Among unparalleled legends and castles, flavors, arts, and crafts, through the Historical Villages of Portugal, we discover places conserved in time, where we yearn to lose ourselves in the maze of roads full of stories to tell and breathtaking landscapes…

Almeida, Belmonte, Castelo Mendo, Castelo Novo, Castelo Rodrigo, Idanha-a-Velha, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Monsanto, Piódão, Sortelha, and Trancoso: A few kilometeres separate these villages from the Portuguese Beira Interior region, one destination that is in fact 12. The Historical Villages of Portugal allure and astound us with their traditions, customs, and stories. In a world where we discover Portuguese ancestry, we are drawn to go on an adventure and discover each one of these singular and curious Historical Villages of Portugal.

This destination that is in fact 12 invites us to escape the buzz of the cities and find that desired tranquility in the villages – which, for some, may be discovering the captivating stories and legends of Sortelha (the eternally kissing stones) or of Castelo Mendo (the stones of Mendo and Menda, the condemned lovers), and, for others, a trip through time to the French invasions in Almeida, where the Portuguese soldiers resisted Napoleon Bonaparte’s advancing troops in the Plaza-fort. For more audacious visitors, the best suggestion for discovering each nook of the Historical Villages of Portugal would be to go on an adventure through the highlands and natural parks that surround the region: On foot or by bike, you just need to go.

After all, preserving nature is one of the main priorities of the Historical Villages of Portugal, which is in the certification process as a Biosphere Destination, a title recognized by UNESCO and attributed by the Responsible Tourism Institute. The Historical Villages of Portugal will be the first Portuguese destination to receive this honor.

There is nothing like taking advantage of “The Castles Quest” challenge, which will take place on September 15-23, 2018. Over 12 phases on two wheels, the more adventurous cyclists will conquer villages, castles, and fortresses, like warriors in the old days. In the end, each cyclist will receive a certificate, becoming an explorer of the Historical Villages of Portugal.

Through the Historical Villages of Portugal, whether on foot or by bicycle, the motto is Active and Sustainable Tourism: An invitation to be healthier and happier on the holidays but also going on escapades.