Bicos and Srª das Neves
A very difficult route and a little more demanding than the red of the same headtrail that also goes to Senhora das Neves.
Apart from countless climbs and descents, its main difficulties are the long and difficult ascent to Senhora das Neves (from 26 km to 37 km with the final km around 20%) and the climb within Relíquias (30km).
It has several mid-level technical single tracks shortly after Senhora das Neves, and several forded stream crossings that may be unviable after heavy rains. The most problematic situations can occur at 12 km at the crossing of the Gema stream or at 14 km at the Água Branca stream. In the latter there is a makeshift bridge that should only be used after careful evaluation.
After heavy rains, some paths may be flooded or very muddy, especially from 8 km to 16km, between Parreiras and Bicos.
The route mainly passes along rural roads and lanes, almost always in the midst of native vegetation, among cork oak groves, pastures, heathland and rice fields.
In addition to Relíquias, it crosses the villages of Vale de Santiago, Parreiras, Bicos, Campo Redondo, Ribeira do Seissal, Monte da Estrada and Vale de Ferro.
– The rice fields of Campilhas (21 km)
– Senhora das Neves, with its Mariana Chapel, which is the highest point of this route. It is a very popular sight-seeing point and hosts an annual religious festival on 5 August.
– Relíquias (56 km)
Around 6 km, in Vale de Santiago, the route passes near the Monte dos Columbais, one of the places where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born. One of the arguments in addition to the name of the hill would be that he signed his name Christopher of Colos.
6 km – Vale de Santiago
19 km – Bicos
31 km – Campo Redondo
42 km – Monte da Estrada
48 km – Vale de Ferro
56 km – Relíquias
The route crosses and occasionally runs along several quiet national and municipal roads and passes through some village streets. In the countryside, it follows mainly rural roads and lanes open to traffic and where you might encounter car traffic.
There may be a need to open livestock protection gates and these should always be closed again after passing through.