MONSANTO TOURISM GUIDE
An authentic Portuguese village built between gigantic boulders
Southeast of Serra da
Estrela is enchanting Monsanto,
an ancient fortified village perched on the side of a mountain.
With houses squeezed between gigantic boulders, it's a stunning sight.
Its appearance hasn't changed in centuries, with tiny streets carved from the rock. Some of the granite houses have Manueline doorways and the ruins of a castle that started as a Lusitanian (Celt-Iberian) fortified settlement affords magnificent views stretching as far as Serra da Estrela.
Next to the castle are the ruins of a Romanesque chapel, adding to the hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.
In 1938 Monsanto was voted "the most Portuguese village in Portugal" in a national contest, and since then building restrictions have allowed it to remain a living museum.
It is not easy to reach Monsanto by public transportation, but its atmosphere and immense panorama is worth a drive from the towns nearby or Serra da Estrela.
da Estrela - Skiing down the mountain; ghost towns; historical
Belmonte - Historical "Jewish town;" a great pousada
Guarda - One of the highest cities in Europe; off the beaten path Portugal
AND TAGUS VALLEY
Castelo de Vide
Vila Real de Santo António
BEIRAS (CENTRAL PORTUGAL)
Figueira da Foz
Serra da Estrela
PORTO AND DOURO
Gerês National Park
Ponte de Lima
Ponte da Barca
Viana do Castelo