Discover Portugal from “Portas do Rodão” to the heart of Serra da Gardunha: The Blossom Cherries.
This route offers us an experience of scenic value, not only of whims and strength of nature, but also of man’s persistence in preserving traditions of ancient times. After quartzite mountains and the hardness of granite, we are dazzled by the beauty and fragility of cherry blossom.
Discover Center Portugal
Discover one of the most scnenic areas of center Portugal, Vila Velha de Rodao, ray village in the district of Castelo Branco. Its historical importance comes from an ancient defensive function and later from its port. This allowed circulation of goods and people, between Beira Baixa and Alentejo.
We find the “ex-libris” of this region located on both banks of the river, in Vila Velha de Ródão and Nisa. A stream, excavated between two imposing quartzite mountains, considered a natural monument in 2009, by the Institute for Nature Conservation and Biodiversity: “Portas de Ródão”.
Discover Portugal local culture
The river waters now tamed by Fratel dam, flow calmer than in the past, when sirgas (old walls) provided support for river navigation to the Tagus harbour. It is also possible to see the typical picareto (rowing boat) that carried products and passengers through what was for many centuries the only way of communication.
Coloured scarps according to seasons by the heather flower, broom and cistus, are covered with scrubland (strawberry trees, juniper, lentisco, myrtle and other species). As a result this area gives shelter to a very diverse and rare avifauna, such as black storks, griffon vultures (the largest colony in the country), eagles and the royal owl.
Discover a region of Portugal that was referred by some scientists as the “last ecological paradise in Portugal”. Due to mild climate and orography, plants, animals, men choose this place to live. As for men presence, CIART (Centro de Interpretação de Arte Rupestre do Tejo) disseminates, through an exhibition different cultural expressions of prehistoric inhabitants in this region of Portugal.
Explore Portuguese culture
Discover Castelo Branco city of Beira Baixa, owner of a rich cultural and historical heritage in Portugal. Old manor houses, churches and chapels, decorated with gilded carved elements or completely covered with tiles. A remarkable cruise, classified as a national monument and the former 16th century Episcopal Palace. A famous baroque garden with lakes, waterfalls ornated by statuary among boulevards invite you to meditation.
Donated to the Order of the Templar Knights by the first king of Portugal, the city expanded itself around its castle. From this castle only the walls survived, but from the top of the hill it is possible to glimpse the upper course of river Tejo, until the raial area.Discover medieval town and streets names that still resists as witnesses of local artisans activities (street of the Blacksmiths, of the Oleiros, of the Peleteiros , …). This commercial dynamic was not unaware of the Sephardic community that established itself here at the end of 16th century after beeing expelt from Spain.
Land of notables saw the birth, among others, of João Rodrigues a physician and university professor known as Amato Lusitano. Persecuted by the Inquisition ended his days under the protection of Sultan Solimão, the “Magnificent”.
Cova da Beira Portugal
Discover Gardunha and Estrela mountains in the center of Portugal, Cova da Beira, known as the stage of cherry trees in flower. A very important area of Portugal with characteristics for the development of pastoralism and agricultural practice. Like the cherry of Fundão or chestnuts, honey, wine, olive oil and wild mushrooms. Also cheese and sausages among others, which have always been the basis of local population gastronomy.
First written documents in this region of Portugal dates back from Middle Ages testifying the existence of ‘Fõdom’ in the 15th and 16th centuries. It developed on the basis of prosperous manufacturing (linked to woolenware).
Cova da Beira is one of the most beautifull areas you must discover in Portugal. Beauty is everywhere in spring time embellished by the immense white of cherry trees in flower. Its plantation, started more than 100 years ago, benefited from the microclimate of this region. This is the largest area of cherry trees all over Portugal.
Explore the roman road of Serra da Gardunha that connected north and south of the mountain. Discover the best views on the mountain to the cherry plantations. Here you have a chance to observe the waters of the streams, clear and crystalline among the pine, pseudotuga and sequoias forest.
Meet the local artisans activities such as esparto workshops (plant collected in Serra da Gardunha) and basketry (chestnut wicker). And “refogadouros”.