In 2006 the owners of almost all houses of Casal de São Simão have created the “Associação Refúgios de Pedra” (The Stone Refuges’ Association). The main objectives were, and still are, the promotion, recovery and preservation of the environmental and cultural heritage not only of the village but also of its neighbourhood in a sustainable way. It also plays an important role as being the messenger of all of the in habitants at official departments such as the Municipality or Tourism Office.
The Association has boosted the tourist promotion of the Schist Villages through the guidance of journalists (from Portugal and abroad) who have come to know the tourism potential of Casal de SãoSimão.
The cleaning of the surrounding of Casal to prevent forest fires in summer has also been a concern, which has been done with the cooperation of all residents.
The opening of the pedestrian walkway connecting Casal de São Simão to Ferrarias de S. João and the Schist Pathway, both routes in the surrounding of Casal, are two projects already completed. The amount of people who travel throughout the year these tracks show that this was a safe bet. The success of these two pathways led the City Hall of Figueiró dos Vinhos to launch two new projects: the pedestrian walkway connecting the mouth of the Stream of Alge to Casal de São Simão, which is almost completed, and another one from the spring to the mouth of stream of Alge that will go throughout all of its length. These two will be part of a Great Route.
The cooperation and presence in some activities promoted by the City Hall of Figueiró dos Vinhos, is a way to participate in the life of the region and also a priority for the Association.
After joining the Schist Villages’network, the village has gone through major changes. The improvement of infrastructure by the City Hall of Figueiró dos Vinhos and the construction of a multipurpose building, consisting of an auditorium, a regional product store and a restaurant have brought new challenges to the village and its inhabitants.
The Association is available for any further inquiries and will appreciate your opinion and suggestions. Please contact us.