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Distance - 1,000 kms. Difficulty - Ages. Circuit - Urban / Mountain Duration - 8 days

 

Castelo de Alomoural (Almourol Castle) - The Almourol Castle is situated on a small island that was already inhabited in Roman times of the peninsula, from the 8th century, was occupied by the Muslims, who have conquered the Visigoths. Within the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, Almourol was conquered by D. Afonso Henriques in 1129, which gave the Templar Order.

 

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Castelo Branco (White Castle) - Located in Beira Baixa, the Castelo Branco is home district and one of the largest counties in the country, the center of a vast plateau region between the basins of the rivers Pônsul and Ocresa.

Castelo Branco owes its name to the existence of a Luso-Roman fort, Castra Leuca, at the top of the Hill of Cardosa, where took place the settlement of this town, then dubbed Albi Castrum.

The city was conquered from the Moors in the 12th century, and later some areas were offered to the Temple Order, charging them of their settlement and defense, to who built the castle of the town.

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Monsanto (Historical Village) - Monsanto (most Portuguese of Portugal Village) is located northeast of Idanha Land, nestled on the slopes of a steep rise - the hill of Monsanto (Mons Sanctus) - which rises abruptly in the meadow and, in its highest point reaches 758 meters. The different sections of the slope and at the foot of the hill, there are scattered villages, attesting to the population shift toward the plain.

This is a very old place, where there is human presence since the Palaeolithic. Archaeological remains realize a Lusitanian Castro and Roman occupation in the field called S. Lourenço (St. Lawrence), at the foot of the hill. Remains of Visigoth and Arab stay were also found.

 

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Covilha - The city of Covilha is located in the southeastern slope of the Serra da Estrela and is one of the urban centers of greater importance in the region.

The highest point in mainland Portugal, the Tower (1993 m), belongs to the parishes of Unhais da Serra (Covilhã), São Pedro (Manteigas), Loriga (Seia) e Alvoco da Serra (Seia), being included in three municipalities: Covilha, Manteigas and Seia, but is located around 20 km from the urban center of Covilha, and therefore the nearest Portuguese city of the highest point in mainland Portugal.

 

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Belmonte (Historical Village) - The story of Belmonte arises normally associated with the history of the Cabrais and the Jews. It was the birthplace of Pedro Alvares Cabral, who in 1500 commanded the second armed to India, during which it was discovered officially Brazil.

The human presence in the current municipality of Belmonte is proven since the earliest times. The Anta Caria, the Castros of Caria and Chandeirinha certify the longevity of fixing the pre- and proto-history. The Roman presence is also evident by the testimony of Centum Tower Cellas or the Villa Quinta da Fórnea, waypoints, the road linking Mérida to the Guarda.

 

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Guarda - In the early centuries of Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula inhabited the region of Guarda Lusitanian people. Including the Igaeditani, the Oppidani Lancienses and Transcudani. These people united under an authentic federation were to resist the Romanization for two centuries. Unlike Latinized these people did not consume wine, but before beer acorn. His weapon of choice was the “falcate” - a sword curve - which easily broke the Roman swords because of its metallurgical superiority. Their pagan gods also differed from the Romans can still meet some Lusitanian religious inscriptions in temples as the Cabeço of Fráguas.

The best known and consensual explanation of the meaning of the epithet of "city of five F's' meaning Forte (strong), Farta (abundant), Fria (Cold), Fiel (loyal) and Formosa (taiwan). The explanation of these Fs as subsequently adapted to other cities is simple:

Forte (strong): the castle tower, the walls and the geographical position demonstrate their strength; Farta (abundant): Due to the richness of the Mondego valley; Fria (Cold): the proximity to the Serra da Estrela and the fact that it is situated at an altitude explain this F Fiel (loyal): because Álvaro Gil Cabral - which was Alcaide-Mor Castle Guard and great great grandfather of Pedro Alvares Cabral - refused to surrender the keys of the city to the King of Castile during the 1383-85 crisis. Breath still had to fight in the Battle of Aljubarrota and take a seat in the Cortes 1385 where elected Master of Avis (John I) as King; Formosa (taiwan): for its natural beauty.

