Central Plateau of Serra da Estrela
The road is pretty long,
two-hour drive from Casa da Cisterna to the natural park of Serra da Estrela, the largest protected area of Portugal: 101 000 hectares including a chain of mountains with a rare flora and fauna. And the highest top of Portugal that culminates at 1993 meters.
Today program: 19km (about 6 hours) of an easy mountain walk from the central plateau of the Estrela (classified as a biogenetic reserve) to Casa das Penhas Douras Hotel e Spa.
Arriving at the car park, the set looks like a military base straight out of a movie about the Cold War (photo montage above). Very quickly we find ourselves on a trail and there I finally realize how much the view is absolutely stunning (photo below)! Let the adventure begin ; ))
Even in the mountains, I need to see water, lol! Depending on the altitude, the landscape changes. At the beginning very steep, the landscape offers an impressive panorama on the glacial valleys (dating from 20,000 years), lagoons and granite rock formations. And further down, the scenery turns into green pastures. But water is everywhere, sometimes you can walk on a kind of waterlogged foam.
Photo above: a butterfly is trapped. I wouldn’t have seen, if an emeritus hiker had not showed us the “creatures” … Actually I expected larger plants. I am really not a naturalistic (lol), I love the space, silence and beauty of the landscape in the “big picture” …
A spectacular setting, by far my most beautiful and inspiring hiking of this short trip in the Center of Portugal, although I liked the natural reserve of Faia Brava too. Enjoy!
Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés – Thanks Joao for the picture 3.
Many thanks for this beautiful invitation to Visit Portugal, TCP/ARPT Centro de Portugal et TAP. Thanks to our guide, Manuel Franco too. As always these are my opinions.