Mountains: Travel and tourism

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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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Hotel Serra da Estrela Hotel Serra da Estrela
Penhas da Saúde, Covilhã
$$$$ (100 to 150 euros)

Hotel Serra da Estrela is the highest hotel facility in Portugal, situated in the heart of the Serra da Estrela mountains. It has recently been renewed, and it caters for families, adventure travelers, mountain bikers, trekking holidays and corporate meetings.

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