UNESCO Global Estrela Geopark
Occupying an extensive area of 2,216 km2 in the centre of Portugal, the UNESCO Global Estrela Geopark covers all or part of the nine municipalities that are structured around the Serra da Estrela - Belmonte, Celorico da Beira, Covilhã, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Guarda, Manteigas, Oliveira do Hospital and Seia. Here, one finds a diversified landscape, result of multiple geological transformations, climatic contrasts, as well as of the ancient human occupation, whose first records date back to the beginning of the IV millennium BC.
This geopark is a reference at international level in the context of the Southwest Europe, showing the most important and impacting forms and glacial deposits in Portugal. Its geological history began at the bottom of an ancient ocean and culminated with the rise of the Estrela, presenting as the main rocks the granites and metasedimentary formations with more than 650 million years.
This is a unique place, with breath-taking landscapes, which includes the highest mountain in mainland Portugal, which summit - the "Torre" (Tower) - reaches 1993 metres in altitude. Here you will find an Interpretation Centre that provides information about the geopark, suggesting several pedestrian and cycling paths, many of them originating from the trails walked for centuries by shepherds. This is the best option to discover the enigmatic shapes shaped by the whims of nature, the valleys once occupied by ancient glaciers, the plateaus carved by the most important rivers in Portugal or the villages perched on the landscape, where you can breathe the aromas of this imposing and overwhelming mountain range.
With approximately 150 000 inhabitants, the territory of the Estrela Geopark is much more than geology. This mountain range has witnessed a long cultural evolution, marked by the adaptation of communities to an adverse geography and where, for millennia, human beings have lived in a close relationship with the mountain and what it offers them. Economic activities and human occupation have shaped the mountain, forming a mosaic of cultural landscapes that enrich the Estrela.
Associação Geopark Estrela
Av. Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro, 50
Tel.: +351 963 629 179