The villages of Portugal have managed to keep their historic appeal over the centuries. Consider stopping by one of these areas for a true feel of Portugal’s heritage.
For over 900 years, Portugal’s villages have been kept as the country’s best-kept secret. Built upon the peaks of hilltops, the location allowed defenders to see great distances offering plenty of time to send the message that invaders were coming so the armies could prepare for battle.
This little village is somewhat isolated from the rest of the country, helping it maintain its secretive location. It is said that many fugitives escaping the law would hide there, due to its little-known position.
This village still displays a lot of its medieval origins and the marvelous walls that open to the Porta d’El Rei gate. The village was gifted to the queen Isabel of Aragon by the king Dom Dinis in 1282, and a fair is still held there every year to commemorate this event.
Linhares da Beira
This village officially became a part of Portugal in 1169 when Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques (aka, The Conqueror) offered up its charter. About 20 years later, the area was invaded by armies ofÂ LeÃ³n and Castile, but the invaders quickly retreated when they found themselves surrounded. The village’s coat of arms portrays this event with 5 stars and a crescent shielding the middle star.
In 1755, the 12th century castle of Castelo Novo was dstroyed by an earthquake. The village of Castelo Novo derives its name from that castle. There are still many features original to the village of that time, such as the tank where wine was made and a baroque fountain.
Originally inhabited by the Aravi tribe back in the 6th century, this fortress is still rich with gothic and medieval influence from when it was seized and turned to Christianity by Ferdinand the Great in 1063.