I completely fell in love with Lapa dos Dinheiros, one of the five mountain villages in the heart of the Serra da Estrela Natural Park of Portugal. It’s a very small village, but with some surprising gems, and, of course, surrounded by the beauty of central Portugal.
The schist villages of Portugal are one of the three unique types of villages throughout the country, located specifically in Central Portugal. As part of our journey through Portugal, Vanesa and I spent an evening in Gondramaz with Mountain Whisper, and then did a jeep tour with them through two more villages. I only wish we’d had the time to visit every one of the villages, even though they are fairly similar to each other.
On the second day of our week-long trip through central Portugal, we spend the day at the Convento de Cristo, aka Convent of Christ, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important Templar cities on the Iberian peninsula.
Learning local cuisines around the world is one of my favorite activities, and a Portuguese cooking class while traveling through the Center of Portugal was a must for our itinerary. Most cooking classes are in Lisbon or Porto, but there’s a unique one halfway between those two cities at the Cooking and Nature Emotional Hotel. The hotel itself is wonderful to stay at with different sensory rooms and plenty of landmarks in the surrounding landscape.
Obidos is a beautiful medieval town in central Portugal that you simply have to visit if you’re in the country. It’s located about an hour north of Lisbon, and two hours south of Porto. At the center of this fortified, hilltop town is a castle dating back to the 13th century, although the Moors built a castle there in the 8th century, and Romans had a fort before that. In other words, the town is very rich in history.