In the last decades of the twentieth century, and to a lesser extent more recently, life in the mountains changed almost beyond recognition. 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 plantations. Meanwhile local village production is often now directed towards tourists – delights such as the local queijo da serra, an unctuous mountain cheese, as well as rye bread, fruit preserves, honey from the fertile valleys and blankets made from the wool of grazing upland sheep are all widely available.

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