Serra da Estrela has been nicknamed in recent times as “High, immense, enigmatic, haughty, mysterious, remote…” (Miguel Torga).
Alpine tranquil sea, deeply marked by altitude and glaciations, birthplace of the Mondego, Zêzere and Alva rivers, this Portuguese giant is home to the largest natural park in the country.
Made of granite and marked by schist, it is known as the kingdom of snow and the wolf, local cattle, glacial lakes and high-altitude pastures, glacial valleys, cheese and looms, Serra da Estrela hosts an important cast floristic and five priority habitats.
Whether on a sledge or just moving the snow with your hands, children (and beyond) love this pure contact with nature.
In this way, snowmen are just a distance from our imagination and everything serves to decorate our work of art.
When that single and insistent mountain cold challenges us, human mastery has already prepared us to resist it. This is how we speak of burel, a handcrafted fabric made from the wool of the Bordaleira (Serra da Estrela) sheep breed.
Its durability and strength provide protection against both the cold and rain, but also the sun and heat of hot, dry mountain summers.
The Cheese Serra da Estrela
The unmistakable flavor of Serra da Estrela Cheese is unparalleled.
There are mentions of this cheese since the 12th century, making it the oldest of the Portuguese cheeses. It is, without a doubt, one of the most famous sheep cheeses in the world.
The breeds of sheep “Serra da Estrela” or “Churra Mondegueira” are considered the best suppliers of raw material – milk.
Just like in the past, there are still shepherds in the mountains who leave with the flock in the morning and return in the late afternoon. The sheep’s pasture must be chosen carefully, so that the final taste is that very special.
The Dog Serra da Estrela
The Serra da Estrela dog is a delight for children and adults alike.
This is a very old breed, one of the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula.
Friend, confidant and faithful companion of the mountain shepherd and tireless protector of herds against wolf packs, the Serra da Estrela Dog is a reference in this imposing mountain range, having been part of the mountain landscape for centuries.
He accompanies his owner, the shepherd, in guarding the flock, never abandoning him.
It travels along local routes, when the animals that are under its protection have to look for new pastures.
Serra da Estrela is beautiful, magnanimous and extraordinary.
It is located in the Center of Portugal, it welcomes visitors with the recognized hospitality of the Beira people and now, in winter, even more especially, it is all decked out in its snow white cloak.
The reasons for interest are many and varied. As well as the dangers sometimes associated. We cannot forget that we are referring to the highest mountain range in mainland Portugal, so venturing alone should not be an option.
At Animactiva we have local mountain guides who will guide you in complete safety on the journey of the senses to discover Serra da Estrela.
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