Belmonte Travel Guide

  • Belmonte
    by berenices
  • Belmonte - Portugal
    Belmonte - Portugal
    by solopes
  • Local Customs
    by berenices

Belmonte Things to Do

  • Castle

    Home town of Pedro Alvares Cabral, the discoverer of Brazil, this modest small city still keeps signs of the family. The castle is from the 13th century, with some Manueline details.

    more
  • St Anthony and Calvary chapels

    Close to the castle there are two small chapels - St Anthony, very old, maybe from the 11th or 12th century. The other one, Calvary chapel, also very modest comes from the 19 century.

    more
  • Town Hall

    As I mentioned previously, the Town Hall is situated on Belmonte’s main street. The building is very simple, yet quite beautiful on my opinion. It is painted white and the windows and doors frames are built in granite.

    more
  • Synagogue

    This synagogue’s name is Bet Eliahou, which means House of Elias. This Hebrew temple was inaugurated in 1996 and it is situated on the Jewish Quarter. At the Tourism Office we were told that there are no visits allowed inside. However, talking to some nice local ladies on the square, they told us that sometimes, upon request, the Synagogue’s...

    more
  • Jewish Museum

    When we left the Tourism Office, we were very pleased to notice that there was a Jewish Museum highlighted on the map they gave us. After visiting the Parish church we headed to this Museum. When we reached it (it is near the church) we were so surprised to notice that the Museum is still on construction – that is, the beautiful house that will...

    more
  • Church

    The parish church is a nice simple church, inaugurated in 1940. Inside the church is kept the image of Nossa Senhora da Esperança (Our Lady of Hope), which is said to have gone with Pedro Álvares Cabral on his trip to Brazil in 1500.

    more
  • Public Garden

    When you reach the end of main street, you will come across a pleasant garden. It has several flowerbeds and also some benches to rest. As we were travelling with children, this was a nice spot to let them enjoy theirselves for a while, before continuing our way to visit the parish church and Jewish quarter. On this garden, we noticed that it was a...

    more
  • Pedro Álvares Cabral's house

    This manor house was built for the Cabral family in the 18th century, after the palace on the castle where they lived was burnt by a fire. Nowadays, this house is closed to public – actually, it is being refurbished and will be inaugurated later and will be opened for visitors. This house is situated on main street, in front of the Eco-Museum (as I...

    more
  • Museum

    This Eco-Museum shows the River Zezere, a river that starts running in Serra da Estrela and later joins Rio Tejo (River Tagus). On this Museum you may observe the several habitats of fauna and flora that inhabit the river and its margins as well as an alert to the dangers of pollution – it is an interesting Museum to visit with children. The Museum...

    more
  • Pedro Álvares Cabral

    This statue “dominates” this main street, where it is situated the Town Hall, the Museum and the House of Pedro Álvares Cabral. Being an outstanding member of this community – see details of this personality in my General Tips – Belmonte couldn’t help erecting him a statue. The statue is situated on a tiny square on the main street, surrounded by...

    more
  • Pelourinho

    Walking down from the castle, we got into the village historic centre. Soon we were in a square where is situated the pelourinho, the public library and also an art gallery, whose exhibitions we were not able to visit, because they were due to inaugurate a new one short time later. The building of the public library is an interesting old building...

    more
  • Belfry

    One detail I found interesting about the Church of Santiago: the belfry is not attached to the church, as usual. It is an “independent” tower on the church’s little square, with some iron stairs outside leading to the bell. After visiting Belmonte, I found some information about this isolated belfry: it was built in the 18th century, along with the...

    more
  • Igreja de Santiago

    In front of the castle you may visit the beautiful Church of Santiago that used to be the parish church (until 1940). Outside, this 12th/13th century church, built in stone, is quite simple and shows Romanesque style details. On the inside, there are some old paintings, again quite simple, but still very interesting (see photo). On the photo you...

    more
  • Pantheon

    In the 15th century, Fernão Cabral ordered that a pantheon was added to the Church of Santiago. Nowadays, when you visit the church you may also visit the pantheon (they are both connected on the inside, through an arch). On the pantheon lie the tombs of Fernão Cabral and D. Isabel Gouveia – parents of Pedro Álvares Cabral – together with other...

