Luxury holidays in Serra da Estrela

Though you’re only two hours from the coast, the peaks of Portugal’s Serra da Estrela mountain range are far from the beaten tourist track. This wilderness is the only place in the country to become stark and snow-capped in winter, but is at its best in summer, when you can hit the hiking trails and take in the beauty of the Zȇzere river valley, waterfalls, glacial lagoons, Dali-esque granite boulders, historic churches and tiny slate villages. Make the village town of Manteigas your base for explorations – from there it’s an easy drive to reach Torre, the region’s highest peak.

When to go

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, the Serra is stunning in any season – walk amongst wildflowers in spring, admire the changing leaves in autumn and snowshoe the slopes in winter – but we recommend the summer, when you’ll find sheep-strewn meadows and can go wild swimming in waterfalls.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Porto’s airport is the closest, a two-hour drive away. You can also fly into Lisbon, a three-hour drive away.
  • Automobiles

    You’ll have cinematic views if you choose to take the corkscrew-shaped mountain roads up to the hotel. Brace yourself – the passes get nail-bitingly narrow as you ascend, so it’s best to drop your speed and just enjoy the spectacular scenes.