Trans Serrano is an activity group based in Gois. They specialise in kayaking trips, pony trekking, hikes and mountain adventures. I took full advantage of their kayaking trips while staying at Visao dos Campos in nearby Vila Nova de Poiares.
I have a real thing for kayaking so when the opportunity to paddle down the Mondego River came along I grabbed it and had a fantastic day as a result.
Trans Serrano deliver you to the start point of the trek, run through the basics of paddling and negotiating the river before getting your feet wet en route to commencing the trek. I spent some time talking to Davide and Joao, the former the day’s designated driver, the latter our river guide. Joao spoke excellent English as did the other kayakers which meant conversation was able to flow all day.
The trip was to be a leisurely one; a slow meander along the gentle and shallow waters of the Mondego along which tiny man-made beaches were occupied by sun seekers and the steep banks of hills and mountains were adorned by tiny white walled villages and tall pines.
The landscape between Gois and Coimbra is akin to a Canadian wilderness; the wide river dipping through gentle rapids in full view of the verdant mountains, tiny islands in the middle of the water giving us something to think about as we paddled and talked, all the while expertly led by Joao.
Our trek took us along a 20 kilometre stretch of the river and took around three hours. We finally arrived at a beach near Coimbra and after a quick dip in the cold, refreshing water we packed up and were delivered back to Gois; a winding road trip along the river.
The mountains are an incredible spectacle and seeing them from the river is an experience unlike any other. By road you don’t get the same sense of majesty and the little pockets of houses along the banks and on the hills are made less personal.
And there it is, the essence of the journey along the Mondego River with Trans Serrano, that the whole experience felt deeply personal making it one of those memorable occasions in life that you will always take with you.
Find out more information about Trans Serrano on their website: www.transserrano.com
Read about Visao dos Campos.
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