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Serra da Estrela: snowy greatness

Serra da Estrela: a delight throughout seasons

Have you ever though what would be like to wake up and feel the fresh air of the mountains?

There’s a wonderland in Portugal where you can feel that throughout the four seasons of the year. Serra da Estrela is not a village but a whole mountain full of snowy greatness.

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The second highest mountain in the country

Serra da Estrela stands at 1993m of height, making it the highest continental point in the country. Second only to Montanha do Pico in Azores. 

The mountain is part of Serra da Estrela Natural Park, which has been the biggest protected area in Portugal since 1976. The park belongs to both districts of Guarda and Castelo Branco.  It has an immense bio diversity, given it’s varying temperatures and landscapes.  From this mountain, are born 4 rivers (Mondego, Zêzere, Alva and Âlvoco) which represents a tremendous hydrological value.

If you ever move here, you will come across several municipalities: Belmonte, Celorico da Beira, Covilhã, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Guarda, Manteigas, Oliveira do Hospital and Seia.  

Mountain views
Enjoy 4 seasons to the fullest

The Winter brings a gloomy atmosphere. With the glacier valleys freezing and the the amount of snow falling, the mountain is a gorgeous white vision.

It’s very cold but a great time to book a place, do some winter sports. The mountain has a ski resort and great tracks for you to have some fun. You can also visit some local villages and get some of their delicacies. 

In the Spring, the snow has melted mostly. You can take some trails such as Manteigas Trilhos Verdes or explore the route of historical villages through the regions of the park.

For those with special interest in flora, the plants and flowers are no longer frosted or covered in snow. They have flourished and take a range of wild exotic colours that make a beautiful painting.

In the Summer, you have crystal water running down the streams, natural pools and fluvial beaches. You can take trails and discover some of the waterfalls the mountains hides away in its vast landscapes.

Two amazing water attractions area Poço do Inferno and Covão dos Conchos.

Around Autumn, the landscape changes to an orange and red palette, warming your sight while the temperatures get lower again.  

Road in Manteigas
Serra da Estrela
Serra da Estrela
Serra da Estrela waterfall
What to count on

Guaranteed all year round, the sheep traffic jams are part of the region’s slow living lifestyle. Birdwatching is a very common activity around the area. And of course, you’ll see big furry dogs, typical of the mountain and named after it.

Adventure experiences are a high commodity between rock climbing, trekking, horseback riding. Besides snowboard, ski and sledding.

Given the therapeutic character of the mountain’s water, there’s a great offer of spas for people to relax, mostly in hotels or rural lodging. 

In this part of the country, foodies are in for a treat! The food is heavy but tasty. The typical foods of Serra da Estrela and its villages, their brand image, ranges from the cheese (Queijo da Serra, the most common), to a diversity of sausages and chourizo and the famous bread, which has whole museum honouring it in Seia

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