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Exploring the Mountain Cities of Portugal

Portugal is a nation famed for its stunning coastline and beaches, but it is also home to some of the most beautiful mountain cities in Europe. From the towering peaks of Serra da Estrela to the vibrant city of Braga, Portugal’s mountain cities offer a wealth of cultural and natural attractions. Here, we take a closer look at some of the most fascinating mountain cities in Portugal.

Serra da Estrela

Located in the heart of the Serra da Estrela, this mountain-top settlement is the highest point in mainland Portugal. This is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, with its dramatic mountain scenery and array of hiking trails, from easy nature trails to more challenging hikes. Adventure seekers can also go canyoning, paragliding or biking.

Serra da Estrela is also known for its traditional stone architecture, which has been preserved despite its popularity as a tourist destination. Visitors can explore the cobbled streets, sample local delicacies, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. For those who prefer to stay in one spot, there are plenty of accommodation options, ranging from luxury resorts to rural guesthouses.

The city is also home to some of the most impressive churches and monasteries in the country, including the Capela de Nossa Senhora da Estrela and the Monastery of Santa Maria de Lamas. Art lovers can also check out the city’s art galleries and museums, which showcase the works of local and international artists.

Braga

Famously referred to as the ‘Rome of Portugal’, Braga is a city filled with grand churches, ancient monuments and an impressive university. Located in the foothills of the Serra do Gerês, it is a popular destination for visitors who want to explore the region’s history and culture.

The city is home to some of Portugal’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Bom Jesus de Braga and the Sé de Braga. Visitors can also explore the city’s many parks and gardens, take a tour of the local wineries, and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

Braga is also known for its considerable gastronomic offerings, with a wide range of restaurants and bars serving traditional Portuguese dishes. For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are also plenty of international restaurants serving up dishes from around the world.

Covilhã

Covilhã is a picturesque mountain city located in the Serra da Estrela. This charming city is home to a university, so it is a popular destination for students and academics alike.

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The city is renowned for its unique architecture, with many of its buildings built in the traditional Portuguese style. It is also home to some of the most impressive churches and monasteries in the country, such as the Monastery of Santa Maria de Lamas and the Capela de Nossa Senhora da Estrela.

Covilhã is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its lush green hills and stunning mountain scenery. Visitors can go hiking, biking, and horseback riding, or take a cable car ride up the mountain for breathtaking views of the city.

Viseu

Viseu is a city located in the foothills of the Serra de Estrela. This city is renowned for its cultural heritage, with a wealth of historical monuments and museums. Visitors can explore the city’s churches, such as the Cathedral of Viseu, or take a stroll through its winding streets and alleys.

Viseu is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with its bustling bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best wineries in the region, so visitors can sample the local wines and spirits.

Viseu is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its hiking trails, mountain biking, and horseback riding. For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of rock-climbing and paragliding opportunities.

Guarda

Guarda is located in the Serra da Estrela and is one of the oldest cities in Portugal. This city is renowned for its stunning architecture, with its many historic churches and monuments. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The city is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

Vila Real

Vila Real is located in the northern region of Portugal and is home to some of the country’s most striking architecture. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The city is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

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Vila Nova de Foz Côa

Vila Nova de Foz Côa is a small town located in the Serra da Estrela. This charming town is renowned for its unique architecture, with its many historic churches and monuments. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The town is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

Trancoso

Trancoso is a small town located in the Serra da Estrela. This charming town is renowned for its unique architecture, with its many historic churches and monuments. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The town is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

Penamacor

Penamacor is a small town located in the Serra da Estrela. This charming town is renowned for its unique architecture, with its many historic churches and monuments. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The town is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

Manteigas

Manteigas is a small town located in the Serra da Estrela. This charming town is renowned for its unique architecture, with its many historic churches and monuments. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The town is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

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Santiago do Cacém

Santiago do Cacém is a small town located in the Serra da Estrela. This charming town is renowned for its unique architecture, with its many historic churches and monuments. Visitors can explore the city’s winding streets and alleys, or take a tour of the nearby wineries.

The town is also known for its lively nightlife, with its many bars and clubs. It is also home to some of the best restaurants in the region, so visitors can sample the local cuisine.

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities for rock-climbing, paragliding and mountain biking. There are also plenty of hiking trails, so visitors can explore the stunning scenery of the Serra da Estrela.

Summary

From the alpine terrain of Serra da Estrela to the vibrant city of Braga, Portugal’s mountain cities offer a wealth of cultural and natural attractions. From hiking and biking trails to wineries and fine dining, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or an adventure, the mountain cities of Portugal have something for everyone.

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