Serra de Estrela



The Serra de Estrela is mainland Portugal's highest mountain range, and - although still relatively unestablished - is fast becoming one of Europe's hottest new resorts for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

The mountain range itself is formed from a huge granite ridge that reaches 6,539 feet (1,993m) at its highest point, and its unique topography of strangely-shaped crags and gorges, fast-flowing streams, mountain lakes and pristine forests makes it one of Portugal's greatest natural attractions. The ski resort itself - the Vodafone Ski Resort - is still in its formative days, but features five miles (7.4km) of skiable snow, nine runs ranging in difficulty from absolute beginner to intermediate, and a terrain park for snowboarders.

The Serra de Estrela makes for a great winter holiday alternative to the over-crowded beaches of the Algarve region, and with its hiking trails, chic restaurants, high-class health spas and outdoor sports opportunities, it is bound to become Portugal's new tourist hotspot for winter vacationers.