Castelo Novo is located in Fundão, in the Castelo Branco district, and is part of the 12 Historical Villages of Portugal (a program created to restore and enhance villages older than the country itself). Well, the town may be called Castelo Novo (ie “New Castle”), but it has nothing new: after all, we’re talking about more than 800 years of history! With Templar origins, Castelo Novo developed markedly medieval architecture, but you can find buildings from the Manueline and Baroque periods!
Óbidos is a very picturesque town, where you can walk along the centuries-old walls, discover where a long 16th-century aqueduct ends, and even climb a medieval castle, which was elected one of the “7 Wonders of Portugal” in 2007! Óbidos is an excellent option for a day trip from Lisbon and, if you can’t decide when to visit this Portuguese town, don’t worry. There are several festivals and fairs throughout the year, which can also your trip much more special!
Very close to the Spanish border, you’ll find the medieval village of Castelo Mendo, one of the “12 Historical Villages of Portugal” (a program created by the government to restore and enhance a series of villages in the Beira Interior region, older than the country itself). Castelo Mendo belongs to the Guarda district and is located 19 km from another historical village: Almeida. Besides, it’s also one of the smallest villages on this route, so you can visit it in a more relaxed way!
Despite being a town, Belmonte is considered one of the “12 Historical Villages of Portugal” (a program created to restore and enhance a series of villages in the Beira Interior region). Belmonte belongs to the Castelo Branco district and is located about 40 km from the Torre da Serra da Estrela (the highest point in mainland Portugal) and 20 km from another historical village: Sortelha. Besides, it’s famous because of its Jewish Community, which has remained secret for many centuries!
Despite being a town, Almeida is considered one of the “12 Historical Villages of Portugal” (a program created by the Portuguese government in 1991, to restore and enhance a series of villages in the Beira Interior, older than the country itself)! Located very close to the Spanish border (and to the historical villages of Castelo Mendo and Castelo Rodrigo), Almeida is internationally known for its fortress, which forms a twelve-pointed star, thanks to its six bulwarks and six ravelins!
Étretat is a unique natural landscape, with its huge limestone cliffs. And every year, more than a million tourists visit this small French commune to hike the winding paths that connect the beach to the green hills. The fishing town of Étretat is located in the Seine-Maritime department – which in turn belongs to the Normandy region. In summer, it’s a very popular destination, due to its white pebble beach with privileged views over the English Channel!
Rouen is the capital of Normandy and one of the most beautiful cities in this French region. But Rouen is much more than a picturesque and photogenic destination: it’s a place with centuries of history, dating back to the beginning of the Roman Empire! If you visit the historic center of Rouen, you’ll find a little of everything: typical German-inspired wooden houses, monuments reminiscent of the Hundred Years War, and religious buildings, which are true masterpieces of Gothic architecture!
Barcelona is one of the best cities to visit, both in Spain and in Europe. To begin with, the architecture of the city is unique and you can admire it in buildings designed by masters like Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner. And then, the very streets and squares have a contagious energy and dynamic! Besides, it’s almost impossible to visit the capital of Catalonia without being influenced by its culture, art, history, and gastronomy. And of course, not wanting to go back once, twice, or more times!
Cologne (in German, Köln) is the main city in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth most populous city in Germany – right after the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. Besides, Cologne is located just a few kilometers from Germany’s borders with other European countries. For example, if you want to visit the cities of Liège (in Belgium) or Maastricht (in the Netherlands), you can do it in less than two hours by car! Ready to visit Cologne?
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and one of the most popular European cities among tourists. Easily recognized by its network of canals, it’s often called the “Venice of the North”. The Dutch Golden Age (17th century) was fundamental to the expansion and development of Amsterdam as the main cosmopolitan center in Northern Europe. Nowadays, part of that legacy is present in the architecture of the city’s buildings, as well as in the art collections dispersed by several museums!