 

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Almeida (Historical Village) - Also known as "Rock Star," Almeida is located in the district of Guarda, Beira Interior region, specifically in an area called Land of Riba-Coa. Your border character is quite remarkable, since all his confrontation east is with Spain, forming part of the border Portugal-Spain, better known as Ray, meaning that this area also called "Arraiana region."

Received a charter of King Dinis in 1296.

The place names have literal translation from Arabic: Terra Plana ('Flatland)', which makes perfect sense since the territory of the county is largely plateau area. Across the south of the county to the north, and one of the few Portuguese rivers flowing in this direction, the Côa river valley that opens an abrupt plateau, dividing the city into two parts well-creased.

 

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Castelo Rodrigo (Historical Village) - Known as the "Fortress of the turrets," the territory of Riba-Coa was occupied since ancient times, with Paleolithic remains, megalithic, the Celtic culture, Romans and Arabs. The concern with the reorganization and settlement of this area at the time of the reconquest is reflected in donations to the friars Salamantinos, founders of the Order of St. Julian Pereiro, and the first monks of Santa Maria de Aguiar, coming from Zamora, of the Monastery Santa Maria de Aguiar, of Cistercian foundation of the 12th century, it is important testimony.

Captured from the Arabs in the 11th century and dependent on the Kingdom of León, was elevated to municipality village by Alfonso IX, definitely integrating the Portuguese territory to September 12, 1297, by the Treaty of Alcanizes - signed by King Dinis, which confirmed its Foral Trancoso and sent repopulate and rebuild the castle, repeated action of Ferdinand I, which also awarded him Charter Fair, in 1373.

Castelo Rodrigo is surrounded by a walled waist initially composed of 13 turrets (like de Ávila). Retains its medieval maps, which radiates from the citadel and follows the topography. Its streets are interesting houses, some Manueline, other Arab buildings.

Being on the route of pilgrims to Compostela, here stood the Church of Our Lady. Of Rocamador, founded by a brotherhood of hospitable brothers coming from France in the 13th century.

 

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Trancoso (Historical Village) - Located on top of a plateau, which overlooks a vast territory between the Serra da Estrela and the Douro valley, developed around its castle, founded in the 8th century.

Throughout the Middle Ages, was an extremely important strategic military place, installed in an unstable border region, where there were several conflicts and battles, first among Christians and Muslims and later between Portugal and neighboring kingdoms.

With Foral granted by D. Afonso Henriques (1162-65), at the dawn of nationality, Trancoso was already one of the main towns in the region. It would also be an important trading center; where from D. Afonso III (1273) went to perform one of the oldest and busiest frank fairs in the kingdom, perpetuated in our days by the famed Feira de S. Bartolomeu (St. Bartholomew Fair)

The origin of the name "Trancoso" motivates today speculation and imagination. There are at least two explanations, both mythological bent. Such explanations, however, may not be as fanciful as the match would be led to think. One of these explanations states that the name derives from "troncoso", that is, the name would be to be due to the fact that there are large trees in the area where the city was founded. The second, which was considered by Charles Joly (1818-1902) in 1893, one of the largest trees of Europe, no longer exists, but today you can see impressive trees as the "Linden Great Trancoso". Another explanation, which specifically specific an act of foundation, rather like Rome (cf. Foundation of Rome), states that the city will have been founded by an emissary coming from Egypt or Ethiopia. The emissary name would be Awseya Tarakos, who later would become king of Ethiopia, the Solomonic dynasty. There are also other European cities whose names have some similarities with Trancoso, and there may be some relationship between them (Tarragona, Tarascon, etc.). In Portugal, currently, you can find Trancoso assignment to other locations and places. There is also a river in northern Portugal, the Minho River tributary that name.

 

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Viseu - The origins of the city of Viseu date back to the Celtic period and with Romanization, was very important, perhaps due to the junction of Roman roads whose proof there are only the milestones. These noticeable align an axis which seems to correspond to the road Merida (Spain), with which intersectaria Olissipo Shut-Bracara bond, the other two poles very influential. Perhaps for that reason may be justified building the octagonal defensive structure, two kilometers perimeter - the Cava de Viriato.

