Located in inland central Portugal, this beautiful area called the Serra da Estrela is in fact a protected National Park. It is a wonderful place to explore the whole year around. In the summer it is not getting too hot, and on a clear day you might even be able to see the sea over 150 kilometres in the distance!
There is plenty to see and do. Dramatic crags and ravines makes this area a stunningly beautiful drive or hike.
There are several walking trails.
In winter this magical area is transformed into a glittering white kingdom.
The Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain ridge in Portugal with an altitude of almost 2000 meters at it´s highest point, the Torre (tower). The lowest temperatures in Portugal are registered here (as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius).The only ski resort in Portugal is situated in the Serra da Estrela, and for the Portuguese, the main attraction of the Serra da Estrela in winter is the snow. But even in summer you can ski, on the artificial ski slopes in Seia.
Linhares is one of the official Historical Villages of Portugal, and every care has been taken to retain the traditional aspect of the houses and streets. There are still many traces to be found here of the time of the Roman occupancy.
However, the main attraction of Linhares is no doubt the castle with it´s imposing towers. Of ancient origin, the form in which it can be visited today corresponds largely to that of the 13th century, when it formed a line of defence, together with the neighbouring castles of Celorico da Beira and Trancoso.
This museum, situated in the city of Seia at the north slope of the Serra da Estrela, is dedicated to the tradition, the history, and the art of Portuguese bread. It has four exhibition spaces, as well as a reconstruction of an old Portuguese grocery store. In the restaurant, all forms of Portuguese bread (produced in the museum’s own bakery), and many other traditional dishes, can be tasted.
More in formation at the site of the museum: www.museudopao.pt. In Portuguese, but it gives a good impression of the museum.
Closed on mondays.
The Serra da Estrela is on of the many regions in Portugal to boast a network of marked routes, which cover the whole of the Natural Park. There are three main trails.
Each of these trails takes between three to four days to complete; they are considered overall to be moderately difficult to difficult walking, as there are some steep climbs involved and long distances.
But there are many trails for only one day as well, starting and ending at the same place.
There are many walks in the Serra da Estrela. The following page gives good and detailed discriptions of walks near the village of Manteigas in de Serra da Estrela:
18 walks in the Serra da Estrela, near Manteigas
Abelenda Bike Rental,