4-Xtremes – Part 53: An unpleasant surprise and visit to Portugal’s ski resort

Series: 4-Xtremes – The World Tour

Recreation on the Torre.

Andrea and Mike had plenty to rediscover from sea level up to an altitude of 2,000 metres. Unfortunately, this also left its mark, as Andrea was left injured. But in the end, everything turned out fine in the tranquillity of Portugal’s mountains.


While last time we explored the cave and tunnel systems deep underground, this time we are taking you to the roof of the highest mountain in continental Portugal, Torre, which is almost 2,000 metres above sea level.

Our tour starts in the coastal town of Aveiro. Due to its magnificent Art Nouveau architecture and its branching network of canals, it is also known as the ‘Venice of Portugal’. The once influential commercial metropolis has now become a thriving university city. The Moliceiros – colourful, gondola-like boats gliding along the canals – are a real eye-catcher.

We cycle five kilometres further to the small beach town of Costa Nova with its striped beach huts and houses. Previously used by fishermen, the houses have been cleaned up and now serve to accommodate lodgings and restaurants.


Aveiro is also known as the Venice of Portugal because of its Art Nouveau architecture.
Aveiro is also known as the Venice of Portugal because of its Art Nouveau architecture.
The colourful Moliceiros are a coveted photographic feature.
The colourful Moliceiros are a coveted photographic feature.
Costa Nova stands out with its colourful houses and wonderful beach.
Costa Nova stands out with its colourful houses and wonderful beach.
Out of the Axor, into the kayaking adventure: Mike explores the reservoir.
Out of the Axor, into the kayaking adventure: Mike explores the reservoir.

The falling warning sign.

Upon our return to the Axor, we were about to stow away our bicycles when the red and white striped warning sign fell from its cover from a height of two metres directly with its sharp edge onto Andrea’s Achilles tendon, leaving behind a gaping wound. Mike immediately applied a compression bandage while I performed an online search for the nearest clinic. Fortunately, this was not far away, and we were then able to set off again on our bicycles.

The doctor there reassured us that the Achilles tendon was unharmed, and that it was “just” an open and very painful wound. Not exactly the best start to our next destination: the Torre, upon which we were planning to hike. 


The posts said it all: in winter, the snow can reach a height of two metres here.
The posts said it all: in winter, the snow can reach a height of two metres here.
The Serra da Estrela nature park is rough and wild – the Axor is right in its element.
The Serra da Estrela nature park is rough and wild – the Axor is right in its element.
The Serra da Estrela nature park is rough and wild – the Axor is right in its element.
The Serra da Estrela nature park is rough and wild – the Axor is right in its element.
The Serra da Estrela nature park is rough and wild – the Axor is right in its element.
The Serra da Estrela nature park is rough and wild – the Axor is right in its element.
Fallen from time: the abandoned observatory on the summit of Torre.
Fallen from time: the abandoned observatory on the summit of Torre.

Driving fun for Mike with the Axor.

Cornering at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres – Mike experienced the thrill of driving in the Axor. But before that, we took a day off around the reservoir. Here we cooled down, rested our feet, and Mike explored the lake in a kayak. 

One day later, the Axor proved once again what it had to offer and continued winding its way up the mountain through the picturesque landscape. The route through the Serra da Estrela nature park was marked with verges of snow at least two metres high. With a temperature of 25 C even at this altitude, it was hard to imagine how this area would transform into a ski slope within just a few months. Maybe we will have to come to Portugal again in the winter. An abandoned observatory was awaiting us at the top of Torre.


We spent several days in the mountains. Because of the heatwave, heavy thunderstorms had been announced. This meant that we had to start searching for places where the Axor would not mark the highest point. After some truly impressive thunder, bright lightning and heavy rain showers, we could then start to enjoy the magnificent views and the tranquillity of nature. It was a good place to stop again before we headed off on our summer and autumn route taking in seven new countries.


4-Xtremes – The World Tour.

An unparalleled journey.

Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the adventurous pair.

You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.


Photos: 4-Xtremes

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