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Touristic Itinerary – Historical Villages


Day 1 – In the morning we leave Lisbon towards Idanha-a-Velha, a small village near the Pônsul river, once an important Roman city and main place of the diocese during the Visigoth period, already in the late nineteenth century was identified as Civitas Igaediranorum, town which stood by the great Roman road that connected Merida (Spain) to Braga.

The baptistery and the ruins of what was thought to be the episcopal palace as well as the cathedral are the time of the Visigoths although this was transformed first into a mosque and later a Christian temple.

In recent decades it proceeded to the redevelopment of the town and many of its monuments and integrated into a small core museum where you can see a Portuguese-Roman epigraphic collection. Recovered was also the old olive press which houses another museum that deserves a closer look.

Then we go to Monsanto, the village most Portuguese of Portugal, is one of the most beautiful places in the country, especially the castle at the top of the cliff.

There are many reports of prehistoric times of the Roman occupation but it is known that during the time of the Christian reconquest D. Afonso Henriques recognized the strategic importance of local handing D. Gualdim Pais Order of Master of the Templars the function of defending and repopulate the region.

In the castle we will visit the Romanesque chapel of San Miguel, which is between the castle and Pawn Tower, built in the twelfth century, supposedly on a cult shrine to Mars and other gods, it is a place that allows amazing discoveries.

The Lagariça, construction excavated in rock with sheel and circular plan, was for centuries used for the manufacture of “wine of all,” only example of collective works of the old rural communities.

Castelo Novo is a village located on the eastern coast of the Gardunha mountain, about 650 meters of altitude, this historic village stands out for its harmonious layout and the good condition of the urban structure, the streets drawn according to the contour lines, reveal old manors, along side with stone houses, small wooden balconies and cobbled Roman remains.

Among the places to visit are the Town Hall, Jailhouse and Pelourinho, the Fountain of Bica, the Church of Mercy and the Castle. Just outside the village, on a small rise, we find Cabeço da Forca, condemned execution zone, significantly marked by two skulls carved into the rock. It is next to this village were are located the sources of Alardo mineral waters.


Day 2 – We start the day with a visit to Sortelha where the granite is the base material for all buildings of this historic village, from the houses to the cobblestones of the narrow streets, also the walls of the castle that rises up to 760 meters of altitude. This was rebuilt by Sancho II and suffered several facelifts.

Sortelha is still preserved and still surrounded by strong circular walls that extend the natural slopes surrounding the village as a ring.

In its metropolis still stands the citadel of the enclosure on top of a higher cliff with a square donjon tower in the center. Here covers up a broad horizon that distinguishes the Serra da Malcata and the final line of the Serra da Estrela. Besides the castle, are noteworthy, also, the mother church of the fourteenth century, dedicated to the Virgin of the Snows, a set of medieval graves dug into the rock and the Manueline pillory. Very curious are the granitic formations known as “Stone of the Kiss” and “Old woman Head”, two granitic rocks with unusual shapes.

We continue to Belmonte which is located on Mount Hope in the valley known as Cova da Beira, on the left bank of the River Zêzere. According to tradition, its name comes from the place where it is built (beautiful Mount or handsome Mount from the Portuguese Belmonte).

The first references to the village are associated with the history of the great county of Covilhã, with a charter of 1186, but quickly got himself charter from D. Sancho I in 1199. From the fifteenth century the history of the town merges with the history Cabral family.

Belmonte gained particular notoriety after the success of Pedro Alvares Cabral in the discovery of Brazil, visit the museum of discovery so that we can know in detail the entire story of the journey of the caravel to Brazil, still time to meet the Belmonte Castle birthplace of Pedro Alvares Cabral and enjoy the unique views of the Serra da Estrela, the river Zêzere and the chapel of the Manor House which serves as pantheon for the Cabral family and where are the remains of the great commander of the Seas Pedro Alvares Cabral.


