Historic Village of Monsanto

Historic Village of Monsanto

Historic Village of Monsanto
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
365 reviews
Excellent
305
Very good
56
Average
3
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1
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0

Fairtrav
Singapore, Singapore231 contributions
Sep 2021
Pretty town with its old, narrow cobblestone streets, houses constructed from the granite of the surroundings and some even incorporating huge granite boulders in their architecture. The town is made even more pretty by the stunning landscape that surrounds it. This is one of the more 'crowded' historical villages in Portugal. Many tourists when we were there. Parking can be a bit of a problem during peak season. Enjoyed exploring the little streets of the town. Just wandering around the town and taking in the sights will take about 30 minutes. Allocate 2 hours here because of the visit to the castle.
Written October 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

stepsabroad
London, UK323 contributions
Nov 2016 • Couples
This is a stunning village that was well worth the trip. We drove there and it was about 2 hours' drive from Marvao (to the south) or about 3 hours from Porto. For the last one hour or so in any direction, it comprises country roads going through villages (with 50-100 km/h speed limit) and the villages have a typical Portuguese feel to them too - in contrast to Monsanto, they do not look touristy in the least, although we did not stop in them due to time constraints.

We used Google Maps to find our way. Close to Monsanto, you will pass the village of Relva and then ascend the mountainside. There is a car park on your right just after a hairpin bend. You can park here or drive further up to another car park on the right with a wall, cannons and great views. They're both free and together have about 15 spaces.

The village itself has very helpful (probably recently placed) signs throughout to direct you to points of interest. There are a few small shops and cafes dotted around near the entrance. There is even a tourist office and two free public toilets. The narrow lanes are lovely to walk along, but there are steep gradients up and down and lots of stray cats around. Boulders are scattered around (more higher up) and there are 4-5 dramatic boulders with houses wedged next to them. It is easy to wander here for an hour or so at least.

In contrast to previous reviews, I did not find the local villagers to be unfriendly. They were helpful and friendly and seemed accustomed to tourists.
Written November 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

João M
Lisbon72 contributions
Aug 2019
Not possible to describe the views. Just the photos give a little bit of the wonder.
In the neighborhood you can find good places for pedestrian walks and radical activities.
Written August 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

thomdamo
Bethesda, MD6 contributions
Sep 2018
An amazing village cut into massive boulders. We stayed at the Casa Pires Mateus. Wonderful room at a reasonable price. Had a fantastic dinner at the Adega Tipiica O Cruzeiro,
Written June 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nerium A
St. Augustine, FL177 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
The village of Monsanto is the oldest in Portugal and the homes are built in, around, and under the boulders. There is parking at both the base of the village and a little further up should you not want to walk up the steep inclined roads. Restrooms and small markets are available as well on the way up. We decided to park at the bottom and take the 20 min walk to the fortress at the top. Along the way you can see the still existing homes and pig pens from the era. Many are also in ruins along the path. At the very top sits a very primitive Castle or "fortress" as it is not Castle like. You can tell it does not look anything like a Castle for its time was still early in Castle architecture. But, quite a structure. Once inside you can walk the walls as the did back then. Be mindful that good hiking shoes are needed as nothing there has changed. You will be amazed of the aerial view of the city down below and can only imagine what life was like early on in Portugal's history. There is a church to visit as well and a ruin of a church. The walk is steep both ways but an experience non the less. There is no fee.
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rich M
Washington DC, DC45 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
Breathtaking. Perched on a hill with 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside. Small, winding, enchanting streets. Flowers on window sills. Friendly neighbors. The castle ruins and surrounding trails are a great place to spend a day hiking. Feels much more undisturbed than equally charming villages in Italy and France.
It’s on a hill which means you do a lot of uphill and downhill walking. Not the easiest for kids, but we strapped our 1.5 year old in the Baby Bjourn.
A must see if you’re gonna be in the area! Not sure how you would get here without a car.
Written July 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael F
Tel Aviv, Israel598 contributions
Sep 2016 • Friends
This is a very picturesque village with stone houses build into and around huge boulders! Unbelievable!
I highly recommend to walk up to the castle, from there you get breathtaking views!!!
Written October 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael
Mannheim, Germany64 contributions
Mar 2016 • Friends
During our roadtrip in Portugal Monsanto seemed to be the most portuguese village we encountered. You need to be very lucky if someone speaks english (luckily there is google translate :-) ).
Our hosts were extremely friendly and gave quite an atmosphere of a warm family (which they actually were).
The village itself is so far the funniest village I encountered as some houses are simply build together or even inside huge rocks.

P.S.: Surprisingly I had the best octopus for dinner I ever had so far (better than any fish restaurant I tried at the coasts in Portugal) - unfortunately I can't remember the name or rather we had no idea which restaurant it was when we arrived there. As a hint: it has a great panoramic view towards the "coast side".
Written August 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chileice
Spain2,991 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
I have been here twice and would go back again. The first time, I went in the day and the second time, I went at night. The night time visit was better than the day. Less people, more parking and an eerie beauty that only the rocks of Monsanto can exude. Come at sunset and watch a spectacular finish to the day and then roam the quiet streets as the lights come on and create a whole new world. You DO want to see this place!
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Filipe Pinheiro
Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal93 contributions
Jul 2017
Monsanto is know to have the most Portuguese character amongst all Portuguese Historic Villages and it certainly does not disappoint. Although a steep walk up to the Castle, it is more than worth it because on your way up you have a chance to do a visit to the past of how Portuguese Villages were like a couple of decades ago.
Very recommend for all travellers.
If you're visiting in the summer time, be sure to pack some water.
Written August 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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