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Exploring Castelo Branco

Get to know the countries key areas

Castelo Branco is the capital of the old province of Beira Baixa. Located just twenty kilometres from the Spanish border, most of the historical character of Castelo Branco has an attractive atmosphere to it, with generous parks, wide boulevards and bustling squares

 

Full of history and with a heritage of infinite value, this secular city has a great diversity of spaces and multiple activities, with a close and familiar environment, where the mountains and the city come together. Castelo Branco is a very good foundation from which to explore the border region of central Portugal.

Use the map above to get to know a bit of Portugal's geography

Things to do in Portugal

Monuments and locations you want to visit
Garden of the Bishop’s Palace

The Bishop's Palace Garden in Castelo Branco is one of Portugal's most unique Baroque examplesJoão de Mendonça, Bishop of Guarda, financed the project and supervised its completion. Balconies and verandas with iron guards and stone balusters dominate this beautiful rectangular Baroque garden.

The key level of the garden is divided into 24 areas separated by hedges of bushes. As an allusion to Christ's five injuries, you will find five lakes with fountains here.

The west side staircase leads to the upper level of the garden, where we find sculptures representing the Old Testament and water as a sign of purification.

Wander around the Old Town

Castelo Branco's medieval centre is a bewildering maze of narrow streets winding through ravines of whitewashed houses in varying states of repair. One such artery is the steep Rua dos Peleteiros, which name means "street of the furriers" and refers to the old-time businesses that were founded here hundreds of years ago.

You'll pass through squares like the Praça de Camões, which is undoubtedly the most beautiful in the region and features the old town hall, which has a decorated coat of arms and a lovely arcade.

Enjoy the view from the Medieval Castel

If you keep going up the hill on Rua dos Peleteiros, you'll finally reach the medieval castle that gave Castelo Branco its name. This is the city's highest point, and the shape of the single tower can be seen from a long distance. The castle was a Templar fortification built in the early 13th century.

The castle suffered significant loss during the Portuguese Restoration War in the 17th century, and then again during the War of the Spanish Succession and Napoleon's Peninsular Wars, and by the 1800s, its stone had been quarried for city buildings. Despite this, you still get a decent look at how the castle used to be and, above all, can enjoy the perfect view of Castelo Branco!

Tejo International Natural Park

If you love the silence and nature, you'll find it in the 40 kilometres of Tejo International Park which is filled with fauna and flora rarities.

The Tejo Internacional Natural Park area contains 154 bird species, 44 mammal species, 15 amphibian species, 20 reptile species, 12 fish species, and 153 insect species including holm oaks and cork oaks, heather and rosemary, turning it one of the most important protected areas in Portugal.

Here’s where the Tagus River meets Spain, blending the best of nature with historical and cultural heritage. Traces from Neolithic and Roman graves coexist with rustic settlements, and the landscape harmoniously incorporates the common architecture of nearby traditional villages, which welcome you with open arms.

Try the local gastronomy

Castelo Branco is well-known for its high-quality olive oil and honey, which can also make excellent gifts.

Traditional meals in this rural region of Portugal are plain, meaty, and satisfying, relying on local and fresh agricultural products, turning the food even more earthy.

If you're looking for something authentic to eat when dining out, try empadas de Castelo Branco, a pastry with pork and onion filling, soup made with local cheese, roast lamb, roast partridge, goat stuffed with bacon and herbs and, or fried liver in an onion, tomato, and paprika sauce.

Visit Monsanto

Monsanto is a former parish in the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova and was voted for “the most Portuguese village in Portugal”. The village is unique as it’s one of the “Historical Villages of Portugal” and stands out for its impressive boulders in which the village is built around

The village is perfect for walkers looking for peace and comfort, since it is surrounded by a huge array of hiking paths, including a trail that showcases the best of the area's rare rock formations.

 Igreja Matriz de São Salvador, and Capela de São Miguel are also must-sees in Monsanto.

If you're looking to invest in Portuguese property, you've come to the right place. The property market in Portugal continues to go from strength to strength, with now being a great time to purchase home here. European buyers flock here every year, but the Golden Visa scheme allows people from further afield to get their hands on Portugal real estate. This gives overseas buyers the right to live, work and study anywhere within the European Union.

Local Information

Key details you must know about Portugal

Transportation

While there is strong public transportation to Castelo Branco from other parts of Portugal, such as Lisbon and Porto, getting a car is almost needed if you want to visit nearby towns such as Monsanto, Idanha-a-Velha, and Belmonte.

There’s also train station situated at Praça Rei D. Carlos, Estação dos Caminhos de Ferro and bus services around the town. 

Shopping

Castelo Branco is a relatively small region, hence there aren’t as many places to shop around other than local malls. These places are best for shopping around the city:

  • Serra Shopping

  • Forum Castelo Branco

  • Alforge

  • MDetails

  • Regional - Produtos das beiras

Airports

Viseu (VSE) is the closest airport to Castelo Branco. There are, however, faster ways to get to Castelo Branco. Every day, Citi Express runs a bus from Lisboa Oriente to Castelo Branco. The ride takes 2h20 and tickets range from 12€ to 14€.

Lisbon (LIS), Porto (OPO), Sevilla (SVQ), and Faro (FAO) are other nearby airports.

Weather

August is usually the hottest month of the year in Castelo Branco, going up to 25ºC. In January, the average temperature is 7ºC. and is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.

The best months to visit Castelo Branco are potentially June or September when the weather is mild but not too hot. Since the city does not get as many visitors as Lisbon and Porto, it should not be a problem if you come in July or August.

Restaurants & Bars

The Portuguese region of Beira Baixa is best known for its cheeses! Here it is where some of the country's best known traditional cheeses are made. Its long history of agriculture, granitic soils and healthy pastures make it the perfect place to produce curated, tasty cheese.

If you fancy non-veg food, Maranho is a traditional Portuguese dish hailing from Sertã - a district in Castelo Branco. It's made with a combination of goat meat, chouriço, ham, rice and mint.

Head out to some of the best restaurants and bars in Castelo Branco:

  • Boutique Do Presunto

  • Retiro do Caçador

  • O Pinguim

Beaches

There are no beaches in Castelo Branco since it is an inland city. The city, on the other hand, is well prepared for the summer months, with swimming pools that do resemble a sea! The municipality has built attractive swimming pools - Complexo de Piscinas Municipais de Castelo Branco - to provide residents and tourists with a relaxing atmosphere during the hot summer months. These pools are the country's largest and are completely fitted with leisure facilities, ensuring that their users receive the highest levels of water quality, sanitation, and security.

Testimonials

What our clients say about us
They were very accommodating and helpful. They tried their very best to see that we would get what we need.
Robert Ynson Jr.
From the Philippines
João is friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. We had fun seeing the properties.
Jeannie & Alan Park
From Hong Kong, China
Overwhelming. Luisa has exceeded our expectations on all levels. Trust was established immediately. Enhanced by super friendly professionalism. The networks to banks, accountants, lawyers was seamless. there is not enough space here to write all the positives, enough to say we are making an offer and we only arrived 4 days ago. Its impossible to improve from perfection!
John Mulroe and Wiebke Bock
Ryann has been extremely helpful and responsive to our questions. It was a delight to have worked with him, including Mariana, Luísa, and David as well. Very experienced team!
Marjorie Tan-Thronson
From the USA
Could not have asked for a better team. Very happy, satisfied and glad we've done business together. 
Arthit Narula
From Thailand

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