An easy hike, the Espírito Santo trail (4.6km; 1hr 30min), through typical Malcata heather and oak-wood scenery, starts near the village of Quadrazais. We hesitate to say you can’t get lost, but it would be difficult.
Drive 15km down the minor but good 538 road from Sabugal. At Quadrazais, take the Vale de Espinho road and 500m down this road take the right turn down a good dirt track (signposted “Reserva Natural, Rio Côa”) for 300m to the River Côa. Drive over the bridge to the parking and picnic area and then walk up to the trail information board. Don’t turn left for the chapel, but head straight up the track by the side of the wire fence and when you reach a T-junction after 750m, turn right. The track skirts the flank of a hill, through pine nurseries, and after 1.25km meets another T-junction at a ruined building, where you turn left (a wooden “PR1” marker shows the turn). Continue for another 1km, through shady oak, reaching a left turn on a rise with wind turbine views (again, there’s a wooden “PR1” marker). Turn left here and it’s then 1.6km around the other flank of the hill, dropping down to the chapel and river, where you started.
It’s nice to combine this walk with lunch at the appealing Trutal Côa restaurant (open all year, lunch and dinner; closed Wed; t271 606 227), located at the trout farm, just a few kilometres away – it’s sited 2km before the village of Vale de Espinho.