The bicycles are already set, and registration is now open for another edition of the great Castles Quest adventure. A unique event in Portugal that allows participants to experience the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal.

From September 15 – 23, 2018, the “knights” will once again set out to conquer villages, castles, and fortresses after last year’s edition’s tremendous success. Instead of horses, they will mount mountain bicycles, making The Castles Quest a particularly stimulating challenge that participants will reminisce about.

This is a totally self-supported adventure that may be experienced solo or in teams of two or four members. The participant is on their own and at their own risk, following a bikepacking philosophy. The challenge is to cover hundreds of kilometers with total autonomy through locations of elevated historical interest, such as the territories where the Historical Villages of Portugal are located. The cyclists’ resistance and sense of direction will be put to the test.

The Castles Quest is not a competition since there are no classifications or points or winners or losers. Nevertheless, the mission has to be finished within a maximum time limit.

The challenge can be faced in two categories: an eight-day adventure, which begins at 2:30 pm on September 15 and whose limit is until the end of September 23, and a shorter, two-day adventure, between September 22 and 23.

On the eight-day adventure, the course to take follows GR22 – Portugal’s Historical Villages Trail. The circular route is 600 kilometers long, beginning and ending in the Historical Village of Linhares da Beira, and the participants’ mission is to “conquer” the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal – Almeida, Belmonte, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Idanha-a-Velha, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Monsanto, Piódão, Sortelha, and Trancoso. The cyclists will go up a cumulative total of 13,398 meters.

Participants of the two-day adventure will also pedal along GR22 for 329 kilometers. Departure and arrival will also be in Linhares da Beira.

The participants who are able to complete the mission, conquering all the desired Historical Villages of Portugal, shall be named noble “knights” of The Castles Quest, a title exclusively certified by the Historical Villages of Portugal, the entity promoting the initiative.

Different options for rest, meals, and complementary services will be made available to the participants in advance through the Adventure Guide. Although the adventure is based on a concept of self-support, the organization ensures safety and technical assistance whenever solicited by the participants.

It is also important to underscore that besides the challenge and the adventure, The Castles Quest presents an extremely rich historical component – especially since the territories to be traversed offer an unmatched monumentality. In this regard, the organization will astound the participants with unexpected moments in such ways that make this challenge truly unforgettable.

Registration is open and can be made on the initiative’s website at

This is an initiative of the Historical Villages of Portugal, supported by Centro 2020, Portugal 2020, and the European Regional Development Fund.