There is a well-kept secret very close to us. It is called Beira Baixa and it is one of the Portuguese territories, bordering Spain, ideal for a perfect getaway to the sister country. It is less than two hours from Cáceres and less than four hours from Madrid. A quick trip that, with total guarantee, will be worth it. Here the traveler will find refreshing river beaches, impressive landscapes and the best gastronomy. Take a pencil and paper and start preparing your luggage!
Beira Baixa is one of the gateways to Portugal. It comprises a total of six municipalities: Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Oleiros, Penamacor, Proença-a-Nova and Vila Velha de Ródãothat they have in common the good gastronomy and their hospitality. In Beira Baixa the doors are always open to visitors and as soon as you arrive you will feel at home. A visit to Beira Baixa always includes a good handful of pleasant surprises, since in this Portuguese territory a magic reigns that mixes silence and vibration, natural beauty and beauty that was molded by man to be perfection. Here you will also find everything you need for a refreshing summer and in the silence, immersed in the music of nature, you will find a well-deserved rest.
River beaches and natural pools to choose from
In summer, the river beaches are one of the great attractions of Beira Baixa. In all its municipalities we find river beaches, natural pools or spaces to enjoy the water with excellent facilities and equipment, for all tastes and ages. These are 6 places to swim and cool off in Beira Baixa:
- Sesmo river beach – Castelo Branco. Located in the beautiful town of Sesmo, at the western end of the municipality of Castelo Branco, near the Pizarra de Sarzedas Village, this beach is surrounded by hills and valleys characteristic of the Pinhal Interior area.
- Pego Spa – Idanha-a-Nova. In Penha Garcia, nature and adventure mix with history. Nestled in a unique landscape, with excellent quality water, the pool is surrounded by fossil strata that are 480 million years old. Formed by a dam, it is located in the Ichnological Park of Penha García.
- River beach of Cambas – Oleiros. Here you will find a perfect setting in green tones. The Praia Fluvial de Cambas stands out for the purity of the Zêzere River, with a waterfall that is synonymous with beauty and freshness. It has excellent infrastructures for practicing sports, such as soccer and beach volleyball, as well as nautical activities.
- Baths of Meimão – Penamacor. Against the backdrop of the Serra da Malcata Nature Reserve, the beach stands out for its beautiful landscapes, which give it its unique identity. With a floating pool, located in the middle of the Meimoa river dam, it is one of the perfect places to cool off and rest in Beira Baixa.
- Village of Ruiva – Proença-a-Nova. In Ribeira de Isna there is another hidden treasure to discover after a visit to the Aldeia do Xisto (slate village) from Aldeia Ruiva. In addition to its scenic beauty, it has excellent infrastructure due to its location next to the Camping and Caravan Park.
- Foz do Cobrão – Vila Velha de Ródão. On the banks of the Cobrão stream, in the Villa de Pizarra de Foz do Cobrão and very close to the Portas de Almourão – where there is an incredible viewpoint – there is a natural pool that extends to infinity and stands out for the beauty of its banks. and its small waterfall.
Extraordinary nature, adventure and legends
In Louriçal do Campo, Castelo Branco, in the heart of the Serra da Gardunha, at more than a thousand meters of altitude, the landscapes speak for themselves. We will visit the Santa Águeda reservoir, we will contemplate the succession of mountains and colors, and we will have fun on the giant swing of Castelo Velho, which will delight the whole family. It is a 100% ‘instagrammable’ place that even offers a totem to place your phone and take a selfie comfortably.
At the gates of Monsanto, in Idanha-a-Nova, there is another magical place unknown to many: São Pedro de Vir-a-Corça. In the midst of silence, next to huge granite rocks among bushes and cork oaks, is the Chapel of São Pedro de Vir-a-Corça, which seems literally taken from a legend. It is a magnificent Romanesque temple of striking beauty, with a bell tower with a perfect arch embedded in the rock. The place is bucolic and full of small corners to photograph. In this area we will also find a set of thousand-year-old fountains to stop to listen to the murmur of the water. If we go at night, we will enjoy a spectacular starry sky.
And speaking of impressive landscapes, the panoramic view from the Miradouro do Cabeço do Mosqueiro, in Oleiros, stands out as a must. It is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic and watch a stunning sunset. Here begins the Passadiços do Orvalho, a journey through nature dotted with small wonders, such as the Fraga da Água d’Alta waterfall and the Lagoa das Lontras, both ideal places to stop and enjoy the shade, the vegetation and, why no, a refreshing swim in the middle of nature.
In fact, in summer, nothing better than a picnic to savor those long afternoons in which rest is the longed-for word. In Penamacor, in the Serra da Malcata, a green carpet, colors and harmony with a rich biodiversity await you. Painted green and with a breeze that whispers and inspires us, Serra das Talhadas, in Proença-a-Nova, is a real treasure waiting to be discovered. Climb the 16-meter-high metal structure tower designed by the architect Siza Vieira and let yourself be enchanted by the contrasts of the landscape. We are in a destination suitable for the most adventurous, who can travel the Via Ferrata da Serra das Talhadas, the longest in Portugal, with about 2,190 meters, travel the MTB enduro trails and make use of a ramp enabled to practice paragliding.
Very close, don’t forget to walk through the Slate Village of Figueira, to lose yourself among treasures, memories and flavors. In summer, the sun’s rays bring a magical glow to the slate houses. Not far from there are other mesmerizing landscapes, such as the Portas de Rodão Natural Monument, in Vila Velha de Ródão. It is easy to be dazzled by the landscape when the Tagus is the protagonist and a good idea would be to discover it during a boat trip. Another experience full of legends awaits at the viewpoint next to the Rei Wamba Castle.
Traditional and authentic flavors
The extraordinary places that the traveler discovers in Beira Baixa fill his eyes, but the traditional cuisine will comfort his soul. Nothing better than those meals prepared over a slow fire, at the table of friends and family who, between laughter and lively conversations, taste the most traditional dishes that have passed from generation to generation and that come to us with the same flavor as always. It is essential to try the Steps and the plangaiothe famous staton kid and, like a sweet to finish it always goes well, it is necessary to choose between the bowl oh the carolo porridge. All this without forgetting, of course, toasting with the best wines from Beira Baixa.
For all this and much more, it is really worth discovering this magical destination just a stone’s throw from our land: Beira Baixa: where the sun and happiness are born!