Perched on a hilltop, the Monsanto Portugal Village has a unique charm as it has been built around huge boulders. It is a fun place to explore to find the strangest structures under or around those rocks. Plus the views of the region are stunning! Have a look:
Information to plan your visit at the end of the article.
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Monsanto Portugal Video
Let's start with a short video of my visit around the Monsanto Portugal Village : the drive, the views, the houses... So much fun!
Monsanto Portugal Village from the distance
The Monsanto Portugal Village is part of the Idaha-a-nova Municipality. You can see it from far away with the hill and its giant boulders. (Don't worry the track in the photo is not the road to the village...)
Because of its uniqueness, the village has been named the 'Most portuguese village in portugal" in 1938 (which is funny because it does not look like anywhere else in Portugal, so not very 'typical') and one of the 12 "Historical Villages" in 1995.
View from the Bastion Mirador
As you arrive in the village, there is a large Viewpoint called Bastion Square or Baluarto. It is a polygonal structure designed to defend the angles of the fortifications with artillery.
On your left you see the bottom part of the Monsanto Portugal Village:
And around you discover the stunning valley:
Tower of Lucano
If you keep climbing one of the main road you will reach the Tower of Lucano, the most prominent feature.
Many thought that is was a reused military structure but there is nothing in the architecture to confirm that. It is now thought that it is a bell tower possibly constructed in the 18th century.
At the top is a replica of the Silver Rooster trophy awarded in 1938 by Estado Novo to the "Most Portuguese village in Portugal"
The views from the bottom of the tower are also beautiful:
Miradouro do Forno and the most famous house
Then you can climb a bit higher to find the most famous houses in the village of Monsanto Portugal. This is the one you see the most photographed and the one representing the village.
Look at that! Easy to understand why:
The viewpoint is a nice place to have a break
Other structures in the Monsanto Village Portugal
The Monsanto village in Portugal is a great place to have fun exploring. You want to take every alleys and look at every turn. And you find some crazy things. Below is a selection:
This location, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Portugal.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Pé Calvo Boulder and the Castle
Above the right side of the village (when going up) is one of the path to the castle. It first lead to Pé Calvo, a gigantic fissured boulder. It is one of the few boulders which have been named a long time ago by people living in this settlements.
With Monsanto's many boulders, you get to see a lot of shapes and formations created by erosion in the long process of Granite weathering.
You can continue Hiking between the boulders all the way to the oldest part of the settlement: the fortified wall and dungeon, called the castle.
Farming area and Pigpens at the village of Monsanto
Originally the pigpens were spread out in the village. Later they were regrouped in one location of public health reasons. Pigs were an important source of food over the long term.
Today you can still see some pigs inside
Hike above Monsanto Village
To hike above and up to the castle you can also go right from the center (when looking up). The path winds out of the village and past the Joined boulders. 2 boulders which seem to be leaning on each other.
And once again you get fantastic views from there:
Monsanto Village was my top 1 on my list of the 5 best villages to visit in Portugal
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Monsanto Portugal Village
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