Things to See and Do in Castelo Novo, Portugal

things to do in Castelo Novo Portugal

The town grew around the castle walls with narrow streets leading up to the keep. At the heart of the village is the Praca de Camoes featuring the former town hall with a carved coat of arms and the John V fountain engraved with the monarch’s signature.

Other highlights include stately family manors like the Correia de Sampaio House and Casa dos Brochas. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and a camera to capture the medieval village’s winding cobblestone streets, ancient castle ruins, and stunning mountain vistas!

1. Visit the Castle Ruins

Whether you are a history buff or a nature lover, there is plenty to see and do in Castelo Novo. The village’s ancient castle ruins provide a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past, while the nearby Serra da Estrela Natural Park offers breathtaking mountain scenery and countless hiking trails.

Visitors to Castelo Novo can also enjoy the town’s many charming cafes, restaurants, and shops, where they can sample local delicacies and browse handmade crafts and souvenirs. In addition, the city’s warm and welcoming locals make for an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

The unique medieval walled town of Monsanto is one of the area’s most beautiful villages. It is a stunning example of Portuguese architecture and boasts captivating castle ruins. The town is also home to a renowned museum that celebrates Jewish heritage.

2. Explore the Serra da Estrela Natural Park

The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is a beautiful natural wonder and is home to hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and scenic drives. It is the highest mountain range in Portugal and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The park is also famous for its yew trees (Taxus baccata), which bloom in late winter and early spring. The tree is easily recognizable by its large, rounded male flowers and smaller green female flowers.

Another fun thing to do in Serra da Estrela is to visit the manor of the Correia de Sampaio family and tour its stunning 18th-century architecture. The manor is now a boutique hotel, but you can still admire the original design and the coat of arms of the family on the main façade.

3. Explore the Local Museums

The soaring castle ruins are the star of the show in Castelo Novo, but this UNESCO Heritage Site is also home to some excellent museums. Se Cathedral, Jardim do Paco Episcopal and the Embroidery Interpretation Center are all worth a visit.

The Serra da Estrela Natural Park is another top attraction in the area. With hiking trails, mountain biking routes and scenic drives, it’s a paradise for nature lovers. It’s also a haven for history buffs with Neolithic and Roman vestiges, granite farming cottages and the eerie ruins of the old village of Alares.

A number of the historic villages are also worth a visit, but they’re spread out and can only be reached by car. It’s best to plan overnight stays in one of the many boutique hotels in the region.

4. Sample the Local Cuisine

Visitors to Castelo Novo will find that the region’s cuisine offers a rich culinary heritage. Some of the most popular dishes include toasted rice, green eggs, fried pumpkin and picas de Serra de Estrela pastry tarts. Visitors can also sample the region’s many desserts, such as tigeladas, which is similar to creme brulee.

The Historical Village of Castelo Novo is a great destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Its ancient castle ruins and stunning mountain scenery make it an ideal location for hiking and sightseeing. Its quaint cafes and restaurants are also a delight to explore. Moreover, its residents are warm and welcoming, making it a great place to visit for a truly authentic Portuguese experience.

5. Shop for Handmade Crafts and Souvenirs

Castelo Novo is a great destination for both families and couples seeking a cultural and relaxing experience. It’s also well-suited for nature lovers and those who love to hike and explore the nearby Serra da Estrela Natural Park.

Visitors should be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as the town’s cobblestone streets can be difficult to navigate in heels or dress shoes. It’s also a good idea to bring a camera and binoculars to capture the stunning mountain vistas and ancient castle ruins.

The best time to visit Castelo Novo is from June through August, when the weather is warm and dry. However, the area is beautiful all year round, and it’s possible to enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities in winter as well. In 2022, the village was distinguished as one of the World’s Best Tourist Villages by the World Tourism Organization (WTO). Paulo Fernandes, the mayor of Fundao, pointed out that this recognition is “a huge boost” and will help to attract more visitors to the region.

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