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Places to Visit Details

Algarve, Portugal

The highest peaks on mainland Portugal, the Serra da Estrela, are called the "star mountains." Rising to 1,993 meters above sea level at its highest point, the range, or more precisely the plateau, is a dramatic natural feature of central Portugal. It is often snowcapped in winter, when opportunistic skiers take advantage of what is probably the shortest ski season in Europe. Otherwise, the granite escarpments and glacier-cut valleys are classic hiking country, with a network of signed long-distance paths and tracks covering the terrain. 

Along the way, walkers can take in some absolutely stunning countryside and absorb the traditional character of the place, epitomised in villages like Linhares and Valezim. The mountains are home to the Serra da Estrela sheepdog, a breed unique to Portugal. You are bound to come across proud locals walking one of these powerful but mild-mannered dogs. The area is also known for the deliciously rich and creamy Serra cheese - arguably Portugal's finest cheese.

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