Viseu is associated with Viriato figure, since it is thought that this Lusitanian hero may have been born in this region. After the Roman occupation of the peninsula, followed by the elevation of the city and diocesan already Visigoth domain in the 6th century

Even before the formation of the Portuguese Province, was several times residence of the counts Teresa and Henry, in 1123 it granted a charter. His son D. Afonso Henriques born in Viseu on 5 August de1109, according thesis of historian Almeida Fernandes. The second charter was granted by the son of the counts, D. Afonso Henriques in 1187, and confirmed by D. Afonso II, in 1217.

 

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Seia - Located on the western side of the Serra da Estrela, the city is 550 m altitude. The climate of the county is temperate with moderate temperatures in summer and cold in winter, with freezing temperatures and snow events, sometimes abundant in the higher parts of the Serra da Estrela. As for the rainfall regime, there is a short dry season, which includes the summer months of July and August.

The early human occupation of the site of the current Seia dates back to pre-Roman times, when the foundation of a village by Turduli, around the 4th century BC, known as Senna. The Turduli built a castro instead of Nogueira, among the mountains of Santana and Carvalha Outeiro. Defended themselves strategically in three forts, smaller, one in San Romao, another in Crestelo and the third in the current Seia. There are also remains of forts in Travancinha, Loriga and S. Romão.

When it was found the Roman invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, the Lusitano made of the mountain, then called Hermínios Montes, its headquarters, which has become a major obstacle to the invaders. This did not stop, however, that the general Galba had slaughtered 30,000 mountaineers Lusitanian.

 

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Piódão (Historical Village) - The Piodão "Nativity of the Hawk", village classified as "Public Interest", located in the Serra do ACOR, with an abrupt escarpment deployment and a tight mesh and sinuous structure, well suited the roughness of the surrounding area. Pastures of the Sierra de S. Pedro of Acor, full of springs, attracted the Lusitanian shepherds fed their flocks there. In medieval times, formed a small settlement that was given the name Piódam home, then moved to its present location, perhaps due to the installation of a Cistercian Monastery (which remain no longer traces) which will revamp the place to the 13th century In this monastery can be linked to ancient invocation of Santa Maria (common in Cistercian Abbeys) Mother Church temple redesigned in the 18th century, which has endowed him of a curious facade marked by thin cylindrical towers topped by cones.

 

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Arganil - Arganil is a delightful town, the county seat, in central Portugal, located in a mountainous region of great beauty, fertile vegetation and water courses.

The region has traces of Roman occupation since ancient times; there remains the permanence of primitive peoples in this region, as the Necropolis of Windmills, the Chalcolithic period, or the Roman Military Camp of Lomba do Canho.

The Heritage Arganil goes hand in hand with the history and beauty of the village, the owner of an enviable Historical Center, highlighting monuments such as the Mother Church, the Church of Mercy Chapel of the Lord of the Agony or the Pelourinho Vila.

About 2 km from the center, lays the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Alto dating from the 16th century, 500 meters high, celebrating in the 15 August a famous pilgrimage that attracts many visitors.

Surrounding the village of Arganil, are small traditional mountain villages that are worth knowing, located on the slopes and valleys of the beautiful hills of the region, as Vila Cova de Alva, Benfeita (integrated in the network "Schist Villages"), Coja, Malhada Chã, Barriosa  or the magnificent Piodão Village, one of the most beautiful in the country.

 

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Lousa (Schist Villages Network) - Lousã, an idea that stands out immediately is the fact that it might be a mountain sector and of great natural wealth. Protrudes so highlighted the fact that the main physical features of the municipality reflect, in an almost directly, the major structural lines defining, has long been the morphology of its territory, and that influenced the very human occupation in the region over the last centuries.

The Serra da Lousã and the Schist Villages are a rich and varied heritage / built and existing natural.

