Terreiro das Bruxas – The Witches’ Field. This mystical sounding place is actually a famous picnic spot as well as a shuttle drop-off in the mountain range of Serra da Lousã. The densely forested mountain region is located about 220 km north of Lisbon and from the highest point (1,200 m) you have an impressive view over the hinterland of northern Portugal.


Wild boars and deer roam in the woods, but also (on separate paths) so too do hikers and mountain bikers. The locals emphasise that this is the birthplace of the Portuguese enduro and downhill community. In fact, the long descents in Serra Lousã offer fun for every taste and skill level, but also really “gnarly trails”. From rooty and flowy cross-country trails or fast enduro tracks to really steep downhill runs with high drops and jumps, bikers can look forward to riding through dense pine forest on soft forest soil. Some of the more difficult and super steep tracks also challenge riders with very technical loose rock sections and tight corners. Helpful hint: Most tracks are signposted here and colour-coded according to difficulty.


Because of the long descents and the shuttle services, Lousã is also a popular training ground for European enduro and downhill professionals. Each year the area hosts the Fox Enduro Race and the Avalanche Licor Beirão.


Culture: The area is famous for its 27 traditional mountain-schist villages (“Aldeias do Xisto”), which are scattered over the hills, e.g. Talasnal and Casal Novo. In small pensions and holiday houses you can also stay overnight. Alternatively you can camp at picnic areas such as “Terreiro das Bruxas” (for one night you are allowed to wild camp anywhere) or book an organised camper trip with the bike guiding company “WERIDE” (see below).

Shuttles & Trail Info: Louzanpark” opened recently, providing a meeting and information point for bikers but also other outdoor sport and nature lovers who want to explore this mountain region, such as hikers and trail runners. Learn more about the offers of Louzanpark at (contact – email under the heading “BTT”).

Restaurant tip: “Ti’Lena” in the schist village Talasnal is the perfect place for a truly quaint dinner in front of the fireplace. Register a day in advance, to give the current cook time to prepare (eponym “Aunt Lena” died recently at the age of 89). A great option is a dish of unbelievably tender lamb in red wine, very slowly cooked on fireplace coal for 24 hours. For more information contact

Repair shop tip:
Hidden, in a kind of backyard allotment hut in Lousã, Daniel Pombo has his repair shop. The brother of Portugal’s most famous downhill pro rider Emanuel Pombo is considered the “suspension god”; bikers from all over Portugal and even neighbouring countries send their forks and shocks to him for repair. Naturally, Daniel is also a really fast downhill rider and quite a successful racer too. Contact via his Facebook page or e-mail to

Bike shop: for normal spare parts, clothing, etc. visit:

Guiding and multi-day packages with either guesthouse accommodation in one of the small schist villages or in a campervan:

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