Day 3 – We start our day at Castle Mendo towering in the 721 meters of altitude, capping a granite hill surrounded by deep valley Coa. The village is still walled, as it was when King Sancho I had it built in the early thirteenth century. Inside still remain a number of churches, some in ruins, some well-kept, curious representations of the legendary mayor Mendo and his wife Menda, gargoyles placed on the facade of two neighboring houses. Nearby a small but curious rural and ethnographic museum (Museum of Time and the Senses). At the top, the remains of a Romanesque church and a tower which has beautiful views set on the village and the surrounding landscape. Castelo Mendo had an important medieval fair, probably the first official fair of the country.

The next destination is the village of Almeida, who for centuries played an important role in the defense of the Portuguese territorial integrity.

Headquarters of an eminently agricultural municipality with 29 villages, this village was fortified in the Middle Ages and converted into the largest kingdom of strongholds from 1640.

With the restoration of Portuguese independence, it was decided to strengthen this critical point of the border, here was born a plant fortress star with 2.5 km perimeter. Target of major sieges in 1762 (Seven Years War) and 1809 (III French Invasion), this stronghold has reached our days almost intact, having been transformed into a tourist attraction.

The last medieval village visited on this day will be Castelo Rodrigo, built on top of an isolated hill at 820 metersof altitude. Castelo Rodrigo offers us a splendid view over the fields and hills around.

This ancient fortified village shows signs of human occupation dating back to the Paleolithic, the village has many interesting features such as the mother church, founded by the Hospitaller Brothers in 1192 and dedicated to Our Lady of Rocamador, the tank, served by two ports, one Gothic and the other Moorish, the pillory and the clock installed on an old tower.

The castle ruins reveal the anger of the population when, at the end of the reign of Philip II, set fire to the old palace of Cristóvão de Moura, one of the defenders of Spanish legitimacy in Portuguese territory.


Day 4 – Our day will start with a visit to the village of Trancoso, inside the medieval castle perfectly preserved in a village that lives facing a history of great battles and events.

The landscape of narrow streets and tight houses are overlooking the imposing castle.

The castle is binding on all the rest, built with five main towers and surrounding the yard in which stands the donjon shelters two torn doors in the wall giving access to the yard, even in their own keep, an open window horseshoe arch, probably built in the Muslim period allows to imagine any maiden to look into the village and see out through the main gate of the castle to look at her prince.

The village of Marialva depopulated of people but full of memories has soul princess but the body marked by wars and dropouts. D. Afonso Henriques protected it and José Saramago surrendered to it, so many are the charms of this military court lost in time.

The past called Marialva confused between history and legends that surround it, but people like to tell visitors that the earth takes its name from a beautiful Moorish lady called Maria Alva, desired by all but bewitched by a witch that made her be born with donkey feet. After she discovered his secret shee throw her self from the castle tower, cursing forever these parts.

The street Corredora once animated by medieval games that were held here, but today ennobled the main historical buildings of the extramural zone. Among them are the Solar dos Marialva Marquises framed by secular houses with balcony, the old granary (where they laid the olives before being taken to the mill) and the Casa do Leão (XVI century) bearing a picture of this animal on the facade.


Day 5 – Today known as the Capital of the paraglider, Linhares is an ancient medieval village already inhabited since Roman times, with brands of such times there are several graves, with a Roman road and part of the building now called Linhares Forum.

Its castle, a national monument built in 1291 during the reign of Dom Dinis, played an important role in the defense of Beira during the early days of nationality.

From here you can see a good part of the historical heritage of the local area remaining which also highlight the church of Romanesque origin guarding three paintings of Portuguese master Gão Vasco, the Manueline pillory, the cityhall, with real weapons of Dona Maria, solar Corte Real, Baroque building of the eighteenth century and the solar Brandão de Melo, neoclassical building of the nineteenth century.

