Guide to visit Serra da Estrela (Portugal)

We have gathered a set of places, restaurants and accommodations that you really have to visit in Serra da Estrela.

Visit

This is one of the few places in the country where the amount of snow allows sports such as skiing or snowboarding.

In addition, Serra da Estrela is also known for the famous Queijo da Serra, capable of attracting tourists all year round. So that you do not lose yourself in the beauty and immensity of Serra da Estrela we have gathered a set of places, restaurants and accommodations that you really have to visit.

What to do and/or visit?

For many the Serra da Estrela is a place to visit only in winter and for skiing. However, this idea could not be farther from the truth. There are more and more activities that are available to visit and that can  be enjoyed at any time of the year.

In addition to snow activities, this place gathers many points of interest and its beauty is perfect for taking long walks through nature.

Find out more about this mountain that reaches an altitude of 1,993 metres. We move forward since the view is fascinating!

Covão dos Conchos Trail and Lagoa Comprida

In the Serra da Estrela Natural Park there is a famous funnel where the waters of Ribeira das Naves disappear - Covão dos Conchos. This tourist spot was built by man to route the waters of Ribeira das Naves to Lagoa Comprida, the largest reservoir in Serra da Estrela.

The only way to get to Lagoa do Covão dos Conchos is on foot, along the Covão dos Conchos Trail. The idea is to avoid the very hot months, since the dam is usually dry. It is about 5 kilometres to walk and at the end you will find one of the most emblematic landscapes of the Serra!

Covão dos Conchos Trail and Lagoa Comprida

Pit of Hell

Of hell, only the name , because it is actually a real paradise. In winter it freezes  and becomes the perfect reflection of nature and the sky.  it allows  for great dives. Located in Manteigas, it is a postcard of Serra da Estrela, with a splendid ten-metre high waterfall. The space has car parks, picnic parks and hiking trails.

Pit of Hell

The Tower

The Tower is the point with the highest altitude (1,993 metres), not only of Serra da Estrela but also of mainland Portugal. If in winter it is covered with snow, in summer the Tower is a breathtaking viewpoint, offering a view to the sea of Figueira da Foz. In 1993, this tourist spot received the status of Biogenetic Reserve by the Council of Europe. In the Tower you can also find restaurants and shops with local products such as cheese, ham or bread.

If you don't suffer from vertigo, you can still take a cable car ride and be sure it's really worth it, with or without snow, this place never disappoints!

The Tower

Winter sports

The ski resort of Serra da Estrela opens on December 7 and is active until April 26. The park is prepared with several slopes with supporting infrastructure, as well as synthetic snow slopes. From sledding, snowboarding and motosky, all these activities are acclaimed in what is the only place in Portugal that allows for them.

At the ski resort of Serra da Estrela you have 7 km of slopes waiting for you, where you can do one of those activities that leaves you with butterflies in your stomach. Take appropriate clothes and drink plenty of fluids, preferably warm so as not to dehydrate on snowy days.

Winter sports, ski

Hot springs

Serra da Estrela offers several options capable of adding medicinal care to relaxing landscapes. In Unhais da Serra, one of Europe's largest Mountain Spa, the Aquadome is situated . This space is divided into four main sections:

- AquaTermas, the most modern thermal centre in the country. Focusing on respiratory diseases with a high level of specialisation;
- AquaFisio, a complete centre of physiotherapy and osteopathy;
- AquaCorpus, for a meeting between body and mind, associating aesthetics with oriental therapies;
- AquaLudic, the most innovative set of dynamic pools themed with Celtic Circuit.

If you want a place to relax here is a great suggestion located in the heart of Serra da Estrela. You will be able to find treatments that suit your needs and you can access the facilities without staying at the hotel.

Hot springs

Loriga

Loriga is a well-known village of Serra da Estrela, treated by many as the “Portuguese Switzerland”. This fact is related to the landscape surrounding the village, where the mountains are the protagonists, especially Penha dos Abutres (1.828 metres of altitude) and Penha do Gato (1.771 metres of altitude).

In summer, in addition to the stunning beauty, you can also take a dip in the river beach of Loriga, located 1 km from the village centre. The place has very easy access, as it is next to the main road. Loriga is a careful place for accessibility, signage, cleanliness and is guarded by lifeguards.

On this beach you can roll out the towel and sunbathe, or if you are just passing through, you can choose to have  a picnic. Yes, the space has tables and stools and there is also a support bar if you need cold drinks.

