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In the heart of the country, descending towards the Tagus, lies a mountainous and beautiful region where there is still time to live.
Accommodation | Places of interest | Regional gastronomy | Festivities | Handicrafts

Castelo de Penedono

In the extreme north-eastern part of the country, serviced by modern roads, stone is the soul of the region: the granite of the temples and manors, the rocky mountainsides and the endurance of a people that has kept its dances and singing (with a strong Celtic influence), its festivities and processions which combined the pagan heritage with Christian rituals centuries ago.
Further south, one finds the green fields of the Douro, the continuation of the central mountain range (mention must be made to Serra da Estrela, highest point of continental Portugal -1992m-, a resort for practising winter sports and the place where the delicious 'queijo' -cheese- da Serra is made) and the amazing historic villages, where time seems to have stopped, such as Almeida, Sortelha, Monsanto, Belmonte, Piódão, and Idanha-a-Velha. The IP3 crosses the entire region from north to south, and the IP5, going from east to west, connects the coast with the hinterland, passing through the beautiful towns of Viseu and Guarda.

Douro River

Monfortinho Spa

An unspoilt natural paradise, with average temperatures of 14"C,/57"F (even though the summer temperatures can go as high as 26"C/78°F and in the highest regions the winter temperatures are sometimes negative), Montanhas are the ideal place for mountaineering, canoeing or resting in a thermal spa, such as Monfortinho, São Pedro do Sul, Caldas de Felqueira, Carvalhelhos, Pedras Salgadas, and Vidago, with its magnificent park, swimming pools and golf course.
Thanks to the predominant agriculture and grazing, the visitor Iis offered a luscious variety of delicacies (meats, sausages, cheeses and good wine), as well as the tranquillity of a people who still practises a form of communal life and for whom hospitality has long been its first instinct.



Bragança - Majestic city, with medieval castle and walls, amongst which is the Domus Municipalis, a unique example of civic Romanesque architecture. Special mention must be made to the Cathedral (16th century), Santa Maria Church, Casa da Misericórdia Chapel, Santa Clara Convent and Church (16th century), São Bento Convent and Church (17th-18th centuries), and the Abade de Baçal Museum. At the Railways Museum, 19th century locomotives and carriages.
Accommodation: Pousada São Bartolomeu

Episcopal gardens, Castelo Branco

Castelo Branco - Around the 13th century castle lies a medieval quarter, with its Manueline portals. In the old Episcopal Palace, is the Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior Museum. Other old monuments are the Paços do Concelho (16th-17th centuries), Graça Convent (16th-18th centuries), Santo António dos Capuchos Convent (16th century), Misericórida Velha (16th-18th centuries).
Chaves - Crossing the Tâmega river, the Roman bridge is one of the most characteristic images of the city. The 14thcentury castle houses the Archeology and Epigraphy Museum. The forts of São Francisco and São Neutel (18th century), the mother-church (Romanesque origin), and the Misericórdia Church (Baroque) are worthy of a visit. Notice the original windows of the houses in Rua Direita.

Tâmega river, Chaves

Guarda - The walls, the Towers, the old Jewish quarter and the houses of Dom João I and Barbadão call to mind the days of the medieval splendour. The Cathedral, Gothic in its origins, displays a Manueline portal and window as well as a Renaissance retable. Also deserving a visit are the churches of Senhora dos Remédios (16th century), Misericórdia (17th century), and São Vicente (18th century), and the Regional Museum. On the outskirts the Romanesque hermitage of Nossa Senhora de Mileu (11th-12th centuries).
Lamego - From the heart of a verdant park rises the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, with its magnificent Baroque staircase (686 steps). Medieval monuments: castle, tower-fortress (12th-13th centuries) and Almacave Church. Also worthwhile visiting are the Renaissance churches of Chagas and Santa Cruz, and the Regional Museum. In Balsemão, the chapel of Suevian-Byzantine origin (7th century).

Regional museum, Lamego

View from the castle, Monsanto

Monsanto - This historic village encloses the ancient Lusitanian settlement of Serra de Penha Garcia, the 12th-century castle and beautiful manor-houses (18th century), the mother-church and Misericbrdia Church (16th century). Nearby stands the Roman-Visigothic Chapel of Vira Corça.
Vila Real - Town with great religious architecture diversity: Cathedral and São Brás Chapel (Gothic); churches of São Pedro and Misericórdia (16th century), São Dinis (16-18th centuries) and the Baroque Capela Nova and Clérigos Church. Also worthwhile visiting is the famous Mateus Palace, a Baroque masterpiece, where cultural events are currently held.

Mateus Palace, Vila real

Chruch of Misericórdia, Viseu

Viseu - With fortifications of the probable campings left by the imperial legions from Rome, remains of the Gothic walls and the ancient doors of the 15th-16th centuries. Not to miss: Grão Vasco Museum, with important painting collections; the Cathedral of Romanesque origin; the Church of Terceiros de São Francisco, the Néris Convent, and the São Teotónio Hospital. Also the 17th-century church of the Monastery of Jesus and the town's Historic Museum.

Other places of interest Aguiar da Beira, Alcains, Alijó (Pousada), Almeida (Pousada), Belmonte (Pousada), Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Celorico da Beira, Covilhã, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Fundão, Gouveia, Linhares da Beira, Mangualde, Marão Mountain Range (Pousada), Marialva, Mesão Frio (Pousada), Miranda do Douro, Mirandela, Montalegre, Murça, Oliveira do Hospital, Penamacor, Peso da Régua, Pinhel, Ribeira de Pena, São João de Tarouca (12th-century Cistercian monastery), São Pedro do Sul, Seia, Sernancelhe, Serra da Estrela Natual Park (Pousada), Sortelha, Trancoso, Vila Flor, Vouzela.

There one will find a strong and flavourful cuisine. As can be judged by the "alheirãs" (sausages made of veal meat and bread) from Bragança, particularly popular in the winter, and the stew from Vila Real, the "feijoada à transmontana" or the very famous "bola de carne" (meat bread) from Lamego. Don't miss the excellent smoked ham and the young partridges from Pinhel, the eels and trouts from Sabuqal. The roasted kid baked in the oven over rice soaked in the meat's juice, and the "morceIas" (blood sausages) are typical of the southern areas of the mountains region, just as the "maranhos" (lamb and chicken giblets with rice) are typical of the Sertã area.

You should also taste the famous sheep cheese from the Serra do Estreia and the "tortas"
of the Beira Alta. Do not forget to top it all with some of the most popular regional wines such as those from Oporto in the Alto Douro province, or those from Dão in the areas south of the Douro river.

Bola de Carne
Bola de Carne



Festivity of the Crosses - Monsanto, May
São Mateus Fair - Viseu, September
Senhora dos Remédios Festivities - Lamego, September


Embroidered silk bedspreads from Castelo Branco
Ceramics and black pottery
Lace (bilros)
Copper and wrought-iron works

The following accomodation resources have their home page:
Pousada Barão de Forrester - Alijó
Pousada Convento de Belmonte - Belmonte
Pousada Senhora das Neves - Almeida
Pousada São Bartolomeu - Bragança
Pousada São Gonçalo - Amarante
Pousada São Lourenço - Manteigas (Serra da Estrela Natual Park)
Pousada Solar da Rede - Mesão Frio

Accommodation | Places of interest | Regional gastronomy
Festivities | Handicrafts

Portugal > Tourism > Mountains

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