In a natural amphitheatre in the heart of Serra da Gardunha in shades of green and grey, we ﬁnd Castelo Novo, one of Portugal's historical villages, enveloped in an aura of mystery. Here we feel something fascinating that surrounds and balances us. Everything inspires us … captivates us, from the sound of water gushing from the springs to the timeless granite that sustains the village and carves its dwellings, the temples, paving, squares …all a matchless architectural heritage.
Our history your time
Castelo Novo começou por pertencer aos extensos territórios doados pelos monarcas portugueses à Ordem dos Templários, depois Ordem de Cristo, para, em terras da Beira promoverem e assegurarem a posse dos domínios conquistados aos muçulmanos no séc. XIII. Com D. Manuel I, já na centúria de Quinhentos, recebe foral, encontrando-se bem testemunhada a intervenção deste rei no património arquitetónico da antiga vila. A estrutura de ocupação do espaço é assim caracteristicamente medieval, sendo significativas as intervenções do período Manuelino (séc. XVI) e Barroco (séc. XVIII). Constituem disto exemplo, o invulgar conjunto arquitetónico do Largo do Pelourinho: Casa da Câmara e Cadeia e Pelourinho, da época Manuelina; e Chafariz D. João V, do período Barroco.
O Castelo, implantado a 650 m de altitude, constitui um ponto evidente de organização do povoado. Pela encosta da Serra da Gardunha estendeu-se a povoação, desprovida de cerca mas ao abrigo da estrutura fortificada dos Templários.
A antiga vila surge assim inscrita num perímetro de configuração circular, evoluindo a mancha construída para Sul, Este e Oeste. A estrutura urbanística oferece um aspeto labiríntico. A irregularidade dos quarteirões, de dimensões e formas variáveis, as ruas de horizontes limitados, descrevendo traçados sinuosos, as travessas a atalhar caminhos, as escadas públicas a vencer desníveis e os inúmeros recantos e desacertos criados pelo difícil alinhamento das fachadas, são características comuns a outros espaços urbanísticos medievais.
No espaço construído de Castelo Novo dominam, largamente, as edificações destinadas à habitação. A casa tradicional, de granito e sem reboco, apresenta planta retangular com dois pisos, com o térreo destinado à loja e o superior à habitação. O acesso faz-se pelo exterior, através de escadas que terminam em patamar simples ou balcão lajeado.
Exceção nesta paisagem urbana constituem os edifícios de natureza pública e religiosa, bem como a habitação de proprietários mais abastados, distinguindo-se quer pelos materiais utilizados quer pela conceção arquitetónica e investimento decorativo. O Largo da Bica conserva alguns destes exemplos, como as Casas Falcão, Correia Sampaio e D. Luís J. Correia, edificadas, respetivamente, no séc. XVII, XVIII e XIX/XX. Outros testemunhos se encontram pela antiga vila de Castelo Novo, como a Casa da Cerca, presumivelmente do séc. XVI, a Casa na Rua de Nossa Sra. das Graças, do séc. XVII, e o Solar da Família Gamboa, este já da centúria de setecentos. No panorama da arquitetura religiosa salientam-se, naturalmente, a Capela de Santo António, a Igreja da Misericórdia e a Igreja Matriz, com datas de construção atribuídas, respetivamente, aos séculos XVI, XVII e XVIII. Excluindo outros edifícios mais evidentes, como o Castelo ou a Casa da Câmara e Cadeia, sobressaem ainda os chafarizes, um deles dando inclusivamente o nome a um largo.
What to see
Former Town Hall
Romanesque building, once serving political and administrative purposes It may have been built in 1290 by order of King Dinis and was then altered by King Manuel I as a mark of the new charter granted to Castelo Novo. On his order, the royal coat of arms, the cross of the Order of Christ and the armillary sphere were included in the building. The jail was probably located on the ground floor and the town council on the first, until 1835, when the municipality was closed and attached to Alpedrinha.
Former Hotel das Águas do Alardo
After his daughter’s health improved following therapeutic treatments at Castelo Novo, the railroad entrepreneur Gama Lobo built the hotel in 1921 to lodge all those who came looking for a health cure in the waters of the Alardo, seeking its therapeutic properties to mitigate kidney problems, diabetes and liver disease. The water was classifiied by professor Charles Lepierre in 1916 as being the purest water and an excellent digestive, with mineral-medicinal and hypotonic properties, stating that no other water in Portugal was known to be so free of minerals. In 1922 the concession licence was granted for its commercialisation, and it is still found today in Portuguese homes.
Where to eat
Restaurante Papo D’Anjo
Um restaurante com cenário encantador, sabores surpreendentes e serviço atencioso, onde o requinte e a modernidade se encontram com a tradição Beirã e a tranquilidade da natureza da Serra da Gardunha.
Privilegiamos ingredientes locais, biologicos e a autenticidade de quem os produz, promovendo assim uma saborosa e sustentavel viagem da terra ao prato na charmosa e histórica vila de Alpedrinha.
Tradição Beirã com modernidade, sabor e requinte.
