GUARDA, 70km east of Viseu, is Portugal’s highest city, at an altitude of over 1000m. With a somewhat dour old town made of solid granite, its name is apt, as the original fortifications helped to guard the residents – and the mountain hinterland – from Spanish invaders. There’s not much left of the fortifications, but the historical core retains an air of dignified grandeur, especially in the streets around the cathedral. Locals will tell you their city is forte, farta, fiel e formosa (strong, wealthy, loyal and beautiful), though come on an overcast winter’s day and you may prefer to use fria e feia (cold and ugly). Either way, it makes a laidback base from which to explore the surrounding area.

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Portugal features

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An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

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14 Mar 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
Portugal travel tips: 10 things you need to know before you go

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With its stunning beaches, friendly people, unspoilt countryside and tasty local cuisine, Portugal is, unsurprisingly, one of Europe's most popular travel des…

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The 10 best beaches in Portugal

The 10 best beaches in Portugal

For many travellers, Portugal is synonymous with images of golden sun-baked beaches. And with a generous 1700 kilometres of coastline, there’s enough sand for…

20 Jan 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
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