Unique and almost unknown destinations in Portugal

Piódão A village that seems taken from a tale.
Piódão is for many, one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal, a site that is classified as protected and is part of the Historic Villages of the country. All their houses are of rustic construction, with roofs and slate walls obtained from the same mountain, a picturesque complex attached to a landscape of terraced crops. Narrow and steep streets where cars cannot circulate, and the atmosphere of a site that has always used the resources available in the environment to survive intact, are the attractions of another of the curious corners to see in Portugal.

Curral das Freiras. A city between mountains that coexists with the clouds.
It is called Curral das Freiras (it could be translated as Valley of the Nuns), and it is a small town that coexists with the mountains and clouds in the heart of the island of Madeira. It is located on a huge volcanic caldera at 1,546 meters of altitude, and was born about five centuries ago as a monastery sheltered from the siege of pirates. The only road that arrives at the place starts from Funchal.

Madeira Island Natural pools in the Atlantic.
On the coast of Porto Moniz, Madeira Island and not so far from the Canary Islands, there is a small paradise between rocky headlands that contain water from the sea. In the place natural pools of crystalline waters are formed that look perfect, especially at sunset.

Óbidos A medieval citadel stopped in time
It is one of the best preserved medieval villas. It is located in the central west region of the country, just 75 kilometers from the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. Óbidos is an excellent getaway from the head of the country, declared as national heritage, possessing a 12th century castle with walls up to 13 meters high, which among other attractions expose the rich history of the place.

Gastronomy ‘kosher’
In 1980 it was learned that in Belmonte, one of the 11 border towns integrated in the Rural Villages rural development project, there was a crypto-Jewish community that had managed to secretly preserve, and for more than 500 years, its prayers, traditions and customs after the arrival of the Inquisition to Portugal. After leaving the underground, they resumed their rites in a new synagogue, that of Bet Eliahu. A Jewish museum was also created with some belongings donated by these families. Belmonte Jews today produce kosher products such as Terras de Belmonte and Sepharad wines and Ribeiro Sanches oil.

The Uros Valley
Two-headed goats, wild horses, uros (the ancestors of bulls) and stylized warriors with spears attest to more than 25,000 years of human presence in the Côa river valley, a tributary of the Duero that runs about 120 kilometers from Ciudad Rodrigo ( Salamanca). The valley is home to one of the largest sets of outdoor rock art known: 265 rocks engraved in a period ranging from the Upper Paleolithic to the Iron Age, in an area of ​​17 kilometers along the river.

Stairway to Heaven
Seven hundred steps bring Lamego to the sky, or at least one of its branches: the baroque sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, one of the most beautiful examples of Rococo in Portugal, as well as an important pilgrimage center. The monumental staircase meanders between recesses decorated with tiles and fountains crowned with obelisks to the terrace of the courtyard of the Kings. More sober is the small Romanesque church of Santa María de Almacave, from the 12th century, where tradition places the assembly of nobles and clergymen who gathered here around 1144 to confirm Afonso Henriques as the first king of Portugal. In addition to its monuments – among which Castelo cannot be left out – Lamelo is known for its alleged (cured ham) and sparkling whites, especially those of the Caves da Raposeira wineries.

The Pope’s garden
Since the seventeenth century, a papal bull protects, under threat of excommunication, the Buçaco forest, a walled enclosure of 105 hectares, about three kilometers from the city of Luso. It grows more than 700 species of trees and plants brought by Portuguese navigators from as remote places as Brazil or India. Fountains, lakes, snacks, cruises, viewpoints and chapels are distributed by this botanical paradise founded in the 16th century by the vicar general of the Barefoot Carmelites, who considered this place ideal for the friars to devote themselves to the contemplative life. From the original convent, now converted into a Neomanuel style hotel, you can only visit the cloisters, the chapel and some cells.

Iberinbound Travel, iberinbound@iberinbound.com leaders in Group tours if they are Pilgrimage, Educational, Students, Leisure , ad-hoc groups, Shorex, MICE, knows how to turn your trip into a tale journey that you can never forget and will want to repeat.