"Rocky Peak of Monsanto" Top 5 Page for this destination Portugal Off The Beaten Path Tip by Bwana_Brown

Portugal Off The Beaten Path: 322 reviews and 400 photos

  Monsanto - a Boulder Strewn Mountaintop Village!
by Bwana_Brown

As with the other castles that we visited during our trip (Sintra, Aljezur, Monsaraz and Marvao), Monsanto started it's life as a fortified settlement on top of the highest peak in the area that the locals could find! This part of Portugal, on the Spanish border near Castelo Branco, had been part of the early Roman settlements, and there are still remnants of their presence in nearby villages.

Unlike most of the other defensive villages along the border, Monsanto no longer has any fortifications to speak of, the last one having been blown up by an explosion in it's gunpowder magazine. Instead, the village that now occupies the top of this distant peak is the most striking place in Portugal that we visited during our entire 2-week trip!

Although the mountain top is covered in massive granite boulders, the people of the village have managed to integrate their houses with the rocks as if it was all meant to be! Once voted as Portugal's 'most Portugese village', this spot is well-deserving of the honour and is a place that you should not miss visiting if you ever get the chance!

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 1, 2004
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