Serra da Estrela, at the top of the world
If there is a destination in Portugal capable of pleasing all tastes, that is surely Serra da Estrela.
There are several legends and stories that are told throughout the region, from enchanted moiras to the adventures of Viriato, Lusitanian leader who resisted the Roman invasions. However, the oldest and most consensual one speaks to us of a young shepherd who, from his distant village, dreamed of climbing to the top of a huge massif that he saw as a child. A star will have appeared to him in dreams to guide his steps.
The shepherd went on his way, having his dog as the only company, and at the end of a long and dangerous trip, he reached the peak of the mountain, remaining there and devoting himself to grazing. It was known that on certain nights he spoke with his star, the brightest of the firmament.
The story came to be known to a mighty king who, in a private audience, offered him all possible and imaginary riches in exchange for this star. Having the pastor vehemently refused and returned to the humility of his hut, the star went on to visit him and sing to him every night. The pastor died many years ago, but the oldest affirm vehemently that the star returns every night to the top of the mountain, the Serra da Estrela, in search of his faithful companion.
A gem of nature, whether winter or summer
Serra da Estrela is an idyllic setting, perfect for escaping stress and being in perfect communion with nature. It is the only place in Portugal where you can practice skiing, snowboarding and motor skiing, while also offering a synthetic snow track for skiing at any time of the year.
The medicinal spa and comfortable mountain hotels and hostels, with their relaxing spas, are the perfect getaway for a romantic getaway of two, an adventure weekend with friends or a family winter holiday. The possibilities are immense.
In the summer, you have to put on your boots and explore the almost 100,000 hectares of natural park, served by more than 300 kilometers of trails. The beauty of the Serra is indescribable, with some "must visit" places, such as the glacial valleys of Loriga and Manteigas, the Covão d'Ameia, the Poço do Inferno and the nascent of the Zêzere and Mondego, the former being the biggest river with its nascent in Portugal. Indispensable, too, is to travel the 25 Lagoons route and, for the most prepared and courageous, lose themselves in the beauty of the Vale das Éguas, and discover the enigmatic White Pebble, in the Golden Cliffs, a beautiful site of pink quartz.
If you are in luck, you will be able to see some of the various species of the local fauna, such as wild boar, otters, foxes, wolves and the famous mountain lizard, an endemic subspecies of the Serra da Estrela.
Serra da Estrela invites you to adventure, and nothing better than a well-deserved rest at the table, with Beirã's gastronomy.
Of international fame, the Serra da Estrela Cheese is even the star of the region's snacks, produced with milk from indigenous sheep, since the 12th century.
But the perdition delicacies also include sausages, ham, wild boar, lamb and roasted goat, among others. Be sure to taste the fruity Olive Oil of Beira Interior, honey, chestnuts and delicious Cherries of Cova da Beira. In the region of Turismo da Serra da Estrela there are also two important Wine Demarcated Regions: Dão and Beira Interior.
Be sure to also discover the village of Manteigas and take a walk in the historic towns of Serra da Estrela, such as Covilhã, Gouveia, Guarda or Seia.
And since it is in the region, be sure to make the route of the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal, a unique collection of the history of the country.