On a recent trip to Portugal, we visited several small villages and towns in the As Beiras region of the central and northeastern parts of the country. The As Beiras region is divided into three sub-regions located between the Douro/Duero River in the north and the Tejo/Tajo river in the south. They are the Beira Litoral (the coastal margin), Beira Baixa (lower margin in the south) and the Beira Alta (upper margin in the north). Our journey led us through the Beira Baixa to the impressive mountain fortress village of Monsanto to its neighboring ancient multicultural village of Idanha-A-Velha dating back to the Roman era. In the Beira Alta region we visited the imposing, stern city of Guarda near the Spanish border that rises above the plains and originally guarded Portugal from hostile Moors and Spaniards, but now welcomes visitors from around the world. Also in the Beira Alta province, we also visited two small village gems, the walled former jewish enclave of Trancoso and the Portuguese government designated aldeia historico (historic village) of Linhares. To work up an appetite to eat the hearty meals of the region we climbed the numerous steps of pilgrimage church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios in the strong Visigothic and Moorish influenced town of Lamego. We concluded our visit to As Beiras (Baixa and Alta) by stopping in the monumental capital of the Dão wine region of Viseu where we had one of the best (and heaviest) meals this writer has ever had in the entire peninsula! The photos are of the people and places mentioned in this post.
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