Top Places to visit in Fornos de Algodres (2024), Serra da Estrela

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Everything you need to know about the town of Fornos de Algodres, in the Serra da Estrela. Top places to visit in Fornos de Algodres, best things to do and visit in this region, from exploring the prehistoric legacy to participating in different events throughout the year!

Fornos de Algodres is a municipality in the Guarda district, located in the Central Region of Portugal.

This region is quite ancient, as it has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times. That is to say, it has more than five thousand years of history, the traces of which are still visible in the town.

For gastronomy lovers, it is the paradise of Serra cheese and Dão wine!

So, in this article, we will provide you with suggestions for the main tourist attractions of Fornos de Algodres, as well as accommodation recommendations and how to get to this part of the country.

I’ll also explain to you when is the best time to visit Fornos de Algodres, and why!

So, are you joining me on this journey through the highlands at the foot of the Serra da Estrela?

Did you know that the Marquess of Tomar was born in Fornos de Algodres on May 9, 1803? He passed away on September 1, 1889, in the city of Porto.

Top Places to See in Fornos de Algodres and Best Things to Do

Visiting Igreja da Misericórdia de Algodres (Church of Mercy)

Igreja Misericórdia Fornos de Algodres
Top Places to visit in Fornos de Algodres: Igreja da Misericórdia.

The Igreja da Misericórdia is a beautiful example of baroque architecture.

In fact, it was built in the early 18th century, but it is said that some of the stones used in this church were reused from the ruins of the old castle.

Moreover, next to this church, there is a space where the seniors of the village gather to play cards, and it can be a good opportunity to have a chat with them.

Seeing the Pillory of Fornos de Algodres

Visitar Fornos de Algodres
Top Places to visit in Fornos de Algodres: Pillory of Fornos de Algodres.
Capela de São Sebastião, em Fornos de Algodres.
Top Places to visit in Fornos de Algodres: Chapel São Sebastião.

The Pillory of Fornos de Algodres is classified as a Property of Public Interest.

Its construction dates back to the year 1514 after the granting of a charter to Fornos de Algodres by King Manuel I.

Next to the Pillory of Fornos is the chapel of São Sebastião.

Exploring the São Miguel Thermal Baths

A caminho das Termas de S. Miguel.
On the way to the São Miguel Thermal Baths.

The São Miguel Thermal Baths are located within the luxury Palace Hotel & SPA; however, you don’t need to stay at this hotel to enjoy these thermal baths.

At the baths, you can undergo various treatments besides enjoying the indoor pools, but there is another attraction to visiting the baths.

The Palace Hotel & SPA is situated in the Serra da Esgalhada, from where you’ll have an incredible view over the municipality of Fornos de Algodres.

Therefore, even if you’re not interested in the benefits of the thermal baths, you will certainly appreciate the magnificent view.

Exploring the Castro de Santiago

Castro Santiago Figueiró da Granja
Top Places to visit in Fornos de Algodres: Castro de Santiago.

The Castro de Santiago is located in the parish of Figueiró da Granja, and despite being isolated in the middle of the hill, it has good road access.

This was the first fortified Chalcolithic settlement identified in Beira Alta, so don’t miss the opportunity to visit it.

At the site, you will find traces of walls as well as inscriptions on the granite blocks.

Furthermore, being situated at an altitude of 612 meters makes it an excellent viewpoint.

We parked the car near the Castro de Santiago and walked the remaining few meters on foot; don’t worry because the path is clear.

You need to be careful because the vegetation is low, which means bushes can cause scratches, and the stones are slippery.

Going to Fraga da Pena

Fraga da Pena is a ceremonial site believed to date back to the Bronze Age.

It is located in the middle of the hill but has good access.

In addition to the cultural interest that this place indeed has, it is also an excellent natural viewpoint where you can enjoy the rugged landscape and the granite blocks of the region.

