Stage 2
Stage 2 / V. N. de Foz Côa - Covilhã / 167 km / 18 May
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V. N. de Foz Côa

Located in the Alto Douro region, in an area of ​​schist lands also known as "Terra Quente", Vila Nova de Foz Côa is a city, seat of county, which saw its name run across borders by the discovery and classification as World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO exhibition of its outdoor Paleolithic rock engravings in the Côa River valley, one of the largest archeological centers of rock art in Europe.

It is also known as the "Capital of the Amendoeira", due to the great density of this tree in the county, in part derived from the special microclimate of Mediterranean character that is made here, allowing unique landscapes when these almond trees bloom and dress the fields of white and pink, usually in the second week of February continuing until the first days of March.

This agricultural world shapes the landscape of vineyards, olive groves and the almond trees, allowing unique panoramas of great beauty, among hills and valleys, where water courses abound.

Throughout the county there are Rural Villages, schistous, where tradition and customs still prevail.

The Patrimonial value of the county of Foz Côa is great, in an area of ​​great archaeological interest, having even been discovered and classified about 195 sites. In these places are castles, churches, chapels, pillars, lots, bridges and Roman roads, which demonstrate the mark of the populations who have lived here and wrote the history for centuries.

In the town of Vila Nova de Foz Côa there is a religious fervor in its beautiful Mother Church, with Manueline façade, and in the many chapels, such as Santa Quiteria (thought to have once been a synagogue), St. Peter and Santa Barbara or the Baroque Chapel of St. Anthony. Some stately and emblazoned houses enrich the city's architectural heritage, such as the Casa dos Andrades. The Clock Tower, on the site of the Castle, demonstrates the military architecture of the past.

Covilhã

Located on the slope of Serra da Estrela, facing East, this city, seat of county, is located at about 700 meters of altitude and is the most important urban center of the Serra da Estrela area.

With a long history and human occupation from remote times, Covilhã has in its wool industry one of its main references. This industry began in the region in the time of King D. Sancho I, was developed by the Jewish community, having gained a new impulse in 1763 under the action of Marquês de Pombal that here founded the Royal Factory of Panos, becoming the largest wool production center in the country.

Covilhã is also known for being the birthplace of discoverers and explorers who gave new worlds to the world during the time of the Portuguese Discoveries, and even received Prince Henry the Navigator, the title of Lord of Covilhã.

There are several points of interest in this dynamic city and its surroundings, with a pleasant historical center, with places such as the ancient Judiaria, with its narrow streets and Manueline windows, the Chapel of Saint Martin, the Chapel of Santa Cruz or the Museum of the Wool. In fact, the Real Fábrica de Panos, where the University of Beira Interior and the Woolen Museum currently operate, are important legacies for the true knowledge of this region.

Parks, gardens, manor houses, and many Churches demonstrate the religious fervor of the region, and are pleasant and interesting heritage patrimony of this zone.

The University, a variety of fairs and markets, commerce and all the movement of this city make it clear that Covilhã is a lively and productive center.

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On the second day, one of the most special Ride Across Portugal's stages awaits all participants.

The arrival at Alto da Torre (1,993m high) - the same iconic Volta a Portugal's queen stage finish - makes this an unforgettable stage. Not only due to its difficult challenge and need for personal overcoming, but also for Serra da Estrela's landscapes and unique images.

But before arriving at this highly symbolic cycling spot in Portugal, the athletes will travel through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in this country, with the final ascent being done through the fantastic Zêzere Glacier Valley.

The connection between Alto da Torre and the city of Covilhã, which hosts the end of this stage, is made in constant descent (about 20 km) through a breathtaking landscape.

Many stories of the day are shared among all participants during dinner, which will be served in the cozy and comfortable Pura Lã Hotel - Wool Valley Hotel & Spa, which welcomes the brave climbers after their long downhill descent from the Tower to Covilhã.

Pocinho High Perfomance Sports Center

The High Income Center (CAR) of Pocinho is promoted by the municipality of Vila Nova de Foz Côa and is intended for the practice of water sports, with relevance to rowing and canoeing, among other sports.

The CAR is already a reference in high competition, both nationally and internationally, and can accommodate up to 159 athletes in top facilities for the practice, enjoying an extraordinary view and unique landscape framing, in an area of ​​8000 m2.

Alongside the training and sports aspect, including adapted sport, the CAR is prepared with all the necessary conditions to receive various events at national or international level, with accommodation zone, social zone and training zone.

The CAR is a place of attraction for international sportsmen, but also as a leading landmark, in a privileged country on the route of international tourism architecture, in the territory classified by UNESCO with two world heritage: "Valley Rock Prints the Côa "and" Alto Douro Vinhateiro ".

PuraLã - Wool Valley Hotel & SPA

Completely renovated, the Puralã - Wool Valley Hotel & SPA, a Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel, appears in the market as a portal of offer of the local community and the history of the city of Covilhã and its identity mark: Wool, wires, wool, industry, ...

Puralã - Wool Valley Hotel & SPA offers air-conditioned rooms and a buffet breakfast. It features the Natura Club & Spa, which offers various beauty treatments and therapeutic massages. Covilhã Train Station is 2 km away.

Puralã offers suites and rooms with private bathrooms. Some rooms provide a private hot tub.

Guests can enjoy à la carte dishes or a full buffet in the hotel restaurant.

Leisure facilities include indoor and outdoor pools complete with seating areas. The hotel also has a children's club.

Puralã - Wool Valley Hotel & SPA is 3 km from Covilhã city center.