Portugal's schist villages

Vale do Ninho Nature Houses, Ferraria de São João: Three simple renovated stone cottages make for scenic-but-affordable contemporary accommodations. The property is highly eco-conscious, welcoming cyclists and offering bicycles for use during a guest's stay. Cottages from $127 for two, including breakfast (vn-nature.com).

Cerdeira Village, Cerdeira: Every cottage in this car-free village showcases the work of a different artist in keeping with that cottage's theme. Cottages from $74 for two, including breakfast (cerdeiravillage.com).

D. Sesnando, Penela: This contemporary restaurant has an impressive wine collection, with some 400 varieties of red (dsesnando.com).

A2Z Adventures, Leiria: Among the many Schist Village tours offered are bicycling and walking adventures that appeal to everyone, from endurance cyclists to leisure walkers who prefer to base out of one village. Tours can be guided or self-guided and include van support. Packages including transfers, lodging, activities start at $722 for a self-guided week based on double-room occupancy (a2z-adventures.com/en).

Jeanine Barone