"A Glacial Valley in the Serra da Estrela" Top 5 Page for this destination Covilhã by Bwana_Brown

Covilhã Travel Guide: 64 reviews and 126 photos

We had started this day late because of delays in finding our way out of the traffic of Castelo Branco in the midst of a rain and lightning storm, one week into our trip to Portugal. After a scenic drive to the amazing village of Monsanto, followed by a relaxing lunch in a nearby field of flowers, it was already almost 3 PM by the time we decided to head for the Serra da Estrela!! We had pushed things a bit tight, because we had accommodations booked in Guarda for the night, so we had some driving to do.

We soon managed to reach the IP2 highway to the west and headed north on it at high speed, just about overshooting the city of Covilha before we found an exit. The easiest way to get into the mountain range was to drive straight though the city and then up a twisting switchback highway, the N339, which brought us to the top of the range. Altogether this had taken us until 4:30 PM and we were only at the start of this part of the day's adventure.

However, one look down the glacier-carved Zezere Valley and we knew that this would be very enjoyable! In the interests of time, we decided to head directly down the valley along the highway on its slope. This was the shortest way to reach Manteigas, where we could then return back to the main highway and then continue shooting north to Guarda. Unfortunately, this shortcut bypassed a longer route through the mountain range, but this was the price we had to pay for lingering too long in the Monsanto area!

In the end, we had finished our valley tour by about 5:30 PM and then had to reach Guarda and locate our accommodations. It was just after 8 PM before we finally mananged to get that accomplished. It had been a long but very enjoyable day!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The Serra da Estrela are Bleak but Magnificent!
  • In a nutshell:Take your time here and enjoy what the mountains have to offer!
  • Last visit to Covilhã: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (17)

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2009 at 5:52 AM

    those glaciers sure are ruthless

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2008 at 1:22 PM

    Glenn, another great page about an interesting place in Portugal. Amazing landscape here.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2007 at 11:17 PM

    I like the landscapes above the treeline, and it looks very tempting to take a swim in the water below the waterfall. What a lovely trip you must have had trough Portugal!

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2007 at 3:20 PM

    That was one heck of a walk ! I've got vertigo just looking at the photos. :-) You got a good work out and some gorgeous views.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2006 at 4:29 AM

    Wow! What spectacular scenery Glenn. Your 2500 km road trip around Portugal must have been wonderful. Intrigued by the ancient stone dwellings used by the shepherds.Also thanks for visiting my Vejer page.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2005 at 2:16 PM

    Breathtaking pictures that seem to have been shot in the Alps. The landscapes are stunning !

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2005 at 2:54 PM

    The longest glacier-formed valley in Europe looks great. I would loke to have more time to explore this area.

  • tini58de's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2005 at 4:47 AM

    Beautiful area - thanks for introducing it to us all! Happy New Year!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2004 at 4:37 AM

    I'd have a hard time not jumping in at Poco do Inferno. Looks like a fantastic place to tour around by car and do some hiking. One more place to explore I've not considered.

  • quartinb's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2004 at 8:39 PM

    ,,,yes zezere region is the prettiest one in my country! i'll return there by spring time and snapshot those beautifull landscapes!


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