The Network of Schist Villages comprises 27 villages of 16 municipalities that are located in the center of Portugal, in the territory that lies between Castelo Branco and Coimbra. It is a territory consists mainly of shale mountains, surrounded and crossed by a good road network.

But just say this is too little. The mountains offer stones forming part of the identity of the area. With the stones became its history, but they made a future project. Villages that were in ruin, to disappear, gave an award winning tourist destination. It is something unique and remarkable for having done so in the most disadvantaged areas of the country.

People give us affection. The raw material of good host. Sympathetically. With comfort. Tastefully. With flavors. With a challenge. Discover the Schist Villages is to give and receive a word of meeting its inhabitants. If you give a few more conversation, will receive in exchange a life story.

 

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Tomar - town on the banks of the river Nabão, belonging to the Santarém district in the province of Ribatejo, was conquered from the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques in 1147 after being donated by the King to the Templars in 1159. The March 1, 1160 was established Take on the start of construction of the castle. D Gualdim Pais granted it a charter in 1162.

With the extinction of the Temple in 1312 by order of Pope Clement V, who wanted to see the Templars banned in Europe, was founded the Order of Christ Military. Because of the need to defend the Algarve border, the headquarters of this Order moved to Castro Marim. Thirty-seven years later, he returned to settle in Tomar specifically in his castle.

So take would be the originator center and main supporter of the Discoveries. Prince Henry, appointed by the Pope as Regedor the Order of Christ, was to settle in the Castle of Tomar.

It was elevated to city status in 1844 and was visited by Queen Maria II the following year.

 

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GASTRONOMY

 

Castelo Branco

- Laburdo

- Fry

- Stew kid

- Tripe stuffed

 

Guarda

- Serra cheese

- Grain soup

- Black pudding

- Sausages

- Maranhos

- Roast lamb

- Serrabulho fashion Border

- Ranch Seia

- Tijelada (sweet)

 

Viseu

- Kid's Grelheira

- Beira Alta Mace

- Veal Lafões

- Rancho de Viseu

 

WINES

 

Wine Region of Beira Interior

It is the most mountainous region of mainland Portugal, comprising some of the highest mountains of Portugal.

The climate suffers from an extreme continental influence, with major temperature variations, short, hot, dry summers, and long and very cold winters.

The soils are mostly granite, with small patches of shale and although unusual, sandy spots.

The Beira Interior is divided into three sub-regions, Castelo Rodrigo, Pinhel and Cova da Beira. Castelo Rodrigo and Pinhel, despite being separated by mountain ranges, share similar features.

In turn, the Cova da Beira presents different, extending from the foothills of the Serra da Estrela to the Tagus valley, south of Castelo Branco

The predominant white varieties are Arinto, Source Cal, Malvasia Fina, Tail Sheep and Syria, while in red prevail Bastard, Marufo, Rufete, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, with regular presence of very old vines.

 

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Wine Region Dão and Lafões

Surrounded by mountains in all directions, based on very poor granitic soils, the region Dão extends its vineyards scattered among pine forests at different altitudes, from the 1000 meters of Serra da Estrela up to 200 meters from low areas.

The vineyards are scattered and discontinuous, divided into multiple installments, with properties averaging areas almost negligible.

The mountains determine and shape the climate of the region containing the vineyards of the direct influence of the continental climate and the maritime influence. Poor soils are mostly granite.

In the white varieties protrude beyond the Encruzado, the Bical varieties, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, Tail Sheep and Verdelho. In the red varieties, apart from Touriga Nacional, we point out the Alfrocheiro, Jaen and Tinta Roriz, beyond undervalued Berry, Bastard and Ink apple.

Lafões is a small transition region, nestled between the names of Dão and Vinho Verde, cut by the river Vouga, with mostly granitic soils.

In the white varieties thrive Arinto, Cerceal, Dona Branca, Distemper Dog and Tail Sheep, with the reds dominated by caste Amaral and Jaen. As a rule, Lafões wines show a penchant acidic, with a style similar to the neighboring name Vinho Verde

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more information: turiventos@sapo.pt

 

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