It was an Autumn weekend when we decided to go on an escapade to an (almost) unknown Portugal. We visited two historic villages, Piódão and Idanha-a-Velha, with a quick trip through Monsanto. They were all beautiful but nothing alike. We started out for Piódão. The road to Piódão has as many breathtaking landscapes and winding roads. Hidden away in the magnificent scenery of the Serra do Açor is this Historic Village of Piódão. A village of embedded schist houses dotted in white and blue. It is known as the “Nativity Scene Village,” and there is no need to explain why. A stroll through the enchanting, winding, and narrow village lanes is a must. We find “hiding places” and picturesque nooks that deserve many photos. After our stop in Piódão, back on the road, we had to stop and take one final moment to appreciate this hidden village’s magic. The next day, we headed for Monsanto and Idanha-a-Velha. We traveled deep into Portugal with its awe-inspiring landscapes of the Serra do Açor and Serra da Estrela, where we passed by one or another car from time to time. Unfortunately, we did not see much of Monsanto, which deserves another visit. We can describe Idanha-a-Velha in 4 words: Unique, archaeological, enigmatic, and silent. A village with a valuable historical heritage from several periods: Roman, Visigoth, Muslim, and Christian. A village where we felt the sensation that time does not exist. The following day, it was time to head home with the certainty that the Historic Villages of Portugal are one of the “100 places to see before you die” in Portugal. We are already planning the next trip soon… Belmonte, “here we come!” Rita Freire   Rita Freire