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Hiking the Serra do Bucaco in Luso, Portugal.

Forest in Serra do BuçacoStairwell in Serra do BuçacoVineyard in PortugalSerra do Buçaco in Luso, Portugal

Serra do Buçaco, a set on Flickr.

Hiking the Serra do Bucaco in Luso, Portugal.

There’s nothing like a fulfilling day trip outside of a big city. After a few days in Coimbra, Portugal I found myself frequenting the same cafe in the city center trying to avoid the winter chill. Traveling during the winter in Europe isn’t the most pleasant experience at times.

A few travelers staying at my Hostel were discussing taking a day trip to a near by forest/park called Serra do Buçaco that sounded really interesting. Breathtaking views, castles and a little bit of nature. Couldn’t turn that one down. We made plans to leave early the next morning to ensure we had a full day to explore.

We were privileged to see some sunshine in the morning and although it was still cold outside it made the trip much more enjoyable. We headed for the bus terminal to find a bus heading to Luso 30km away. This plan failed after waiting for an hour with no bus showing up. Plan B was to take the train which saved us some money. The train sped off to the city limits and into vast fields with vineyards and orchards as well as steep cliffs on the North West side. We must have been distracted by the views as we missed the Luso train station. We ended up several kilometers north in Trezoi.

We were stuck there. With no train heading back until 3 hours later we didn’t have many options. We sat in a small cafe in the village nearby and tried to figure out what to do. It was decided that we walk up to the main road and hitch hike back towards Luso. This turned into a bigger adventure than I thought.

About 20 minutes of walking and we finally got a ride from a local guy. His car was tiny but we all managed to climb in. We told him we were heading to the forest and he knew exactly where to take us. It was a relief to be back on track. The road was really windy and narrow climbing up and down through valleys. The scenery of Portugal is simply amazing.

We arrived at the entrance to the park and we said our thank you’s and goodbyes. He was a very kind genuine guy. The park entrance had a massive hotel and beautiful garden surrounding it. We followed a path through the garden into the park. After a few minutes of walking we were privileged to witness some of the most incredible views in Luso. Incredible castles embedded in the mountain side were visible from where we stood. The forest was a rich green heading downwards into the valley below.

Serra do Buçaco is located in Luso, Portugal. It’s about 30km north of Coimbra, Portugal and easily accessible by train or bus.