Adventure Land, Trails of the Serra da Aboboreira

PR4 Dolmens Trail

This route connects the Equestrian Center of Baião with the highest zone of the Serra da Aboboreira, where are the main examples of the archaeological heritage of this mountain range. The route also connects with the villages of Aboboreira and Almofrela, characterized by a preserved rural architecture and where you can witness the daily life lived in these villages for centuries. It also provides magnificent views of the valleys of Tâmega and Ovil and communicates at the top of the mountain range with the other routes of the Aboboreira rails network.

The landscape seen along this route has the story of the transformation of the dense primitive oak forests into an open landscape due to the agro-pastoral activity that man has developed over thousands of years.

Grasses dominate the flatter areas at the top of the mountain range. Fennel is one of the most sought after by cattle, since its leaves are more palatable. This is the preferred habitat of the hunter-gatherer, a bird of prey of great beauty and with a characteristic flight that includes frequent acrobatics. The frequent occurrence of fires favors the presence, sometimes with great profusion, of plants typical of burned spaces, such as the fetus-ordinary or the abroteas. The erosive processes promoted by man for centuries have led to the increase of rocky outcrops and skeletal soils in the landscape. These environments are colonized by some specialized plants such as tomentelo, a species of wild thyme used by the populations to wash the hair, to give it brightness. At the headwaters of some water lines are small peat bogs, wetlands with a very specialized flora.

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On the upper plateau you can also see several monuments with tumulus that are part of the megalithic complex of the Serra da Aboboreira. You can easily see that these constructions did not fulfill only a funeral function. They mark the territory, showing more or less the landscape, mark the constructive effort that these communities spent in the construction and mark the will / necessity of social cohesion between the various communities that the construction of the monuments of greater dimensions would require.
In the wide floor of Outeiro de Gregos, five monuments of different typologies and different rituals corresponding to distinct epochs of Prehistory (Neolithic and Bronze Age) are identified.

On the right hand side of the route you will find the dolmens of Outeiro de Gregos 2 and 3, constructions of the 1st half of the 4th millennium BC, which purposely occupied natural hills and stand out quite well in the landscape. The first mamoa encloses an enclosed dolmen. In the latter, a second tumbling would only be possible by partial displacement of the cap.

On the left side, although its study is not well completed, you can see another monument (Outeiro de Gregos 1), whose construction dates back to the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC It is a cist, originally covered by a small mound built only with stones and passing, unlike the other Monuments, completely unnoticed in the landscape.

On the ground upstream, in Outeiro de Ante, you can also visit two megalithic monuments. The one identified with n. 3, was the first monument to be excavated under the Archaeological Field of Serra da Aboboreira, in 1978, and is quite incomplete. However, the opening marked by a small threshold is still visible. The number 1 impresses by the prominence that has in the landscape, once again the prehistoric man has taken advantage of a natural elevation on which he built the dolmen and the mamoa, thus giving him greater monumentality. Access to the interior was through the top of the mamoa.

A little further on, on the right side of the road and at a lower level, you can see another dolmen (Mina do Simão) which, although not prepared for visitation, has a curious layout: it is isolated, on the slope of a small floor, surrounded by a landscape "in amphitheater", and only stands out from the brook, the east sides or the sun. The position of the stele of the dolmen is also curious, giving it a "naviform" appearance, with the "bow" to the north.
Finish the route by visiting the traditional villages of Aboboreira and Almofrela. The first, known in the region for the large herds of goats and sheep, and the fresh goat cheese. The second, goat and wool, and fresh goat cheese. The second, by the agricultural mosaic of meadows and fields, punctuated by trees like chestnut and ash, and shrubs like black alder and wild pear.

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