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The Four Abbots Table Route

Refóios do Lima, Ponte de Lima 41° 49' 30,8" N | 8° 31' 48,2" W
Refóios do Lima, Ponte de Lima

The Four Abbots Table Route is a pedestrian route called a small route. The respective markings and signs comply with international standards.

This route takes place between Lugar da Vacariça, in the parish of Refoios do Lima, and the mountain village of Vilar do Monte, both belong to the municipality of Ponte de Lima.

We begin the itinerary in the picturesque Lugar da Vacariça, precisely when the tar road gives way to a paved path. We continue along this path, circumventing the place as we climb, leaving behind the fields, which are being replaced by areas of brushwood and forests. Following the forest road, let us be aware of the majestic landscape that surrounds us - the contrast between the vast, fertile and ever-cultivated fields, and the abrupt granite massif of the imposing Serra d'Arga.

After some time of walking appears to our right a wooden enclosure. It is a farm for the Garrana horses breed. These enclosures facilitate the control of these animals accustomed to live in semi-wild state, allowing marking, veterinary treatments and catches. Step-by-step we are gaining altitude. Abandoning the mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods, we embark on another forest spot where the beeches predominate and whose dense foliage hides the lagoon of Salgueiros Gordos. It is a space of singular beauty, as much by the vegetation that surrounds the lagoon as by the decorative and enriching effect that the element water confers to the landscape.

Leaving the lagoon  behind, we resumed the path to begin to descend gradually to the mountain village of Vilar do Monte. Here, the fields are dominated by loose stone walls. The forest road will lead to a paved road that will take us to the tarred road that crosses the center of the village.

We continue along the road, after a few meters, follow the path that will take us to the famous Four Abbots Table - a granite table flanked by four stone benches, each one resting on the territory of each confining parish: Calheiros, Cepões, Bárrio and Vilar do Monte. At the olden times , the representatives of each parish sat down to discuss and resolve various matters, consulting the faithful who were around them. This tradition, by the initiative of the parish councils, was recovered in 1988, being celebrated on the third Sunday of June of each year.

We returned to the road again to go down a few meters. Then we climb a steep path that will lead us to the forest road that, in turn, will take us to the Mirante da Vacariça. This viewpoint - from where it is possible to admire a stunning landscape on the river Lima and on the oldest village of Portugal - shows the geodetic landmark of the Penedo Branco, with 725 m of altitude. Returning again to the forest road, we started to visit the Lugar da Vacariça, where we began our journey through Ponte de Lima lands.

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Description
The Four Abbots Table Route is a pedestrian route called a small route. The respective markings and signs comply with international standards.

This route takes place between Lugar da Vacariça, in the parish of Refoios do Lima, and the mountain village of Vilar do Monte, both belong to the municipality of Ponte de Lima.

We begin the itinerary in the picturesque Lugar da Vacariça, precisely when the tar road gives way to a paved path. We continue along this path, circumventing the place as we climb, leaving behind the fields, which are being replaced by areas of brushwood and forests. Following the forest road, let us be aware of the majestic landscape that surrounds us - the contrast between the vast, fertile and ever-cultivated fields, and the abrupt granite massif of the imposing Serra d'Arga.

After some time of walking appears to our right a wooden enclosure. It is a farm for the Garrana horses breed. These enclosures facilitate the control of these animals accustomed to live in semi-wild state, allowing marking, veterinary treatments and catches. Step-by-step we are gaining altitude. Abandoning the mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods, we embark on another forest spot where the beeches predominate and whose dense foliage hides the lagoon of Salgueiros Gordos. It is a space of singular beauty, as much by the vegetation that surrounds the lagoon as by the decorative and enriching effect that the element water confers to the landscape.

Leaving the lagoon  behind, we resumed the path to begin to descend gradually to the mountain village of Vilar do Monte. Here, the fields are dominated by loose stone walls. The forest road will lead to a paved road that will take us to the tarred road that crosses the center of the village.

We continue along the road, after a few meters, follow the path that will take us to the famous Four Abbots Table - a granite table flanked by four stone benches, each one resting on the territory of each confining parish: Calheiros, Cepões, Bárrio and Vilar do Monte. At the olden times , the representatives of each parish sat down to discuss and resolve various matters, consulting the faithful who were around them. This tradition, by the initiative of the parish councils, was recovered in 1988, being celebrated on the third Sunday of June of each year.

We returned to the road again to go down a few meters. Then we climb a steep path that will lead us to the forest road that, in turn, will take us to the Mirante da Vacariça. This viewpoint - from where it is possible to admire a stunning landscape on the river Lima and on the oldest village of Portugal - shows the geodetic landmark of the Penedo Branco, with 725 m of altitude. Returning again to the forest road, we started to visit the Lugar da Vacariça, where we began our journey through Ponte de Lima lands.

Download the file:

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