Loriga

Serra da Estrela Cheese Fair

Traditionally, it takes place on Carnival Sunday, in the municipality of Gouveia, in the district of Guarda. On the poster of the event are shepherds, cheesemakers and cheese producers, gathered with the purpose of promoting the activity of the sector. This is an essential visit for cheese connoisseurs.

The Serra da Estrela Cheese Fair is able to present some of the main flavours of the region. So, if you visit Serra da Estrela at this time of year, the Cheese Fair is a must stop!

Serra da Estrela Cheese Fair

Zêzere Glacier Valley

The Zêzere Glacier Valley is 13 km long and is one of the largest in Europe. In addition, it has 16 walking routes, with animal and plant diversity, and the 17.2 km Glacier Route, which can be done on foot or by bike.

This is one of the quietest places in Manteigas and perfect for walking and enjoying nature in all its splendour. The waters are crystal clear. Access can be done by car until close to the place, but to be able to enjoy this landscape properly, we advise you to explore the place on foot, taking a walk. A must see on a trip to Serra da Estrela!

Zêzere Glacier Valley

Where to eat?

Varanda da Estrela

Varanda da Estrela is an authentic mountain getaway. In addition to the decoration, the menu also refers to the comfort the food provides, with typical Portuguese dishes: Borreguinhona Brasa; Pernil de leitãoConfitado; Cod with Spinach in Bread Crust. With such a menu you won’t feel any cold.

Taberna A Laranjinha

Taberna A Laranjinha is located in Covilhã and reflects the flavours of the region, under the responsibility of chefs João Paulo and Patrícia Romeiro. This is one of the best known options in Serra da Estrela. It is a small restaurant, but with a very cosy atmosphere, so it is advisable that you make a reservation.

The Taberna is next to the Covilhã City Hall, right in the centre of town. On the hottest days you can still enjoy lunch on the terrace.

Cova da Loba

The Cova da Loba restaurant is located in Linhares da Beira, Celorico da Beira municipality. This space is known for combining tradition and innovation in a menu where refinement and comfort are the stars. Among the best known dishes, the highlight goes to: Scrambled Eggs with Farinheira de Linhares in Crispy Bread; Cabritinho da Serra Grilled with Vegetable Sautéed; Grilled Lamb with Bean Rice and Grilled Veal Tenderloin.

This restaurant is very well located, in the Largo da Igreja de Linhares da Beira, with a terrace both in front and back, overlooking the Castle.

Soadro do Zêzere

Located in Valhelhas, Soadro do Zêzere delights mountain food lovers. Among the best known dishes is the Sopa Seca - a kind of Portuguese stew in which bread replaces the potato - and the Goat in Iron Pan.

In addition to traditional cuisine meals, Soadro do Zêzere also offers rooms for guests to stay overnight.

Lenda Viriato

Lenda do Viriato is located in Unhais da Serra and, in 1905, when it was built, it was the community wood oven in the region. Since 2009, it has operated as a restaurant and owes its prominence to the playful and cultural traits. Among the various dishes are Deer, Boar and Partridge.

The restaurant has a rustic beauty, as it is built in a well recovered and decorated stone house, with torches on the wall for a very pleasant dinner.

From Tuesday to Friday, Lenda do Viriato only serves dinners. On weekends, they provide both options: lunch and dinner.

Where to sleep?

Casa de São Lourenço - Burel Mountain Hotels

Casa de São Lourenço is a superb 5-star hotel and also one of the main attractions of Portugal's most emblematic mountain region. At 1,250 metres of altitude you have the privilege of a magnificent mountain view and access to a wellness area and sauna.

Regarding the restaurant, Chef Manuel Figueira exceeds expectations, bringing a typical cuisine of the Beiras region, combined with the seasonality of the ingredients of the Serra.

Check prices and availability
Source - Booking - Casa de São Lourenço, Burel Mountain Hotels

Casa das Penhas Douradas

Casa das Penhas Douradas is set in the mountains of Serra da Estrela Natural Park, offering a panoramic view over the site. The facilities are of excellent quality and feature an indoor heated pool and sauna.

This hotel is at an altitude of 1,500 metres and you will feel at home, both for the architecture of the building, as well as the warmth and hospitality.

A perfect place to grab some fresh air, relax and stay away from the routine. SkiParque is just a 30-minute drive from Casa das Penhas Douradas.

