Serra da Estrela is the largest natural park in Portugal, a wonder of nature with almost 2000 meters of altitude and extending over 100 thousand hectares of pure landscape.
A breathtaking scenery that feels like walking slowly, exploring time at your own pace, discovering winding paths, boulders, cliffs, viewpoints, rivers, lagoons, river beaches, sheep herds and shepherds who have been guiding them for hundreds of years. Run the mountains, the plateaus, the valleys, sweep them with the view that extends through the jagged cuttings, unravel the myths of the emblematic places.
A magical place divided between 6 councils, with historic villages, mountain villages and herding villages. With castles, jewish raianas and points of high historical interest and diverse activities as the landscape that houses them.
Penhas Douradas is a place located in the municipality of Manteigas, in the Serra da Estrela, at about 1300 meters of altitude, standing out for its chalets and the view on the glacier valley over the Zêzere river. It was here, in the Serra da Estrela, that the first mountain tourism resort of Portugal emerged.
The landscape is dominated by large granite blocks and the vegetation is composed of wild pine forests, crystal clear lagoons and vivacious rivers.
Sousa Martins, a Portuguese physician who became famous in the fight against tuberculosis, following the scientific expedition carried out in 1881 by the Society of Geography of Lisbon, had considered Penhas Douradas to be the healthiest place in the country for its fresh and clean air. This is the way it still is today.
You are at 1500 meters of altitude, in the Serra da Estrela Natural Park.
The air is fresh and pure. Feel the presence of the Mountain, the absolute silence, the tranquility. Let your sight be lost in the great horizons…In 1881 Sousa Martins and the Portuguese medical community had considered Penhas Douradas the healthiest place in the country and proved it scientifically. And the Penhas Douradas mountain resort was born.
130 years later, Casa das Penhas Douradas – Burel Expedition Hotel revives a tradition that was almost lost in this magical place. From the ruin of a hotel appeared another hotel.
World Geopark by UNESCO
The region of Serra da Estrela was recognized as World Geopark by UNESCO. A “recognition of the geological potential of the territory and its natural and cultural heritage and, as such, a first step towards the sustainable development of the entire region”, seeking to increase the tourist, economic and social potential of the municipalities that are part of the territory and, consequently, increasing the quality of life of the populations, keeping the Serra da Estrela protected and seeking a constant good management of its available resources.
“The promotion, enhancement and defense of the territory, its geological and cultural heritage, the development of local economic activities and the organization of awareness raising and cooperation with other entities are central”.