Serra da Estrela
The Serra da Estrela is the westernmost mountain range of the Central System, in central Portugal. The highest point of this chain is Torre, at 1,993 meters, the highest point of the Portuguese mainland. The remarkable thing about this summit is that it can be reached via an asphalt road and is located on a large roundabout. To reach the 2,000 meters, a tower of 7 meters high was built here in the 19th century, from where comes the name of this summit. Here we also find the only ski resort in the country.
Although this peak itself - surrounded by shops and a ski resort - is not really beautiful, it is an excellent starting point for hikes through the area, which is fortunately of a special beauty. It is a rocky granite landscape of 300 million years old, with a large number of lakes and valleys of glacier origin.
In this landscape we find several imposing rocks such as the Cântaro Magro, a granite rock eroded by the ice with steep walls of 500 meters high. This rock is visible from many points of the Serra da Estrela.
In this mountain range we can also follow the course of a number of large Portuguese rivers from their origin: the Mondego in Mondeguinho, the Zazere in Covao de Ametade and the Alva in Vale do Rossim.
This nature park is ideal for hikes, horseback riding or cycling. There are about 375 kilometers of marked trails with different difficulty levels.