May 31, 2023

After not too long ago realizing that I want extra nature in my life, we determined to spend a while exterior of Lisbon. As a digital nomad, I felt fortunate that I might simply choose up and go, figuring out that I can nonetheless get work performed alongside the way in which.

So we checked out a number of vacation spot choices. However then a buddy beneficial the realm round Serra da Estrela Nationwide Park and we instantly liked the thought. I actually suppose we put this Portugal highway journey collectively in about 10 minutes. We merely needed to get out into nature and if a buddy stated this space was value visiting, that was ok. We booked a rental automobile and a resort and 4 days later we have been prepared.

The journey proved to be PERFECT. And I’m satisfied that anybody seeking to take pleasure in a while within the countryside of Portugal visiting small villages, mountain climbing by spectacular nature, respiratory within the recent air and consuming some actually good meals, ought to head to this area as effectively.

Right here’s precisely what we did…


Piadao village on our Portugal road trip


Day 1: Lisbon to Manteigas (the Portugal highway journey begins)

We picked up our rental automobile within the heart of Lisbon. I used Sixt automobile rental, which I’ve used earlier than in Portugal. It’s at all times been dependable, simple and inexpensive in my expertise. On condition that we have been headed into the mountains, I went with an SUV in order that we’d really feel a bit safer. It value 40€ per day together with insurance coverage.

After which, off we went on this Portugal highway journey!

  • Left Lisbon at 2:00pm and commenced the drive north.
  • Drove by way of the A1 and A23 highways, had a failed try and discover a good place for a espresso break within the city of Entroncamento, after which continued.
  • On the city of Malpique, we left the freeway and took N232, a windy highway that went by picturesque villages, with spectacular mountain surroundings as effectively.
  • 40 minutes later we arrived within the small mountain village of Manteigas.
  • Checked in on the Hotel Berne (easy, however nice rooms with views out over the city and valley, glorious breakfast and really simple to park right here, which is uncommon in these components with all of the slender roads).
  • Walked into city and ate at Restaurante Paragem Serradalto, one of many few eating places open. We had some bread, cheese, olives, trout and native wine.
  • Then we walked again to the resort and promptly fell asleep.


Serra da Estrela park during our Portugal road trip


Day 2: Manteigas to Serra da Estrela + 2 hikes

After breakfast on the resort, we began our day trip and about at 10:30am…

  • Drove alongside Rua da Lapa, heading south after which on to the very slender N338 that went alongside the Zezere River.
  • Loved the beautiful surroundings of the Glacial Valley of Zezere subsequent to us.
  • Arrived at Covao d’Ametade Park for a fast stroll to a few of the valley viewing areas.
  • Continued driving one other quarter-hour to the Serra da Estrela National Park.
  • Stopped on the spectacular lookouts alongside the way in which.
  • Did the 1 hour hike right down to Covao do Meio (picturesque synthetic mountain lake).
  • Drove to Torre, the very best mountain peak within the Serra da Estrela mountain peak (and highest level on mainland Portugal).
  • Ate recent sandwiches for lunch whereas sitting on a rock overlooking the beautiful mountain vary.
  • Drove 20 minutes to Lagoa Comprida (Comprida Lake) which is the beginning of one other nice mountain climbing path.
  • 3 hour return hike to Covao dos Conchos (a man-made lake with a weird tunnel within the center – the hike was simple/reasonable and handed by some actually stunning landscapes all the approach – extremely beneficial!).
  • Drove again to Manteigas alongside N339 and N232, two unimaginable mountain roads that provided fixed breathtaking views (together with vivid inexperienced pastures full of giant, scattered boulders).


Hike to Covao dos Conchos


Day 3: Manteigas to Covilha + forest hike

Trying to head in a distinct path, we researched a number of different close by cities to go to. Ultimately, we landed on Covilhas for no actual purpose apart from it regarded attention-grabbing. And so the Portugal highway journey continued, and off we went at 10:30am…

  • Drove 45 minutes to Covilha alongside the N338 and N339 mountain roads.
  • Visited the Santa Maria Maior church which is roofed in blue and white tiles.
  • Walked all around the heart of city and located a ton of interesting murals on the edges of buildings (try the small lanes!).
  • Had a espresso on the cafe within the Public Backyard of Covilha, overlooking the remainder of the city beneath.
  • Lunch at Alkimya (nice restaurant with scrumptious meals, a novel ambiance and an great proprietor/waiter).
  • Drove again in direction of Manteigas alongside a distinct route (N18 to N232) that led us to the very high of the mountains behind Manteigas.
  • Utilizing AllTrails app once more, we did this 1 hour forest hike (Rotas das Faias) on the high of the mountain (good surroundings by a pine forest).
  • Returned to the resort by way of loopy windy highway that led straight into city.
  • Dinner at Hotel Berne.


Covilha, Portugal


Day 4: Manteigas to Piodao

With a full day to go to someplace a bit of farther away, we determined to do some extra mountain climbing. So we regarded on the AllTrails app (reveals all of the strolling/mountain climbing trails in an space) and settled on what gave the impression to be a perfect hike within the Serra do Açor protected area. The principle focus of the hike was the midway level – the tiny mountain village of Piodao.

We left Manteigas at 9:30am and commenced the day.

  • Drove to Serra da Estrela Nationwide Park and straight throughout till we reached the N338, which took us to the city of Vide.
  • From Vide, we drove to the village of Foz de Egua on CM1134 (one other unimaginable highway scenery-wise, however bumpy and slender!).
  • We parked within the village of Foz de Egua.
  • Started our hike to Piodao village following the AllTrails map.
  • The hike was simple/reasonable and took 1.5 hours (shock, shock – the surroundings was beautiful, with numerous cows and sheep, timber, valleys and recent air – it was among the best hikes I’ve taken in an extended, very long time).
  • Reached the actually quaint village of Piodao and had lunch on the glorious O Solar dos Pachecos.
  • Walked all around the village, by all of the slender lanes (actually enticing village!).
  • Continued our hike alongside the Japanese path again to Foz de Egua.
  • This a part of the hike was simple, principally downhill and tremendous nice (it took about 45 minutes to achieve the suspension bridge on the finish).
  • We climbed up the steps to the highest of Foz de Egua (the place our automobile was parked alongside the highway).
  • Returned to Manteigas by way of the craziest route we drove on throughout this journey (SEE THE MAP BELOW!).
  • Watch out with this route as there’s a very slender 3km stretch that’s grime solely and brings you proper up near the sting, with a large drop-off into the valley!
  • We stopped for a view and celebrated being alive after the harrowing drive.
  • Arrived again in Manteigas at 5:00pm.
  • We tried to go to the new springs on the Termas de Manteigas Lodge however they have been totally booked (in the event you e-book advance, this may be an effective way to complete the day!).
  • Dinner again at Hotel Berne.


Day 5: Manteigas to Lisbon (the top of our Portugal highway journey)

On at the present time, we returned to Lisbon. It was a simple day as we left Manteigas at 10:00am and arrived again on the Sixt automobile rental location within the coronary heart of Lisbon at 1:30pm. As quickly as we entered town although, we immediately needed to show round and head again out in direction of the peaceable, therapeutic countryside. Fortunately, in Portugal, such locations, and their advantages, are by no means far-off.