. We operate according to the Portuguese legislation and we hold a special accreditation from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests allowing us to drive inside Nature Parks and other protected areas (where permitted)- We are members of the Natural.pt brand (www.natural.pt), reserved for companies who adhere to the programme. Following the recent pandemic we got our Clean & Safe seal from the Tourism Authority signifying our compliance with the official health requirements for the prevention and control of infections. Our trips are much more than just going from A to B and we distinguish ourselves for having a higher purpose: the knowledge and promotion of the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of Portugal, so that in the end our guests will have lots of stories to tell. In each new journey through some of the most beautiful and remotest places in mainland Portugal, we discover a unique, authentic and truly surprising country with a sense of adventure and discovery that enriches us as human beings. Our offer is based on a personalised service with tailor-made trips meeting the personal interests of our guests. We are constantly exploring and spending countless days on the ground in contact with the local people and organisations in search for the best places of interest and the best routes. As a result of this research, we have acquired a deep knowledge of the whole country which allows us to give our guests a renewed level of novelty and differentiation in each event. During our events we privilege the contact with nature in a legal and responsible manner, with the aim to reduce the impact of our passage, by working with official entities and other environmental organisations. Every year we plant many autoctonous trees in an effort to make Dream Overland a carbon-neutral company, an action that our customers can support and partake in. With our trips we contribute to the social cohesion and economic sustainability of local communities, through the knowledge and promotion of their traditions, handicrafts, produce and local heritage.
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Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking
Powered since 2006 by your passion for travel, Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking was created to offer you authentic experiences and unforgettable memories in the most exclusive places in Portugal, taking you to the most historic places and wild landscapes. The perfect example of this is our holidays in the Historical Villages. Each one more surprising than the one before, prepare to cross mesmerizing landscapes, going through some of the most impressive Portuguese natural regions like the Côa Valley, with their cave paintings, the Estrela Mountain Range, with the highest peak in continental Portugal, or Faia Brava, the first private conservation area in Portugal. And at the end of each day, explore another village, each with a different story to discover, between castles and walls, between taverns and gourmet restaurants, between centuries-old traditions and the latest inspirations. Dare yourself to wear the shoes of the great conquerors who fought for the oldest European border while restoring your body and mind with pure air and breathtaking views.