Lamas de Olo circuit
On the journey between Agarez and Arnal, in Galegos da Serra, there is a beautiful waterfall, surrounded by trees, where you will see an ancient watermill. Return to the road in direction towards Lamas d´Olo, passing by the artificial dam that captures the crystal clear waters from the River Olo that supplies the city of Vila Real.
The village of Lamas d´Olo, at 1000 m above sea level is surrounded by oak groves and marshes and maintains an atmosphere of peace and simplicity, with traditional small granite houses and thatched roofs. In order to divert traffic from the village, a variant has been built that bypasses the village. Here, the River Olo looks more like a stream, and we find a very ancient stone bridge at the exit to the village. The irrigation channels that flow out from the river in this site are designed for so-called "rega de lima" (lime irrigation), a centuries-old irrigation techniques, used to create humid marshland where grass grows. The irrigation system is distributed across the pasture area, harmoniously distributing the water, in order to ensure that the terrain is completely irrigated and will not freeze even on the coldest days. Only in Sweden can we find a similar example of a popular irrigation device.
As we continue down the road we reach the village of Anta, whose name (“cromlech”) suggests that human occupation of the area may date back to megalithic civilisation. There are many oak groves and holly bushes along the road to the neighbouring village of Pioledo. Here, we are in the heart of the park. In the village of Bilhó (located outside the boundaries of the park, but is immediately contiguous to it) there is a highly popular fair of Maronês cattle held on August 24 (Saint Bartholomew’s day). The breed is indigenous to this region, is hard-working and produces an excellent and succulent meat.
Sources: Alvão Nature Park /Institute of Nature Conservation