East of Lousã stretches the Serra do Açor, a mountain range that borders the Serra da Estrela further to the northeast. It’s a very attractive region, a mix of bucolic river valleys, pine and eucalyptus forest and the higher traditional schist villages of the mountains proper. Góis, 20km northeast of Lousã, is the gateway, prettily set in a river valley, with the small market town of Arganil another 13km to the north. Less accessible but worth the effort is the marvellous schist village of Piódão, high in the peaks.
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- Góis and around
From Arganil, it’s around an hour’s beautiful drive via Coja to PIÓDÃO, a traditional schist village set on a steeply terraced mountainside. Despite the slight theme-park atmosphere, its narrow streets are great to explore and the whole village affords superb valley views. There’s a small museum on Largo Cónego Manuel Fernandes Nogueira (daily: June–Sept 10am–1pm & 2–6pm; Oct–May 9am–1pm & 2–5pm; free), which provides an insight into traditional village life with displays on subjects such as emigration and the economy, as well as daily toil. You can follow a couple of short walks from Piódão into the countryside – these are well signposted from the village, or pick up walk leaflets from the information office in the musuem.