Built from granite and schist, and located in the heart of the country, they have witnessed over 900 years of Portuguese history. But while the villages are amazingly peaceful places to visit, they have not always been so tranquil.
In the past these villages, perched high on hilltops, played a crucial role in protecting the surrounding lands. Their vantage point made it almost impossible for would-be invaders to approach undetected. It was a hugely effective form of defence. Over the centuries, Moors and Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese, have all tried to take the villages for themselves.
And as a result each village has its own spell-binding tale to tell. One such example is the village of Almeida, whose formidable fortress capitulated to the French in the 19th century after heroically resisting for 17 days.
Whether you want to experience Portugal’s breath-taking landscapes, its historic fortresses, or the warmth of its people, the villages offer it all.