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Serra da Estrela Natural Park - The Top of Portugal

Following the ancestral steps of the shepherds is to find the mountain where the great rivers start, the different habitats meet and where Man found refuge under the blazing Mediterranean sun. Transhumance took its turn by bringing artisanship and gastronomy. Nevertheless, it was their adaptation to Continental Portugal's highest mountain toughnesses that added all the singularity. 

Miguel Torga, one of the most remarkable Portuguese writers, when describing the Estrela Mountains, said "Only to those who wander through them, to those who love them with passion and effort, will they open their heart and treasures. (...) To lose oneself in them on a snowy day or a sunny day, when rocky cliffs are soft or when there are flowers amongst the curve, is one of the most unforgettable things that can happen to someone.”

Miguel Torga and A2Z invite you to explore this territory, unique by its diversity. There is something ready to surprise us behind every stone: the broad views of the glacial valleys, the sky mirrored in a perfect lagoon, bottomless and directly linked to the ocean according to the legend, the rings of sheep bells from a flock dwelling in the shallow lands rich in cerium, a brook sparkling with life or the little alpine flowers delighting us with new odours and colors.

The low ringing of sheep bells was heard here before the Romans' arrival. They echo through each valley, at each step we take. The Neolithic communities knew it was time to climb down the mountain and seek the green pastures for the herds when the “Eye of Taurus” (Aldebaran Star) first blinked at their doors.

If Man has found here refuge since times long gone, Nature, in its turn, has been evolving with the times leaving its mark wherever we look, delivering us directions and imposing its will. Sculpturing peaks and valleys and developing new species, this eternal force has reencountered, again and again, a balance between the great modern pressure of making everything accessible.

You will find here, today, a territory sprouting with History, genuine gastronomy and traditions, rich in trails and paths, where the mountain culture is complemented by a modernity yet to be found. By your feet or by bike, we challenge you for a journey made according to the rhythms of time and a sunset that will present you an endless array of lights, colors, and smells. Dare to enter the magical world of the “Herminian Hills”, the sheppards’ mountain. 

 

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