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Source - Booking - Casa das Penhas Douradas

Natura Glamping

Natura Glamping, located in Alcongosta, 7.5 km from Fundão, is the ideal option for those who want to combine comfort and nature. With your eyes set on the mountain, Natura offers the possibility to sleep in a luxury tent and fall asleep watching the stars.

This 3-star campsite has a jacuzzi, which must be booked 48h in advance, and has a cost of 35 euros.

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Source - Booking - Natura Glamping

Aqua Village, Health Resort

Aqua Village in Oliveira do Hospital is a 5-star resort and spa offering a thermal spring, 3 swimming pools and a Thermal Mineral Water Interpretation Centre. The accommodation has 29 T1 or T2 apartments and a perfect swimming pool for those looking to relax and unwind from the daily routine.

In addition to all the great amenities, it also has a small river beach, quite pleasant for warmer days. The resort is a perfect resort for couples and families with children. Who wouldn’t like  a weekend getaway!

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Source - Booking - Aqua Village Health Resort

Casas Da Lapa, Nature & Spa Hotel

Casa da Lapa is set in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park, in a typical mountain village, Lapa dos Dinheiros. Among the various accommodations, it features a swimming pool, sauna, steam rooms and games room.

The concept of this accommodation is different from your typical hotel, as the atmosphere is more personal and familiar. Its location is close to the river beach of Lapa dos Dinheiros and has a pedestrian path that passes right at the door, if you want to take a walk.

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Source - Booking - Casas Da Lapa, Nature & Spa Hotel

Lobos Village

Lobos Villa is set in Seia, 1 km from the Bread Museum and less than 9 km from Lagoa Longa. At this accommodation you can enjoy an extensive buffet for breakfast, where you can find some local products such as Queijo da Serra, and enjoy the outdoor pool.

The rooms are carefully designed for your rest and comfort, as they are very spacious, well decorated and modern. It is a very well located, easy access and super quiet place.

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Source - Facebook - Lobos Village

Pena D'Água Boutique Hotel & Villas

Pena D'Água Boutique Hotel & Villas is situated in Covilhã and, in addition to a swimming pool and sauna, it features a fitness area. The hotel is ideal for those who like skiing, given its location - 20km from the Serra da Estrela Ski Resort.

The hotel has a fabulous decoration, space and atmosphere and combines tranquillity and refinement. The Açafrão Restaurant is where you can discover new flavours of Beira Interior. If you prefer, you also have a Bar Lounge for more relaxing moments. In this hotel, you can also book various experiences such as: wine tasting, guided tours and sports or relaxation activities.

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Source - Booking - Pena D'Água Boutique Hotel & Villas

H2otel Congress & Medical SPA

H2otel Congress & Medical SPA is a 12-minute walk from Arxada river beach. The space features a landscaped pool and spa and wellness treatments. Located in Unhais da Serra, it also has a restaurant with healthy cuisine and slow food.

Situated at 750 metres of altitude and in a valley of glacier origin, it is a very luxurious space with fantastic facilities. The H2otel Congress & Medical SPA is a certified and highly sought after eco-hotel for business events. The space is still open to the possibility of holding weddings and celebrations.

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Source - Booking - H2otel Congress & Medical SPA

Quinta do Quinto

Quinta do Quinto is a farmhouse in Guarda with an extensive green area and seasonal outdoor pool. This accommodation has several houses and all of them have a living room and access to wi-fi.

It is an old  but well restored place, with a quiet and very welcoming atmosphere. Without a doubt an exceptional getaway to spend a few days near the Serra.

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Source - Booking - Quinta do Quinto

Luna Hotel Serra da Estrela

Luna Hotel Serra da Estrela is an excellent option for visiting with the family. In addition to offering babysitting services and playgrounds, it has a ski school and outdoor sports activities all year round. To improve all this, it also features an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

The 4-star hotel is set in a mountain village in Covilhã and has panoramic views of the valley. Luna Hotel Serra da Estrela has a privileged location, as it is just 10 km from Serra da Estrela Ski Resort.

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Source - Booking - Luna Hotel Serra da Estrela

Serra da Estrela is in fact a unique place and able to make you fall in love with nature and the diversity of attractions and activities. Set off to discover and embark on a journey along the paths of Portugal. You know what to do, where to eat and where to stay. Now all you have to do is go!

Guide to visit Serra da Estrela (Portugal)
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Guide to visit Serra da Estrela (Portugal)