6 historic villages in Portugal perfect for a weekend getaway

The historic villages of Portugal were founded even before their own nationality and are located in the center of the country. Today, it is a quiet place, where we can escape from the hectic life of the city and travel in no time, calmly discovering the personalities and richness of each one of these places. Visit them and walk their streets and make an authentic journey in time.

The project Aldeias Históricas de Portugal was created to energize these small towns, making them a museum ao ar livre. Contrary to many other national villages, these are very well preserved and everything was recovered respecting the original layout of two buildings, roads and existing monuments.

In many of these towns, several rural tourism accommodation units have been built in recent years, making the historic villages of Portugal a perfect destination for a weekend getaway. Conheça some das melhores.

1. Monsanto

Monsanto (Paulo Garcia Martins)

It has the particularity of having been built between enormous rocks, being, for this special case in our country, its houses have been carved in granite stone and are perfectly anchored in the stones.

Monsanto It originated from Idade da Pedra and, in 1938, it was considered the “most Portuguese village in Portugal”. The decision is related to the richness of culture and architecture (highlighting the castle), which shows the diversity of influences of the two different occupants of the region over time.

2. Sortelha

sortelha
sortelha

Despite being still a little-visited place, sortelha breathe history in each corner. The entire village was built in granite, including its castle, and surrounding it, we can still see an imposing mural, which reminds us that not all of its history was made of peace.

To better know Sortelha and the surroundings, you can do the circular trail SBG PR7, starting at the end of the village. In the village, you will find some rural tourism houses where you can spend the night and explore the region. In the roundabouts, you can visit places like Belmonte and Sabugal.

3. New Castle

new castle
New Castle (Nuno Madaleno)

For new castle Mouros and Templários pass, who leave vestiges that still today can be appreciated. The structure of the village, typically medieval, is characterized by architectural elements of the Manueline and Baroque style.

We cannot fail to highlight the Largo do Pelourinho (as well as the Pelourinho itself), the Casa da Câmara, the cadeia, the chafariz and the Largo da Bica. Do not stop walking calmly through the streets of this village, carefully observing every detail that you will remember in time.

4. Almeida

Almeida Fortress
Almeida Fortress

Despite being a village, it is included in the list of Historic Villages of Portugal. It is located very close to the border with Spain, and is completely surrounded by murals in the shape of a star, which is its main attraction.

No entanto, there is a lot more to discover in Almeidaand a relaxed stroll through its streets will allow you to discover its emblazoned houses, its traditional lojas and its marvelous museums and churches, as well as the small details that we love, such as the flowers in the janelas.

5. Tranquil

quiet
quiet

This village was at times an important part of the national defense line against Spain, and that same importance can still be appreciated today in all its splendor in the various monuments that it has.

Trancoso is in the heart of Beira Alta and has various attractions that you cannot miss, such as its medieval castle and its respective murals, the Igreja da Misericórdia (projected during the reign of D. Manuel I), or the Ducal Palace in Fonte Nova, that it is the greatest vestige of the Philippine occupation of the territory.

6. Belmonte

belmonte historic villages of portugal
belmonte

Its great highlight is its castle, which has a beautiful Manueline janela, as well as an incredible Menagem Tower and the Otocentista Room. All these spaces are home to a museum, where it is possible to learn about the history of all the council of belmonte.

Other places of interest are the Largo de São Tiago (one of the main squares of the town), the Igreja de Santiago, or Panteão dos Cabrais, the chapels of Santo António and Calvário and Praça da República, where it is possible to see the old Paços do Council of Pelourinho.