Montalegre is a Trás-os-Montes destination that enchants for its natural beauty, its hospitable people and its delicious cuisine. Therefore, an escape to this land is a journey to our origins, a discovery of a unique and invaluable heritage.
Take warm, comfortable clothes and venture out along the mountain trails, through the alleys of the villages and through the beauty of the reservoirs. We guarantee that Montalegre does not disappoint and, after visiting it, you will not be able to resist going back there.
Montalegre: the heart of the Barrosã region
Getting to know Montalegre is to discover its villages, explore its small towns and let yourself be enchanted by its typical granite buildings. In these localities, the spirit of community is still felt and there is no one who doesn’t know each other and help with daily activities, especially those related to agriculture and livestock.
Therefore, there are several villages that you can and should visit in this destination, but if the time is not enough for everyone, then we recommend a visit to village of negrões, Pitões das Junias and Travassos.
We can consider walking routes a fad, but what is a fact is that they are a good fad, as they perfectly combine sport with nature. So, if you like to walk, preferably in a natural environment, then know that Montalegre has excellent trails at your disposal.
It is a network of pedestrian trails that covers the entire municipal territory and, in addition to the natural charms, you can also count on very interesting examples of cultural heritage. As a suggestion, we advise you to do the Contrabando Route, the D. Nuno Trail, the Rio Trail and/or the Ourigo Trail.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
It is impossible to talk about or go to Montalegre without passing through the Peneda Gerês National Park, this iconic national park that has 26% of its total area inserted precisely in the municipality of Montalegre.
In this way, you can enjoy a unique, wild and tempting landscape, where there are cliffs, gorges and precipices, “interrupted” by centuries-old villages characterized by their churches, chapels and granaries.
The reservoirs are another characteristic element of the Barrosã landscape, as they are responsible for the economic and demographic growth of the municipality and in them it is possible to practice water sports and leisure activities. The most popular are Pisões, Venda Nova, Sezelhe, and Paradela.
Eating well is a feature common to all regions of our country. However, each area has its specialties and Montalegre is especially known for its stew, barrosã steak and kid. Therefore, before you leave, be sure to buy local and typical products such as smoked meat, rye bread, jams and honey.
In recent years, this Trás-os-Montes destination has also become known for the event that takes place there, whenever it is Friday the 13th. Witches with pyromusical shows, street entertainment, concerts, dj’s and fireworks.
Of course, due to the pandemic we are going through, these events are suspended, but as soon as possible, and in total safety conditions, don’t miss a Friday the 13th in Montalegre. You won’t regret it. Not having bad luck.
The castle is a prominent element in the landscape, having a keep and revealing a picturesque setting, dating from the end of the 13th century. It served as a strategic point of defense for the border, being a National Monument and a place of obligatory passage.
Have you ever heard of Ecomuseums, dedicated to the territory, and which Montalegre was a pioneer?. This Ecomuseum is dedicated to the study and dissemination of collective memory and works as a center for the dissemination of Barroso traditions.
The headquarters are next to the Castle, but there are other poles scattered throughout the municipality such as Corte do Boi in Pitões das Júnias, the Interpretive Center of Minas da Borralha in Salto or Vezeira and Serra in Fafião.
Serra do Larouco
This mountain is the highest point in Montalegre, with an altitude of over 1500m and is an excellent viewpoint, from which you can admire the Serra do Gerês, Serra do Barroso and the Barragem dos Pisões.
For this reason, the views are incredible and the site is also interesting from an archaeological point of view, as it is believed that a Roman temple once existed there.
Almost every town has its myths and legends and Montalegre is no exception, one of the most famous being the legend of Ponte da Misarela or Ponte do Diabo.
Thus, this bridge is even said to have been built by the Devil, in exchange for the soul of an escaped criminal who was trying to cross the Rabagão river and this bridge is still linked to several female fertility rituals.
Naturally, the entire landscape is markedly rural and, in addition to being beautiful, tells the story of the region and its economy. In this way, the connection between man and the land is quite evident here, were it not for the patches of forest and marshes that mark the scenery, where it is always possible to see the native breed of the region, the Barroso cattle, grazing.
Snow can be an attraction, especially for those who have never seen it and the geographical position and high altitudes make Montalegre one of the first Portuguese municipalities to normally show snow. Therefore, even in winter, there are plenty of reasons to go to this Trás-os-Montes destination.