While much attention is given to the Algarve and the coastal regions of Portugal, the mountainous regions of Portugal are magnificent and certainly deserve consideration.
Called the Serra da Estrela (star mountain range) they are the highest mountains in Portugal and lie in the north-central part of the country between the Tagus (Tejo) and Mondego rivers with the Serra Lousã in the West.
The highest mountains in Portugal are
Serra da Estrela - Torre, Guarda 1,993 m - called 'Tower' because there is a tower at the highest peak.
Alto do Talefe, Viseu 1,982 m
The area is one of Portugal’s chief pastoral districts, the traditional seasonal herding of sheep and goats still being practiced there. The Serra sheep's cheese is the mountains’ most famous product. The large Serra sheepdogs are an admired breed. Much of the area is designated a natural park, the range attracts walkers in the summer months and skiers and snowboarders to the snowy slopes below Torre in winter.
The mountains and surrounding areas are diverse, filled with vegetation and forests and serene with picturesque stone village and charming towns. Many of the schist villages seem to be one with the mountains from which their stone originates. In some areas the relaxed air and pace of Portugal is still clearly visible. At the highest peaks there is even skiing opportunities in the height of winter.
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