By the time you’ve negotiated the winding road up to MARVÃO you’re ready for sensational panoramas, and the remote border outpost doesn’t disappoint. From the dramatically sited rocky outcrop high above the undulating serra there are unbeatable views, while within a complete circuit of seventeenth-century walls lies a higgledy-piggledy town of fewer than a thousand residents, inhabiting neat houses with granite windows and pitched red roofs. It’s a fixture on the tourist trail of course, although many do no more than drive up for a quick look around, so spending the night here is an attractive proposition. There are few actual sights in the village save a couple of historical museums, and some displays, exhibitions and local handicrafts in the Casa da Cultura, housed in the old town hall. But in the end, it’s just as rewarding to simply climb up and down the switchback cobbled streets and sit awhile in the impeccably kept terrace gardens.

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