A pristine and protected natural park in central Portugal, Serra da Estrela is also one of the highest mountain ranges in the country. Visitors flock to the 888-square-metre park year-round to enjoy icy lakes, rushing rivers and spectacular glacial valleys.
Things to do in Serra da Estrela
From snow skiing to sledging and cross-country snowshoeing, the winter months at Serra da Estrela promote outdoor adventures. Visit the highest point of mainland Portugal at 1,993 metres to let loose at the ski slopes and snow terrain park at Vodafone Ski Resort.
In late spring through to summer and autumn, the park comes alive with horseback riding, trekking and mountain biking on about 375 kilometres of marked trails. Feel like soaring above it all? Try paragliding over Linhares da Beira, a 12th-century medieval village on the north-west slope of Serra da Estrela.
Traditional cheese, bread and burel wool production thrives in the mountains, so make sure you visit the factories and tasting rooms in places like the 1,200-metre-high Sabugueiro, the highest village in Portugal.
Don’t miss the chance to experience the serene Covao da Ametade, a rare and ancient convergence of nature at the beginning of the Zezere Glacial Valley and the foot of the Skinny Pitcher. The River Zezere rushes through in all its glory with hundreds of birch trees reflected in the icy flow.
Getting around Serra da Estrela
Express buses, IC trains and coaches run from major cities to Serra da Estrela’s mountain villages, such as Seia, Guarda and Covilha, where you can use local transportation or tour guides. You can also rent a car, but be prepared for high winds and icy roads.