Srª das Neves
This very difficult level course is a homage to mountain biking: there are 14 climbs and many descents of at least 50 m of gradient, and several sections with more than 20% of slope. It is therefore not suitable for practitioners with little experience or technique.
The main challenges are at 4 km leaving the Mira River, at 33 km on the way up Senhora das Neves and at 51 km in a remote area after Moinho dos Ameixiais. This last climb is the most difficult of the whole route.
Also note that the course has several single tracks particularly at the point immediately after Senhora das Neves. There is also a ford crossing.
This route crosses the middle of a preserved and exuberant natural zone where you will see few people. Therefore, the company of at least one more cyclist is recommended.
The route passes through Cabaços, Monte da Estrada, Ribeira do Seissal, Ribeira do Salto and Vale do Ferro.
– Pego das Pias, but a detour of 1000 m at 10,6 km is necessary.
– Senhora das Neves, with its Mariana Chapel, which is the highlight and highest point of this route. It is very popular as sight-seeing point and hosts an annual religious festival on 5 August.
There is no support point between the start and 22 km and from 43 km to the end.
Km 22 – Monte da Estrada
Km 41 – Ribeira do Salto
Km 43 – Vale do Ferro
The route crosses and, at points, runs along the N120 as well as several municipal roads, and therefore you may encounter some traffic. Caution is recommended.
Part of the route coincides at several points with the Rota Vicentina walking paths – namely the Historical Way (GR11) – so it is very likely that you will meet with hikers. Give them right of way.
It might be necessary to open livestock protection gates which should always be closed again after passing through.