welcome to Serra da Estrela
A place of unique geological, natural and weather phenomena, Serra da Estrela is much more than meets the eye. At 2,000 metres above sea level, it is the meeting point of flora, fauna and geology, in perfect communion with nature. Lagoons of clear water, colossal rocks in the shape of animals and unique healing plants all share its imposing flanks. The pure air that one breathes here refreshes the soul and looks after our health (hence the name of "Penhas da Saúde" (Health Cliffs).
In Winter, the Serra is covered in a white blanket of snow and invites us to practice extreme and winter sports, or to enjoy outings with the family.
With the arrival of Spring, flowers and other vegetation form a rainbow of life, revealing unsuspected beauty concealed in secret places. The crystal-clear water running through the Serra and the sounds of nature are an invitation to spend a few days in peace and contemplation.
Summer offers the freshness of its lagoons and provides the opportunity for long walks or bike rides, and afternoons spent fishing or discovering Historical Villages and interesting local museums.
In Autumn, nature is dressed in a multi-coloured cloak of warm shades ranging from yellow to red, mixed with browns, filling our souls and inviting us to embark on other adventures.
The delights of the local cuisine last all year round. Taking its flavours from nature, like fruits and herbs, and using unique cooking techniques, the Serra da Estrela cuisine is highly regarded nationally. Delicacies such as Queijo da Serra (mountain cheese) have long won renown beyond the borders of Portugal. And history has also left its mark in Serra da Estrela where the people and customs help us go back in time to recall memories and pass on traditions.
Experience the Serra, with the rapture of a first visit or as an old friend reviving nostalgic memories. The Serra awaits you, full of surprises!
Air | Water | Land | Ice
Serra da Estrela is one of the few regions in Portugal blessed with snow. It is covered by a great white blanket every winter and is home to the country’s only Ski Resort. The glacial valleys, unique in Portugal, are partly responsible for the snowfall and today are the living image of the effect of the ice ages that occurred thousands of years ago.
Two major exclusively Portuguese rivers (the Mondego and the Zêzere), as well as the Alva, have their sources in Serra da Estrela. In the Malcata Nature Reserve, the Côa displays the most amazing global set of cave paintings (Vale do Côa). And the 25 lakes of glacial origin are the highest bodies of water in Portugal.
Finally, the largest protected area in the country is found here, and one of the best of Europe’s Biogenetic Reserves, the Serra da Estrela Natural Park.