MTB Transalp recommended route

GR22 - Historical Villages of Portugal - Long Distance Mountain Bike Route

· 3 reviews · MTB Transalp · Portugal · Open
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Responsible Trails Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
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    Photo: Aldeias Históricas de Portugal
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    Photo: Responsible Trails
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    Photo: Responsible Trails
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    Photo: Responsible Trails
m 2000 1500 1000 500 500 400 300 200 100 km Linhares da Beira Castelo Mendo Idanha-a-Velha Trancoso Castelo Rodrigo Belmonte Piódão Castelo Novo Marialva Monsanto Sortelha Almeida
Wild nature. Medieval castles. Places replete with legends, flavores, and traditions. Whether on foot or by bicycle, follow the Grande Rota of the Historical Villages of Portugal and explore this magnificent route that unites all 12 villages in nearly 600 km.
Distance 525 km
62:00 h
10,296 m
10,124 m
For adventurers on two wheels, the GR22 is the route you have always dreamed. An intensely varied route unlike any other in the world, with passages that cross mountains, plains, agricultural landscapes, riversides, natural parks, and protected reserves, a bike adventure through the region of the Historic Villages of Portugal cannot be more exciting. A large portion of the route coincides with the walking trail; however, there are alternative bike trails that provide new perspectives for discovering the region’s history, heritage, and nature. Approved and classified nationally as a Grande Travessia (Great Crossing), throughout its extent, the GR22 offers a network of MTB Centers and Bikotels that guarantees support to bicycle lovers. Go on an unparalleled adventure through the Historic Villages of Portugal!

Author’s recommendation

Responsible Trails ® ensures that an annual technical audit is carried out in which the main points of the code of ethics are evaluated. Here you find the result of the last audit.

Before starting your adventure, be sure to check the “Current Information” tab.


Responsible Trails Criteria:

(last audit by LQT at 24/10/2019)


Waymarks - 4- it has all the needed marks and signs to navigate without support

Conservation of the path - 4- In a good overall status of conservation with some isolated situations.

General conservation - 3- some place present some degradation but with no negative impacts on the experience.

Information boards and signs - 5- Very well maintained and with superior quality

Complementary boards - 4- Well maintained and with interest

Safety and suport structures - 4- Well-maintained essential structures

Local community integration - 5- Strong connection to the community in which it operates and stimulate interaction

Landscape integration - 4- Well integrated into the landscape and with points of interest

General Safety - 4- Has occasional low-risk situations

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Responsible Trails Portugal
Update: July 23, 2021
Highest point
1,588 m
Lowest point
269 m
Best time of year


40.359900, -7.348200
40°21'35.6"N 7°20'53.5"W
29T 640257 4469013


all notes on protected areas

Public transport



40.359900, -7.348200
40°21'35.6"N 7°20'53.5"W
29T 640257 4469013
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Basic Equipment for Long-Distance Mountain Biking

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
  • Sunglasses
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Technical Equipment for Long Distance Mountain Biking

  • Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Replacement inner tube
  • Tire levers
  • Chain tool
  • Hex keys
  • Spoke wrench
  • Zip ties
  • Lubricant
  • Screwdrivers
  • Phone / device holder as required  
  • Bike lock as required
  • Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
  • Luggage system as required for length of journey: panniers with racks
  • Handlebar / frame / saddle bags   
  • Mudguards recommended


  • Tent (3- or 4-season)
  • Stove (including fuel and utensils)
  • Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
  • Food
  • Toiletries and medication
  • Toilet paper

Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut

  • Toiletries and medication
  • Quick-drying towel  
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleepwear
  • Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
  • Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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November 12, 2020 · Community
Rafael Romano 
September 11, 2020 · Community
No dia 26 de junho iniciei esta aventura nas Aldeias Historicas com o meu padrinho. Mesmo depois de ouvirmos várias pessoas dizerem que era uma volta de loucos, por ser feita nesta altura do ano, decidimos avançar com um único objetivo: conquistar as 8 Aldeias Históricas do Loop Norte. Foi uma experiência muito exigente, difícil, com bastante calor, alguns furos mas ao mesmo tempo magnífica. Durante estes 4 dias sabiamos que algures entre uma subida de mais de 20% de inclinação e uma descida digna de uma bike de downhill, um terreno bastante acidentado e um estradão de gravilha havia sempre alguma vista panorâmica capaz de deixar qualquer um de boca aberta, uma aldeia com muitas histórias para contar e uns locais sempre prontos para ajudar com a mais pura bondade que se pode encontrar. Sem dúvida, uma volta a repetir.  Mas primeiro, que venha o Loop Sul para conquistarmos as restantes 4 Aldeias Históricas ✌️
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When did you do this route? July 29, 2020
Photo: Rafael Romano, Community
Manuel Franco 
April 17, 2020 · YTravel, lda
A mais antiga grande rota portuguesa continua a surpreender-me. Recomendo vivamente a todos!
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Photos from others

525 km
62:00 h
10,296 m
10,124 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Botanical highlights


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