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Portugal Authentic Villages

The villages of Portugal are testimonies of the past and true sacred places where the memories and traditions of the people are still alive that still persist despite the friction of time. Here you can get to know the real Portugal, a Portugal that does not show up in the tourist guides. From north to south of the country, get to know this fantastic list of small paradises that await your visit.

Santa Susana

With a typical Alentejo architecture, the village of Santa Susana stands out for the presence of ground floor houses, all whitewashed with blue bars and large chimneys. Located between two streams, tributaries of the right bank of the Alcáçovas stream.

Santa Susana is striking because of its equally contoured houses and bold blue frames. It looks like an old village of rural architecture, but that these geometric streets and the same houses are no coincidence.

Porto Covo

Inserted in the privileged Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina Natural Park, the quiet village of Porto Covo has managed over the years to preserve all the traditional features that give it such beauty.

Although increasingly visited, nowadays is offering more accommodation and commerce, its streets overshadow the visitor with its irrepressibly whitewashed houses.

São Cristóvão

Halfway between Montemor and Alcácer do Sal, São Cristóvão is a village in the lowland sea on its way to the beaches.

The birth of this village has its origin closely linked to a legend, in which they attribute to St. Christopher the grace of choosing the place of the church, so the people chose this saint as their patron saint and unifying symbol of their faith.


Estorãos is a small Minho village located about six kilometers from Ponte de Lima where runs the river that gives it its name. The waters from the top of the Arga mountain range meander through pine trees, vineyards and manicured fields creating small lakes and dams where trout and lamprey hide from tourists and fishermen.

The landscape is magnificent. The dark and bluish cut of the mountains contrasts with the green of the fields and the autumnal colors of the vineyards and cornfields creating true gardens that require many walks and rustic discoveries.


Soajo, one of the most typical Portuguese villages, belongs to the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez and is located on one of the hills of the Peneda mountain range, inserted in the Peneda-Gerês National Park. The village was a town and county seat between 1514 and the mid-nineteenth century, but its history begins much earlier, as evidenced by the Rupestre do Gião Sanctuary in the Soajo mountain range, and the numerous tapirs and papayas that exist in this area.

It has a grand collection of granaries (classified as a property of public interest) erected on a gigantic granite slab that are still used to dry corn by the people of the village.


Lindoso is the largest parish of Ponte da Barca municipality, borders Spain and has about 1300 inhabitants.

Inserted in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, it is a region of severe climate, cold in winter, mild or hot temperature in summer, and abundant rainfall that reach an average annual rainfall of over 2200mm. Typical settlement consisting of old granite houses, well inserted in the landscape, still remaining in some agricultural installations thatched roof.


Located in the municipality of Bragança, Gimonde offers to those who visit it the best and most genuine of the transmontana cold earth, always with the human warmth and the art of welcoming of its inhabitants.

Gimonde's superb landscapes, heritage and picturesque countryside make it the ideal place for a weekend getaway or vacation, in full communion with nature.

Rio de Onor

Covering a considerable area, included in the perimeter of the Montesinho Natural Park, Rio de Onor shares the name with the river that runs through it, in a north-south direction, becoming later tributary of the Sabor

Rio de Onor still subsists as a community village. This regime presupposes a sharing and mutual help of all the inhabitants, namely in the following ways: Sharing of the community ovens; Sharing community farmland where everyone should work; Sharing a flock, herded on community land.


Typical transmontana village, situated in the foothills of the Serra de Montesinho, in the Montesinho Natural Park and about 1030m altitude. This typical transmontana village has been progressively restored for its tourist use.

Montesinho is poor in agricultural resources but rich in livestock resources. Montesinho goat is one of its most famous products, bred in the hills surrounding the wind and harsh winter cold and in the harsh summer heat.

Linhares da Beira (Celorico da Beira)

Located on the western slope of Serra da Estrela, Linhares da Beira was originally a Lusitanian castro. In fact, the Hermínio Montes (this was the Lusitanian name of Serra da Estrela), with its pastures, abundance of waters and the protective setting of the mountain was one of the places inhabited by this Iberian tribe, of which many Portuguese consider themselves descendants.

Flax, which was once one of the region's important crops, will be the origin of the name Linhares, literally a flax field.

Cabeça (Seia)

In the middle of Serra da Estrela we find the village of Cabeça, a picturesque village where the shale houses predominate, a place full of charms and stories that is worth unraveling.