Visiting the chapel of Our Lady of Miracles in Muxagata

Top Places to visit in Fornos de Algodres: Chapel of Our Lady of Miracles, in Muxagata.
Ermida de Nossa Senhora dos Milagres, em Muxagata.
Chapel of Our Lady of Miracles, in Muxagata.

Muxagata is a parish in the municipality of Fornos de Algodres.

In turn, the chapel of Our Lady of Miracles is located on a hill.

Hike the trails of Fornos de Algodres

Explorar o centro de Fornos de Algodres.
Explore the center of Fornos de Algodres.

Discover the Routes with History while exploring the nooks and crannies of the village:

  • Solar Route PR01 FAG: 5.5 km in Fornos de Algodres;
  • Viewpoints Route PR 02 FAG: 8 km in Algodres, Furtado, and Rancozinho;
  • Biodiversity Stations EBIO: short pedestrian routes, with a maximum of 3 km and informative panels.

Other points of interest in Fornos de Algodres

Mapa de Fornos de Algodres o que visitar
Tile panel with the map of the parishes of Fornos de Algodres.
Principais atrações turísticas de Fornos de Algodres.
Main tourist attractions of Fornos de Algodres.

This tip is very important because even though we haven’t visited the places we will mention below, you can see images of them in the town center.

So, between the Town Hall and the Hospital of Fornos de Algodres, you can see a large tile panel depicting some tourist attractions of the region.

Therefore, we take the liberty of recommending that you see which monuments you are interested in including in your itinerary.

Some of these places of interest are located in Queiriz, others in Sobral Pichorro, Fuinhas, Maceira, Matança, Cortiçô, Vila Chã, Casal Vasco, Figueiró da Granja, Infias, Juncais, Vila Soeiro do Chão, but also in Vila Ruiva.

Accomodation in Fornos de Algodres

Turpino House.
Turpino House, in Vilar Torpim.

We visited Fornos de Algodres on a weekend that included stops in other villages, so we chose to stay at Turpino House, which is about 70 kilometers away.

However, if you prefer accommodation closer by, my recommendation is Solar Dos Cáceres, a 15th-century mansion located in Casal Vasco, about 3 kilometers from the center of Fornos de Algodres.

Hotels in Fornos de Algodres.

Best time to visit Fornos de Algodres

Câmara Municipal de Fornos de Algodres.
Câmara Municipal de Fornos de Algodres.

Throughout the year, there are several events that attract many visitors to the village of Fornos de Algodres.

So, if you’re wondering about the best time to visit Fornos de Algodres, here are my suggestions:

  • Serra da Estrela Cheese Fair 2024 (March 22nd to 24th, 2024);
  • Eco Trail TransFornos – Municipal Mountain Race Circuit (March 23rd, 2024);
  • Muxagata Agriculture Fair (April 28th);
  • Antas Trails – Municipal Mountain Race Circuit (April 28th);
  • Terras D’Algodres Renaissance Fair (May 25th and 26th);
  • Black Sheep Trails “Terras do Vasco” – Municipal Mountain Race Circuit (June 16th);
  • River Trail – Municipal Mountain Race Circuit (July 14th); Biodiversity Festival (July 19th);
  • Fornos de Algodres Cross Triathlon (July 21st);
  • River Fish Festival (July 28th);
  • Ants Route – Night Walk (August 9th);
  • Vila Chã Mountain Race – Municipal Mountain Race Circuit (August 11th);
  • Feasts in honor of Our Lady of Grace (August 16th);
  • Municipal Holiday and Feast of São Miguel (September 29th);
  • Castro de Santiago Trails – Municipal Mountain Race Circuit (November 3rd).

Map and How to Get to Fornos de Algodres

The village of Fornos de Algodres is about 160 km from Porto (1h40) and 316 km from Lisbon (3h20).

If you prefer to travel by bus, the least inconvenient option is Rede Expressos, but in both cases, the trips are quite long.

Therefore, if you don’t have your own car, consider the possibility of renting one, and in that case, I recommend Discovercars, which currently offers the best prices for car rental in Portugal.

From Lisboa

From Porto

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