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Serra da Estrela Natural Park (Portuguese: Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela) is in Central Portugal. It contains mainland Portugal's tallest mountain peak and the country's only ski resort.

Understand[edit]

Torre, the highest peak in the Serra da Estrela range and in all of mainland Portugal. The 7 m (23 ft) man-made tower here is said to bring the mountain's total height to 2,000 m (6,600 ft).

The park is situated in the largest mountain range in Portugal, the Serra da Estrela (SEH-rruh duh sh-TRIHL-uh, /ˈsɛ.ʁɐ dɐ ʃ.ˈtɾe.ɫɐ/, "Star Mountain"), and is the source of the rivers Mondego, Zêzere (tributary of the Tagus), and Alva. The park is the largest natural conservation area in Portugal and occupies about 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi). More than half of its area is located above an altitude of 700 m (2,300 ft). At 1,993 m (6,539 ft), it contains the highest peak in Continental Portugal (named Torre) and a ski resort.

Throughout the park, a traditional mountain economy is practised, centred on agriculture, raising sheep and goats, and the manufacture of Queijo Serra da Estrela cheese. The craftsmanship of the region is expressed in basket work using chestnut and wicker, weaving, embroidered cotton and smoked produce.

The park's land falls within the former provinces of Beira Alta and Beira Baixa in six municipalities: Celorico da Beira, Covilhã, Gouveia, Guarda, Manteigas, and Seia.

History[edit]

Landscape[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The region is known for the cão da Serra da Estrela dog, one of the oldest breeds on the Iberian Peninsula. They are bred to guard flocks of ovelha da Serra da Estrela sheep that produce the queijo da serra da Estrela cheese.

Climate[edit]

Get in[edit]

Fees and permits[edit]

There are no fees or permits required to visit the park.

Get around[edit]

Map of Serra da Estrela Natural Park

Several minor national roads cross the park, skirt its edges, or connect with surrounding towns, including N 230, N 231, N 232, N 338, and N 339.

See[edit]

  • 1 Torre (N 338-1). At 1,993 m (6,539 ft), Torre is continental Portugal's tallest mountain peak. A 7 m (23 ft) man-made tower on the site ostensibly brings the pinnacle's total height to 2,000 m (6,600 ft). The mountaintop is accessible by car via a paved road. Torre (Serra da Estrela) (Q2746237) on Wikidata Torre (Serra da Estrela) on Wikipedia
  • 2 Capela de Nossa Senhora do Ar (Capela da Torre, Chapel of Our Lady of the Air) (N 338-1). This chapel is located at the former base of the Portuguese Air Force's Squadron 13 of the Alert, Detection, and Interception Conduct Group. It was built in 1962 and was reopened in 2007 after decades of abandonment.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Centro Comercial da Torre. A small, slightly run-down shopping centre with multiple vendors at the tip top of Portugal. Look for regional products, including queijo Serra da Estrela cheese, presunto ham, and woollen goods.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Lenda Viriato, Rua de Santo Aleixo 16, Unhais da Serra, Covilhã (behind the church), +351 275 971 252, . Tu–F 19:30–22:00, Sa Su 12:30–15:00 & 19:30–22:00, closed M. The building was constructed in 1905 as the village's wood fire oven. It was converted into a restaurant in 2009 and given a medieval theme based on the legend of Viriato, the leader of the Lusitano people, ancestors of the Portuguese. Their recommended dishes include kid goat, veal, and cod with corn bread.
  • 2 O Mirante Da Estrela, Rua do Comércio 60, Sabugueiro, Seia, +351 969 089 750. Th–Tu 12:00–16:00, closed W. Cosy place with traditional cooking and great mountain views.
  • 3 Restaurante O Olival, N 232, Nº 2, Manteigas, +351 275 982 354, . M Tu Th–Sa 12:00–14:30 & 19:00–21:00, Su 12:00–14:30, closed W. The building and decor may be modern, but the food is authentic and traditional. €8-15.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Camping[edit]

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This park travel guide to Serra da Estrela Natural Park is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.