Serra da Estrela

Serra da Estrela is situated in central Portugal and home to the highest mountain range, the ‘Star Mountain Range’. The area is home to mainland Portugal’s highest point, the Torre plateau (meaning ‘Tower’ in English) at 1993 metres (6539 feet) above sea level. Visitors can reach the summit due to Torre being accessible by a paved road.

 

Serra da Estrela Natural park is Portugal’s largest conservation area made up of 1,000 km² and hosts outstanding natural landscapes, striking mountain peaks, rivers, glacier lakes and abundant wildlife.  The region is steeped in rich history with many of it’s villages dating back to medieval times. The population of Serra da Estrela continue to practice strong cultural traditions which have been carried through generations such as farming, cheese making and craftmanship.

Serra da Estrela offers it’s visitors a chance to explore it’s beauty throughout the seasons. A wide variety of activities are available from winter skiing, walking, hiking, paragliding, cycling and dirt biking to name a few, not to mention the area’s stunning river beaches and unique flora and fauna. There are 375km of marked trails in the area which vary in degrees of difficulty. Serra da Estrela is also included in the the GR22 trail (The Historical Villages of Portugal) and offers 565km (351 miles) connecting 12 historical villages, with many cultural and historical highlights along the trail.

For those interested in history, the region is host to many international landmarks with some of it’s villages protected under the Aldeias Historicas de Portugal’.  Aldeias Historicas de Portugal (Portugal Historical Villages) aims to preserve the local people’s lifestyle and traditions, reduce the environmental footprint and maintain the heritage of the villages. Many of the villages host community gatherings, events and markets throughout the year to celebrate the pleasures of their gastronomy which are steeped in traditions of days gone by.
Visitors will find villages preserved in a rich history each with their own unique story to tell.  Festa’s are also held throughout carnival season which celebrate various harvests and religious saints of Portugal. Trancoso market is the area’s largest weekly market selling fresh produce, livestock, crafts and other local produce.  The town itself is of national historical importance due to it’s strategic location during the fight for Portugal’s independence during the middle ages, it’s monuments and architecture.