Helana – Restaurante
Located in the old part of Idanha-a-Nova, in the former soft drink factory Refrigerantes Raiana from the 1950s, we find this elegant place where comfort and wellbeing have not been forgotten. With carefully selected, preferably local ingredients, the cuisine intensifies the idea of gourmet culture, though pizzas and pastas also feature largely. Start by reading a cookery book and enjoy the reading corner so that you can combine theory and practice.
Casas de Alpedrinha
Cerca Design House
eight generations. It was inherited by José Trigueiros de Aragão Osório Martel, who was the Mayor of Fundão and responsible for the Holy House of Mercy, and was left unused and abandoned throught the years, until the arrival of Marta Augusto Rafael and her family. Believing in the potencial of the estate and of the region, the family invested in a project that culminated with the transformation of Casa da Cerca into a charming country house. Cerca Design House is the result of the dream of creating an elegant and contemporary retreat where you can relax in the comfort of the valley between Serra da Estrela and Serra da Gardunha. Located in the municipality of Fundão, 30 minutes away from Serra da Estrela, the house is the result of an harmonious fusion between the remodeling of a XVII century manor-house and a contemporary and unique design. The sobriety of the stone, which refers to the time of majorats, contrasts with the soft touch of the typical burel woollen cloth (typical in the region) and the vibrant colors of a decoration meant for the relaxation of body and mind. Inspire yourself in the silence and calm that the natural beauty of the mountains has to offer, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the unique tranquility of a small village life.
What to do
Casa da Lagariça
After many trips ... both in Portugal and in Spain, and in France ... we decided to look for a place ... one second corner to live, to be ... In our cross go through the 12 historical villages and we ended up feeling I had to be in Castle again, not only for its beauty but by the existence of some family ties.
TRY PORTUGAL – Adventure, Nature & Culture
TRY PORTUGAL promotes personalized programs and experiences of active and cultural tourism, exploring the Natural, Historical and Cultural heritage of the country. All programs in autonomy or with guides are created to guarantee experiences of gastronomy & wines, culture & traditions. We highlight the interior regions that are still unknown to most travelers, through thematic vacation programs, the provision of tourist services, and the organization of sports & cultural events. Services: Thematic tours, active tourism programs, guided tours, organization of cultural and sporting events. Our tours are designed to include one or more of the following activities that are available in the region: Walking & Hiking - Mountain & Road Cycling - Water trails activities - Air activities- Horseback Riding – Rock Climbing – Wellness & Yoga Retreats - Ecotourism - Geo-tourism - Cultural & Historical Tourism - Creative Residences - Impact Tourism & Volunteering COME TRY PORTUGAL!
Adventure and nature trips
We are a registered tour operating company and we base our activity on the values of legal compliance, nature protection and sustainability. We operate according to the Portuguese legislation and we hold a special accreditation from the Institute of Nature Conservation and Forests allowing us to drive inside Nature Parks and other protected areas (where permitted)- We are members of the Natural.pt brand (www.natural.pt), reserved for companies who adhere to the programme. Following the recent pandemic we got our Clean & Safe seal from the Tourism Authority signifying our compliance with the official health requirements for the prevention and control of infections. Our trips are much more than just going from A to B and we distinguish ourselves for having a higher purpose: the knowledge and promotion of the historical, cultural and environmental heritage of Portugal, so that in the end our guests will have lots of stories to tell. In each new journey through some of the most beautiful and remotest places in mainland Portugal, we discover a unique, authentic and truly surprising country with a sense of adventure and discovery that enriches us as human beings. Our offer is based on a personalised service with tailor-made trips meeting the personal interests of our guests. We are constantly exploring and spending countless days on the ground in contact with the local people and organisations in search for the best places of interest and the best routes. As a result of this research, we have acquired a deep knowledge of the whole country which allows us to give our guests a renewed level of novelty and differentiation in each event. During our events we privilege the contact with nature in a legal and responsible manner, with the aim to reduce the impact of our passage, by working with official entities and other environmental organisations. Every year we plant many autoctonous trees in an effort to make Dream Overland a carbon-neutral company, an action that our customers can support and partake in. With our trips we contribute to the social cohesion and economic sustainability of local communities, through the knowledge and promotion of their traditions, handicrafts, produce and local heritage.
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Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking
Powered since 2006 by your passion for travel, Portugal A2Z Walking & Biking was created to offer you authentic experiences and unforgettable memories in the most exclusive places in Portugal, taking you to the most historic places and wild landscapes. The perfect example of this is our holidays in the Historical Villages. Each one more surprising than the one before, prepare to cross mesmerizing landscapes, going through some of the most impressive Portuguese natural regions like the Côa Valley, with their cave paintings, the Estrela Mountain Range, with the highest peak in continental Portugal, or Faia Brava, the first private conservation area in Portugal. And at the end of each day, explore another village, each with a different story to discover, between castles and walls, between taverns and gourmet restaurants, between centuries-old traditions and the latest inspirations. Dare yourself to wear the shoes of the great conquerors who fought for the oldest European border while restoring your body and mind with pure air and breathtaking views.