Back from a great weekend!

Aaah, Portugal! The land of sea, sand and sun…

Right? Well, not always.

Covão d’Ametade (Serra da Estrela). Click to see in a large format – the photo could be better, I know, but it was snowing and my hands were freezing!

Yes, we do get snow. And I’d dare say that the Serra da Estrela is probably the favourite spot for Portuguese families to enjoy playing around in the snow. There’s a sky resort but a lot of people just grab a basic plastic slide to have some fun in the snow.

Serra da Estrela is not a mountain, but a mountainous area, with its peak at 1.993m above sea level at a place known as Torre (Tower, in English), making it the highest point in mainland Portugal. It is also a natural park. Most people go there in the Winter, but it’s also lovely during the Autumn and Spring months. Autumn gives you all the beautiful colours of fallen leaves, mushrooms and some hints of the coming cold. Spring brings a multitude of flowers, berries, animal life (particularly insects) and small waterfalls everywhere, formed by the melting snow. Summer can be very very hot here and it’s easy to get a sunburn (because of the altitude). It’s not uncommon to have storms in August, though!

The Serra da Estrela is of major importance not only to the towns and villages in the the mountainous area, but also to all the cities, towns and villages around the Serra. It is also the birthplace of three Portuguese rivers (Mondego, Zêzere and Alva).

This is by no means intended to give you all the details about this beautiful region (it would take a lot of posts to do that!) – it’s just a way of providing some context for the coming posts. Don’t miss, during the week, reviews on the lodging, the cheese fair, innovative products, snow and restaurants!


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