Piódão is one of 12 historical villages of Portugal, and is certainly worth visiting. I was in awe of the schist buildings (the type of rock that many of the homes here are built out of) built right into the mountainside. I felt like any minute some birds would start singing and helping me fold sheets inside the stone home I suddenly lived in? Maybe I’d skip down the cobblestone streets, barefoot, on my way to my fairy godmother’s house? It’s the ultimate cottage core Disney dream village!
If you decide to live out your cottage core fantasy and visit, I’d recommend taking at least one full day and staying the night if you can. It is so incredibly quiet and peaceful (unless you visit during the summer months, that is…)!
Here’s a list of things to do in Piódão:
STARE AT THIS VIEW
We stayed at this spot way too long taking photos! To find this view, put these coordinates into your GPS: 40.230750, -7.826028
Or, click here for the pin on Google maps. It’s only a few minutes walking distance from the village.
MARVEL AT THE SCHIST BUILDINGS
The buildings here are made of “schist rock.” Schist is a “medium-grained metamorphic rock showing pronounced schistosity. This means that the rock is composed of mineral grains easily seen with a low-power hand lens, oriented in such a way that the rock is easily split into thin flakes or plates,” according to Wikipedia. And thus, Piódão is often referred to as a “Schist Village.”
SWIM AT RIVER BEACHWhile not really a ‘beach,’ River Beach (also known as “Praia Fluvial de Piódão”) is still worth checking out. It’s right near the center of the village, so you can’t really miss it anyway! The (very cold) mountain stream flows into this pool of water that tourists (aka you!) can actually swim in the summer months (July-August). We visited in October, and the pool wasn’t full at this time – not that you’d want to swim in it during that time of year, anyway! Although it was still relatively warm during the day, it wouldn’t necessarily warrant a freezing cold dip (for me, anyway – I know you ice bathing people are out there!).
In the summer, there’s also a snack shop and public bathrooms for visitors.
SEE THE PARISH CHURCHParish Church reminds me of a Disney castle. It’s located right in the center of town, and the inside is just as stunning as the exterior.
GRAB FOOD AT O FONTINHACheck out O Fontinha and get their cheese appetizer plate! The bread is delicious, the cheese is amazing, and they served everything with their homemade pumpkin jam (a Portuguese specialty) that was incredibly delicious! While I wasn’t a huge fan of the flan dessert, everything else we tried was fantastic.
WALK TO A NEARBY VILLAGE
You can actually walk to the nearby village of Foz d’Égua (which is 3.5km or 2.8km (~2 miles) depending on which path you take, 45 to 55 minutes) and Chãs d’Égua (4km/2.5 miles, and one hour). We didn’t end up doing this, but it looks like a great way to spend the day!
CHECK OUT THE SHOPS
There are so many cute shops in Piódão, selling all kinds of interesting souvenirs.
DRINK FROM THE FOUNTAINS
Did you know you can actually drink the water that comes out of these fountains, as it’s straight from the mountains? We drank this during our entire trip, and it tasted amazing. We never got sick, although one lady we asked did mention that occasionally an animal will die near the source and contaminate the water…We took our chances and were fine, but it’s up to you if you want to do the same.
GETTING TO PIÓDÃOThis village is quite difficult to reach if you don’t rent a car. I’d highly recommend doing so for that very reason! Otherwise, you can visit with a guided tour. No public transportation will take you there. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive to get from Lisbon to Piódão.
WHEN TO VISIT
Piódão is an absolute ZOO if you visit during the summer months (July-August), so keep that in mind. So many tour buses visit and the small village gets overloaded with tourists. We went in October, and the weather was still quite warm (as you can tell from our short sleeves), although it did get quite chilly in the evening. However, keep in mind that if you visit during the shoulder or off-season, some restaurants and shops may be closed or have reduced hours. We encountered that in many of the smaller villages that we visited in Portugal!
I hope you enjoy this beautiful village! It’s certainly one of the most picturesque ones I’ve ever been to, anyway.
LOVE IT? PIN IT!