Guarda Portugal

Guarda Portugal is an interesting travel destination, and among the reasons why is its lofty location. You can find this highest city in Portugal in the Beira Interior Norte subregion, which is part of the larger Centro Region. Scenic mountain views abound in Beira Interior Norte, as do castles, and Guarda itself offers the well-known Se da Guarda Cathedral. Construction on this cathedral began in 1390, and it is a true architectural gem.

Guarda Portugal is set about 3,465 feet above sea level. Not far from town is the highest mountain range in Continental Portugal, or the Serra de Estrela, as this range is known. The peak elevation in the range tops out at 6,539 feet above sea level and can be accessed via a paved road. It should also be noted that the border of Spain isn’t very far away to the east, so it’s possible to visit both countries during your trip here. The proximity of Guarda to the Spanish border helps explain the numerous fortifications that are found in the general area. Area castles include Pinhel Castle, Sortelha Castle, and Rodrigo Castle, to name a few.

Because of Guarda’s high-altitude position, it was an especially important defensive site in past centuries. In more modern times, it makes for a great travel base, especially if you like the prospect of visiting charming mountain villages, checking out other regional cities, and enjoying fun recreational activities. The Serra da Estrela mountain range is basically one big natural park, and among other things, it features hiking trails and ski resorts. As for area villages that Guarda visitors might consider adding to the itinerary, they include charming Piodao and enchanting Monsanto. A side trip to the lovely city of Viseu can also be rewarding, and should time allow, venturing west to the university town of Coimbra is just one more idea for things to do when traveling through Portugal’s scenic Centro Region.

Cathedral of Guarda

Cathedral of Guarda
Cathedral of Guarda

The renowned Cathedral of Guarda, or the Se da Guarda, as it is known in Portugal, dominates the main square in Guarda. Constructed between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, it is largely Gothic in design and exhibits touches of both the Portuguese Manueline and the Renaissance architectural styles. Inside, a stunning Renaissance altar is among the main highlights. The altarpiece features no less than 100 carved figures. After a tour of the Se da Guarda Cathedral, Guarda visitors can check out other religious buildings, including the Misericordia Church and the Sao Vicente Church. The Misericordia Church was constructed in the seventeenth century and is the city’s most important Baroque structure, while the Sao Vicente Church was built in the late eighteenth century and is best known for its azulejo tile panels depicting the life of Christ.

Guarda Portugal Hotels

Guarda Portugal Hotels
Guarda Portugal Hotels

The Guarda Portugal hotels aren’t overflowing in number, though there is a sufficient amount of lodging choices. Among the best hotels in town is the Residencial Santos. It offers comfortable rooms, good prices, and great views over the city from its excellent location. Other recommendations for Guarda Portugal hotels include the modern Hotel Vanguarda, the historic Hospedaria do Convento, and the pleasant Hotel Lisitania Parque.

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