Discover Portugal's enchanting historical villages

Lost among the mountains and valleys of the green landscape of the interior Central Region of Portugal, there are 12 simple villages full of legends and castles, flavours and traditions where travellers feel like losing themselves, never to be found again

By Aldeias Historicas De Portugal
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:39 BST
Portugal’s historical villages
Portugal’s historical villages

Almeida, Belmonte, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Idanha-a-Velha, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Monsanto, Piódão, Sortelha and Trancoso, Portugal's Historical Villages take you on a journey back to a time of kings and queens, and the epic and endless battles that made history as we know it today.

Therefore, travelling to the Historical Villages of Portugal is discovering the story of a country of daring conquerors through the stones of its pavements, and in its walls and castles, proudly and magnificently erected.

From Almeida to Trancoso, all of these villages are the perfect stage for moments of leisure and discovery. To be carried away by the stateliness of Almeida's fortification, which once defended Portugal from Napoleon Bonaparte; to discover Belmonte, the land of all the Cabrais; to be enthralled by the castles of either Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo or Castelo Rodrigo; to unveil the glorious past of Idanha-a-Velha, which was once Egitania; to let your imagination and your body fly in Linhares da Beira; to marvel at the towering beauties of Marialva and Monsanto; to be enraptured by Piódão, where history was forged in stone; to experience, in timeless Sortelha, a journey through past centuries; to enjoy the romantic magic of Trancoso, stage of the wedding of the Farmer King and the Holy Queen, everything is a memorable experience in the Historical Villages of Portugal. After all, they've been waiting for you for centuries.

To get to know the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal in all their splendour, the best thing to do is follow the Great Route 22 (GR22): a circular trail of around 370 miles, divided by 12 stages, starting and ending in each of the villages. Through ancestral paths, and becoming one with nature, you can discover the most fascinating nooks and crannies of these medieval villages. Along this route, you can wander through the most beautiful Portuguese natural parks which surround the Portuguese Historical Villages — the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the Douro International Natural Park, the Tejo International Natural Park, the Serra da Malcata Natural Reserve, the Regional Protected Landscape of the Serra da Gardunha and Açor mountain.

Discovering the Historical Villages of Portugal is an unforgettable experience, and no one can leave without the promise of returning one day.

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