Mountains: Travel and tourism

Abade de Baçal Museum
Abade de Baçal Museum
In the northeast of Portugal, this region includes some of its finest scenery and unspoilt countryside, from the remote wilderness of Trás-os-Montes (literally, behind the mountains), to the small medieval towns and traditional customs of the Beiras and to the harsh beauty of Serra da Estrela, the highest range of mountains, rising up to nearly 2000 metres).

Bragança, in the extreme north, a walled citadel dating from the 12th century, lies in one of the most rough and isolated regions; the bitter winters likewise affect Guarda, the country's highest town, at 1056 metres.

Vila Real is a good starting point from which to visit the valley of the river Douro, filled with terraced vineyards which produce wine and Port.

Further south lies Viseu, the graceful capital of Beira Alta, which is the centre of the Dão wine-growing region and on the route to the border castles.

In the province of Beira Baixa, whose capital is Castelo Branco, don't miss Monsanto, voted the most typical village in Portugal.

Regional food includes the country's most famous cheese (queijo da Serra), named after Serra da Estrela, where it is still made by hand, and the sausages and cured meats of Mirandela.
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Casa Agrícola da Levada Casa Agrícola da Levada
Timpeira, Vila Real
This charming country home is just outside the town of Vila Real, up a long, tree-lined avenue that shields it from the road. Casa da Levada is a welcoming, family-owned bed and breakfast overlooking the Corgo River, a lovely spot for those who wish to combine the quiet of country life with easy access to the town.

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