Continue to Piodão where access to this characteristic village was until recently, a real adventure, as implied through the mountains of Goshawk by dirt roads. This isolation has allowed the perpetuation of cultural traits that date back to the Middle Ages and the maintenance of a strong community social scheme, threatened lately by the population exodus. In Piodão the houses are arranged in a curious way, natural amphitheater, using shale as a building material, both houses and roofs, as the streets pavement. In contrast to these dark colors, the local church appears painted a pristine white.

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Where are we going

Day 1 – Lisbon – Idanha-a-Velha – Monsanto – New Castle

Day 2 – Fundão – Sortelha – Belmonte – Guarda

Day 3 – Guarda – Castle Mendo – Almeida – Castelo Rodrigo

Day 4 – Guarda – Trancoso – Marialva

Day 5 – Guarda – Linhares – Piodão – Lisbon

Places to visit each day

Day 1: Hotel – Lisbon – Sé Cathedral Idanha a Velha – Menagem Tower – Roman walls – Pelourinho – Mother Church – Chapel of St. Sebastian – Solar Morocco – Castle and walls – Chapel of St. Michael – Church of Santa Maria of the Castle – Misericordia Church – Mather Church – Lucano Tower – Clock Tower – Castle and bell tower – Town Hall and pillory – Fountain of Bica -Matrix Church of the New Castle  – Solar dos gamboas – Solar Dom Silvestre – Hotel

Day 2: Hotel – Fundão – Castle and walls – Mother Church and Bell Tower – Town Hall and Jailhouse – Pelourinho – Steps of the Via Sacra – Facho Tower – House of Hawks – Belmonte Castle – Church of São Tiago – Chapels of Santo António and Calvary – Old Hall of the county – Synagogue – Centum Cellas – Jewish Museum – House of Cabrais – Pantheon of Cabrais – Hotel

Day 3: Hotel – Guarda – Church of Santa Maria do Castelo – Castle and walls – Pelourinho – Church of St. Vincent / Misericordia church – set of Manueline houses – Walls of Fort Square – Castle Ruins – Manege d’el Rei – Casamatas – City Hall – Vedoria – Headquarters of Squadrons – Clock Tower – Military Museum – Guarda – Hotel

Day 4: Hotel – Guarda – Trancoso Pillory – St. Peter’s Church – Castle and walls – the King Gate and Prado Doors – Ducal Palace – Casa dos Arcos – City Hall – St. Mary’s Church – Old Town Hall – Chapel of the Lord of Steps – sixteenth century Tank – Pillory – Santiago Church – Church of St. Peter – Castle – Manor House of the Marquises of Marialva – Guarda – Hotel

Day 5: Hotel – Guarda – Castle and walls – Church – Old Lodge – Town Hall and Pelourinho – Solar Corte Real – Misericordia Church – Jewish Quarter – Hostel – Source of São Caetano – Church – Museum Centre – Chapel of St. Pedro – Capela das Almas – Eira – Set of shale houses – Hotel – Lisbon

Places for hosting

1st Night – Fundão
2nd Night – Guarda
3rd Night – Guarda
4th Night – Guarda
5th Night – Lisbon

Included in the Tour

icon_certoHotel Double Room of 3, 4 or 5 Stars with comfort, quality, Internet service, restaurant and traditional decoration, rural or modern, breakfast included
icon_certoItinerary adapted at your own rhythm
icon_certoPrivate Transfers Airport/Hotel/Airport
icon_certoCostumized service from our driver/tour guide
icon_certoTop-of-the-range Mercedes vehicle
icon_certo24/7 customer service
icon_certoTime and visit all the sites advertised on Itinerary
icon_certoExcellent buying tips and the best traditional restaurants
icon_certoTraditional sweets
icon_certoBottled water on board
icon_certoWi-Fi onboard onboard
icon_certoMandatory Fees

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icon_cruzAirline Tickets
icon_cruzOther services not listed in the Itinerary
icon_cruzPaid entries on monuments


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