Sortelha | Percurso Preto
Places of passage: Sabugal, Soito, Quadrizais, Meimão, Meimoa, Vale da Senhora da Póvoa, Terreiro das Bruxas, Casteleiro, Santo Amaro, Carvalhal, Belmonte, Olas, Trigais, Bendada
The route departs the Historical Village of Sortelha from the Corro square and heads east, turning right onto the M542. It continues uphill towards Sabugal, bypassing Aldeia de Santo António. On the descent towards Sabugal the imposing castle emerges after the final curve, in the middle of a forest. Upon reaching the N233, the route turns left and immediately right to run around the edge of Sabugal in the direction of Soito and Quadrazais, where it enters the Serra da Malcata Natural Reserve, the habitat of the shy lynx of the same name. The Malcata Reserve has gentle gradients and constantly undulates. After a few kilometres along the reserve's magnificent roads it passes through the district of Malcata, close to the Sabugal reservoir. After passing the reservoir it bears left towards Meimão and there is a steep descent down into the village, demanding a lot from the brakes. After Meimão it passes the Meimoa Dam before the village of Meimoa itself can be spotted, and then turns right on the undulating N233 towards the Senhora da Póvoa Valley. From here there are further climbs towards Terreiro das Bruxas where there is a left turn onto the N18-3 that takes the route through Casteleiro, Santo Amaro and, further on the entrance to Carvalhal on the right, before the climb to the Historical Village of Belmonte. Belmonte is accessed uphill and the route crosses the village and descends towards the east. Belmonte is well worth a visit. After leaving Belmonte, it turns left at the roundabout and then right towards Olas, on a narrow and picturesque rural road. Further on it crosses the railway line, climbs for a short distance and descends towards Olas. Shortly after this small village it bears left towards Trigais and Bendada, with some demanding climbs in the vicinity of the Historical Village of Sortelha. After the descent to Azenha it turns left and embarks on a tough climb of around 3 km to Sortelha. It enters the village to the right and continues upwards, following the wall on cobblestone streets and entering the Historical Village by the west gate, descending to Corro square on picturesque streets.