"A Glacial Valley in the Serra da Estrela" Top 5 Page for this destination Covilhã by Bwana_Brown
Covilhã Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 105 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:The Serra da Estrela are Bleak but Magnificent!
- In a nutshell:Take your time here and enjoy what the mountains have to offer!
This map shows the location of Covilha, about 2/3 of the way up along the Spanish border, starting from the south. On... more travel advice
As with the other parts of our 2500-km road trip around Portugal, the little Fiat Punto rental car served us well. By... more travel advice
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- "A Glacial Valley in the Serra da Estrela"
- "Kinkie's Serra da Estrela Page"
- "Branco's new Covilha Page"
- "Lady's Serra da Estrela Page"
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