Porto – Serra da Estrela

In the morning we went for another walk in Porto – the light was lovely and the streets were bustling actual life (as opposed to the tourist life of Sunday afternoon) – little shops open, people going to work, rubbish men taking bins and all that. The waking up riverfront was all fresh and breezy. We lingered around the town for a bit and then packed up our bags and headed south-east to the Parque Natural Serra da Estrela, the mountainous area which contains Portugal’s mainland’s highest peak, Torro.

Porto river front

Porto river front


We found the highways and the backroads in great shape and surprisingly empty of traffic. We arrived in Manteigas, a small village in the heart of the park, sleepy and incredibly spotless white, every single house looking like it just has been polished up. There was a funeral going on but not much more than that, and we didn’t find the park HQs.


From Manteigas we took the most scenic route up the glacier Zêzere Valley with epic views and frequent stops. We made it all the way to Torre, which was a bit underwhelming after all that beauty. The campsite in the top of the valley was beautiful and deserted, but it would not have been possible to bring in the car and we didn’t want to leave it up on the road, so we found another campsite on the other side of the range, which was small and cosy and had wifi surprisingly enough. The whole hillside above it was scorched by a recent fire, which apparently lasted for four days and It was quite a sad view.
At night I woke up and threw up all over (outside of the tent though) but then slept well and the rest of the night was peaceful.



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