It’s a terrific drive to PITÕES DAS JÚNIAS, 25km northwest of Montalegre, and set in one of the wildest corners of Portugal. The clustered brown-stone, red-tile buildings of the village are framed by the most extraordinary jagged peaks (pitões) of the Gerês mountains, and the surroundings simply beg you to get out of your car and walk. Happily, there’s an enjoyable waymarked trail (4km; 1hr 30min) that descends a stone path into a hidden valley where a gloriously sited, twelfth-century monastery and plunging waterfall await. Follow the brown signs for “Mosteiro” and “Cascata” and then the paint marks, which take you first to the monastery, then along a stepped boardwalk to the waterfall viewing point before looping back to the village. Pitões may be isolated, but it expects visitors: there’s a car park at the top of the village.

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