Guarda Mini Guide
What is There in Guarda for me to See?
Guarda is the biggest city and capital of the region of Portugal known as Beiras. It’s also the country’s highest city at an altitude of 3,200ft and within sight of Portugal’s highest mountain, the Serra da Estrela or 'mountain of stars'. The city was founded in the 12th century by the then king, Sancho I. Today it is a quiet city with a little tourism which comes to see the mountains and the Douro Valley, close by, where the grapes that make the famous port wine are grown.
How do I get to Guarda?
It’s not easy to reach, being fairly isolated. The city is over 100 miles from the nearest international airport in Porto
but high speed trains make the journey quick and relatively painless. You can also drive the route as the city is served by two major highways. Flights land at Porto from all over Europe and North Africa with many flights offered from UK
airports including several by budget carriers.
What is There to See and Do in Guarda?
There’s not too much to see in the city itself as most of its attractions lie in the surrounding area. In the city it’s worth spending a little time at the Se da Guarda which is the city’s imposing 15th century cathedral. It’s the third such building to stand on the spot. Inside, it’s austere but beautiful in its simplicity. There are also plenty of signs of how well fortified the city was when relations with Spain were a little frostier! Outside the city you can drive close to the summit of Portugal’s highest mountain, the Serra da Estrella and look out over the rugged countryside of this part of Iberia. If you like fortified wine, you can also spend time touring the nearby Douro valley where the grapes for port are grown.