Explore Beira Alta and Beira Baixa Viseu Guarda The Beira Alta planalto The Serra da Estrela Beira Baixa Mangualde and around Share Ancient MONSANTO jealously guards its title of the “most Portuguese” village in the country, an award originally bestowed in 1948. Sited high on a hill above the plain, its houses huddle between giant granite outcrops, their walls moulded around enormous grey boulders – in the case of the Casa de Uma Só Telha (“the house with only one tile”), the entire roof is formed from a single rock. A few houses lie abandoned, but on the whole Monsanto seems to be doing well from Spanish day-trippers and from tourists still searching for the “real” Portugal. Gift shops aside, facilities are limited to a couple of cafés and a small mercearia (grocer’s), but there’s enough to do if you decided to stay the night and it certainly is an experience. A fine driving circuit east and south of Monsanto leads to some fascinating border outposts, each with a well-marked walking trail. You can do it easily in a day, with time for a walk or two, before returning to Monsanto via Idanha-a-Velha (90km total trip).