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 an impressive ruined castle, a couple of historical museums, and some displays in the Casa da Cultura, housed in the old town hall. Useful amenities cluster along the central Rua do Espírito Santo, where you’ll find the tiny village shop, the post office and an ATM. But in the end, it’s just as rewarding to simply climb the switchback cobbled streets or the (unguarded) outer town walls, or sit awhile in the impeccably kept terrace gardens.

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