Over the last few decades life in the mountains has changed markedly. Farmers have moved from stone mountain houses to more modern dwellings on the valley floor while many of the former intensively cultivated Zêzere valley terraces have been abandoned in favour of spreading pine plantation. Meanwhile local village production is often now directed towards tourists – the local queijo da serra, an unctuous mountain cheese, and blankets from the wool of the grazing upland sheep, as well as rye bread, fruit preserves and honey from the fertile valleys are all widely available.

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