It has two churches (São Romão and Parish) and two chapels (Santo António and Nossa Senhora da Nazaré). Due to the population growth the old parish church, whose orago is Saint Romão, stopped serving building then the present parish church. The chapel of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré dates from 1900 and is approximately 500m from the village.

Vasco Esteves de Cima (Seia)

Located in the parish of Alvoco da Serra, Seia. There were several designations to distinguish him from his namesake: Vasco Esteves do Cabo, from there, and finally Vasco Esteves de Cima.

Vasco Esteves must have been a wealthy landlord who pioneered, valued and transformed the agriculture and livestock in this area, imposing himself for his dynamism and spirit of initiative to the other couples. With a boss profile recognized by everyone. The place name will thus be the expression of admiration that his contemporaries and descendants voted him.


Aldeia de Piódão is considered one of the most beautiful in the country, classified as 'Historical Village of Portugal'. Located in the center of the country, belonging to the municipality of Arganil, on the slope of the beautiful Serra do Açor.

Its typical slate and slate houses, with painted blue wood windows, gracefully descend the hillside, forming an amphitheater in this steep mountain, and is often called the Christmas Village


Considered the most Portuguese village in Portugal, Monsanto is located in the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova. This fantastic village, built between cliffs and in perfect harmony with the surroundings, captivates those who visit it for its originality.

It has been reported in several international magazines and welcomes tourists from all over the world, who are amazed and surprised at the ability of their people to build their houses in the cliffs of the hill where it is located.


It is a granite village with typically medieval streets and alleys, enclosed by a circle of walls, guarded by a towering 13th-century castle.

Sortelha remains certainly one of the most beautiful and ancient villages of our country, whose layout has changed little in the last 500 years.

Castelo Rodrigo

Historically, talking about Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo implies going back many centuries in history. From prehistory to the 21st century, there are many testimonies, allowing us to travel through time to discover the historical roots of an entire region.

Occupied successively by the Turdulos, Romans and Moors, the current municipality of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo was integrated into the Crown by D. Sancho I. Until the nineteenth century it was only named Castelo Rodrigo, in honor of the mayor D. Rodrigo, who defended the fortress in 1296.

Vilarinho de Negrões

On the south bank of Albufeira do Alto Rabagão is Vilarinho de Negrões, one of the most picturesque villages in the whole region, for its still relatively preserved houses and, above all, for its location on a narrow and beautiful peninsula - a small piece of land saved from rising waters.

Vilarinho is thus a land that is seen daily in the mirror and distinguished at a distance by its perfect symmetry, a kind of Portuguese Garden of Eden. Nearby is the parish of Negrões, soul mate, which has an all granite oven.

Pitões das Júnias

Natural heiress of the very old parish of São Vicente do Gerês, deep in the Beredo River, which receives water from several riverside in the mountain, Pitões is the highest settlement of Barroso, at the elevation of 1100 meters.

This has greatly contributed to the high quality of the ham and smoked meat of this locality. It has always been known for being a land of fighting people and even warriors: it did not resist the destruction of the Castle, the Monastery, or its 'ancestral republic' (a set of communitarian and democratic norms of its inhabitants).


Talasnal has long been the Serra da Lousã Schist Village that has given more visibility and charisma to the whole.

For its size and layout, but also for the many details of the recoveries of their homes. And also by the way the village of Talasnal seduces us by its gastronomy.

Aldeia da Pena

To reach the village of Pena, a typical schist village with six inhabitants and 10 dwellings, situated in a deep valley of the Serra de São Macário, it is essential to go through São Pedro do Sul, by IP5.

Nestled deep in the valley, the village blends in with nature that surrounds it in a dream setting.

Covas do Monte

In Covas do Monte live a little over half a hundred people who, among the many occupations, cultivate the 'land of bread' and devote themselves to pastoralism on the 'hill'.

The village of Covas do Monte there are cattle, sheep and goats. Of all, because of their number (about 2500), goats mark the daily life of the inhabitants.


Surrounded by high hills, Drave is a mythical place. The view of the road from the village deep inside is striking.

The Solar dos Martins and the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Health stand out from the undulation of the hills, one behind the other, cut out of the sunset light, is sublime. Sublime is also the following perspective of Paivô Valley.


The village of Sistelo is located in the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, in the Peneda-Gêres National Park, near the source of the Vez River.

Famous for its terraced landscapes, where corn is grown and grazed cattle, the village is very well preserved, having been restored the typical granite houses, granaries and public laundries.

Original article in VortexMag