The captivating district of Castelo Branco is an open-air museum enriched with magnificent vestiges of Portugal’s past and is home to some of the oldest traditions that characterise the country today.
Designated as the capital of the district, the city of Castelo Branco is internationally reputed for its intricate hand embroidery, regional cheese, olive oil and wine. Laying amongst the rural landscape of Central Portugal, this beautiful city exhibits typical architecture, century-old monuments and medieval churches – an eye-catching destination for curious travellers.
Monsanto is situated north of Castelo Branco and is commonly referred to as “the most Portuguese village in Portugal”. Traditional granite houses, narrow passageways and charming little gardens are some of the features that identify this quaint village. It is believed that the medieval Castle of Penamacor was given to the Templars during the 12th century and is a vivid example of the many frontier castles that once bordered the region. The peaceful Serra da Malcata and its nature reserve are located approximately 20 km from the castle and are home to some of the remaining specimens of the Iberian Lynx.
The Roman Centum Cellas Tower is one of Castelo Branco’s most intriguing national monuments and can be seen from the 13th century castle of Belmonte. Also known as “the gateway to Serra da Estrela”, Covilhã is one of the most important towns in the district for its historical role in the textile/wool industries in Portugal and Europe.
Serra da Estrela, Portugal’s highest mountain range (mainland) and its popular natural park are one of the most sought-after destinations in the country for its skiing resort, quaint villages and distinct artisan cheese. A part of Serra da Estrela is located in Castelo Branco, while the rest of its territory extends to Guarda..