Serra do Caramulo, ideal for walks
The Serra do Caramulo, traditionally known for its pure air,
is one of the most beautiful mountains of Portugal. It is located only a 40 minute drive away from Abelenda Bike Rental and is most definitely worth a visit.
The Serra do Caramulo is a place where nature reigns supreme and man has learned to live with it and for it, never against it. It is a place full of surprises and magnificent views.
You will notice the green fields and woods, the grey of the granite, the bright colours of the heathers, ganisters, oleanders or brooms and ancient small and picturesque villages.
Here you can still see people herding their cows, in the wintertime protected from wind and rain by the traditional black woollen capes.
Further down, there are woods with oak trees, chestnut trees and pines, interspersed by brooks and waterfalls, while the orange groves and the granite houses and chapels of the the villages also add their touch to the landscape.
Many of the Roman roads with their typical large uneven stones have survived the ages.
All this makes the the Caramulo an excellent walking area.
Caramulinho and the Cabeço de Neve
A well-known look-out point that can be reached by car is the “Cabeço de Neve” (“Snowy Peak”), but if you take the trouble to climb the “Caramulinho”, the highest point of the range at 1.075 meters, you have an even better view and on clear days the Serra provides a wide view of the area.
In the south you can see the Serra da Estrela, the highest mountain of Portugal across the wide valley between the two mountain ranges, and in the west the city of Aveiro and the sea.
The Caramulo Museum - Art and classic cars
The history of the Caramulo Museum explains why it is really two different museums: it was founded in the 1950´s by the brothers Abel and João de Lacerda, the first an art lover, the second a lover of antique cars.
The Caramulo Museun is only 45 minutes by car from Abelenda Bike Rental.
The Car Museum
The car museum has 70 cars and 30 motorcycles in permanent exhibition, all with the original motor, and in running condition. They are taken out on the road once a year.
Among the cars that can be seen in the museum are: the oldest car in Portugal that still works (a 1899 Peugot), the Bugatti that broke the speed record at more than 200 km/h in 1931, and two cars owned by the Portugese dictator Salazar (an armoured Mercedes-benz and a Cadillac).
The antique car time trail, every year in September
A special atraction organized by the Caramulo Museum is the annual car festival on the first weekend of September, including a hill climb (time trial) for classic cars from Portugal and abroad.
The Art Collection
The art collection is extremely varied. It contains for instance paintings by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Dufy and Legér, but also a fine selection of ceramics from many different periods, and four monumental 16th century tapestries.
Summer Timetable: From 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00.
Winter Timetable: From 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00.
The Museu do Caramulo is open all year, except on Christmas Eve and on the morning of Christmas day, on the 1st of January, morning of Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
More information: www.museu-caramulo.net (in English)
The black clay pottery of Molelos - Caramulo
Like in other parts of Portugal, many old crafts are still practised in the Tondela region. This area is especially know for it´s black clay pottery, which is centered in Molelos
On your way from Abelenda Bike Rental to the Caramulo and just before the mountains, you’ll pass through the village of Molelos, where this ancient art ( known as “Barro Negro” or “Louça Preta”) is kept alive in several workshops (you will see the signs as you pass through the village).
You can see exhibitions of the pottery here, as well as buy it. Sometimes it is also possible to take a look inside the workshop or get a demonstration.
The Botanical Reserve of Cambarinho
The botanical reserve of Cambarinho was created to protect a rare species of Rhodondendron locally known as “Loendro”, as well as the otter, which has also become rare in Europe.
The best time to vist the reserve is obviously when the rhodondendrons are in bloom, which is roughly from April to June.
There is an excellent and well signalled walking route.