    more
  • Gothic Chapel

    Inside the Church of Santiago there is a Gothic Chapel – Chapel Nª Srª da Piedade. D. Maria Gil Cabral ordered this chapel (another member of the Cabral family, which seems to be quite important in this village). On this chapel you may observe an interesting “pieta” – it is a Gothic sculpture made of local granite. On this chapel lies the tomb of...

    more
  • Chapels

    In front of the castle can be seen 2 small chapels – Chapel Santo António and Chapel Calvário. The former was built in the 15th century and it shows the coats of arms of several families, amongst which there is the Cabral family. The later is more recent – dates from the 19th century.

    more
  • House

    Attached to the castle there is a house that was the residence of the Cabral family. King Afonso V offered this house to Pedro Álvares Cabral’s father in 1466 and the Cabral family lived there until the end of the 17th century, when a violent fire destroyed the house. Even burnt the house was used as a barn during the 18th century. Fortunately, the...

    more
  • Window - Manueline style

    On the wall of the castle can be seen a window that is characteristic of a Portuguese style – Manueline. This style is similar to Gothic style and dates from the Portuguese Discoveries epoch – therefore the patterns used such as knots made with ropes (from the ships), anchors, shells and the cross from Order of Christ. Since this style dates from...

    more
  • Torre de Menagem

    The castle’s tower dates from the 13th century and was added to the castle with a defensive purpose – curiously to make the entrance to the tower more difficult, the main entrance was on the top floor and people could only get inside by means of removable wooden stairs. Nowadays there is an entrance downstairs.

    more
  • Castle

    The castle, situated on top of a hill, will provide you with fantastic views over the village, as well as the surrounding mountains and plains. The entrance is free and once inside the castle, you will be able to walk on the wall. Inside the castle there is a kind of amphitheatre that I assume is used for performances nowadays, since the marble...

    more
  • Pedro Alvares Cabral Monument

    Portuguese navigator, born in Belmonte around 1467-68, and to whom D. Manuel I trusted the leadership of the second fleet he sent to India.Cabral sailed from Lisbon on March 9, 1500, and as if he had changed his route to discover new lands, he soon found Brazil, on May 3, 1500, in Santa Cruz day. From there he went to India.Upon his return, D....

    more

Belmonte Hotels

See all 3 Hotels in Belmonte

Belmonte Restaurants

  • berenices's Profile Photo

    by berenices Updated Dec 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Not having any previous plan to stop by Belmonte on our way to the north of Portugal, I didn't have any info regarding restaurants to be found in the area. So the next best thing was to ask a local, which is just what we did. And trust that a local knows best!

    We were on the main street and he pointed us to a narrow stairs to the street below, and mentioned that it was at the end of that street on the left. He didn't even remember the name. So off we went. And sure enough, we saw a few men standing outside, and the place already quite full inside, with a few more people coming.

    Nothing fancy here, it was a clean place with about capacity for 40 people inside. There was no menu...and people seem to know that, so we were told that for the day, there was duck rice (arroz de pato). We made sideway glances to the tables around us trying to size up how much a serving contained. We already know that in the interior of Portugal, the servings are huge! So we decided on just 1 serving for my husband and me...and the girl said, she thinks it's okay but that if we wanted we more, we could just ask. Now, if that isn't like being at home with some nice aunt's cooking where we could ask seconds, I don't know what is! And as they didn't have to be bothered with preparing assorted dishes, the food came in a minute flat, no waiting needed.

    The one serving of course was more than enough for two. It was, as expected, good...the duck meat was not mixed sparingly as how it is served in the cities. And with a small salad and house wine, we just paid about 12 euros. Talk about value for money!

    Place was full after a while, and people still kept coming. Families, local tourists (like us), workers (there was a small construction going on nearby), Spanish tourists from across the border. All just wanting a hot, well-cooked, satisfying meal without frills, just like home.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Belmonte Local Customs

  • Guitar festival in spring

    On the day we visited Belmonte last spring, we didn't realise how perfect our timing was. As we entered the small chapel near the castle, we had just behind us small kids, young people, and parents, everybody in a bustle. We realised that there was going to be a guitar recital for several classes in the district, ranging from small kids to adults....

    more
  • Friendly and welcoming locals

    We made some contacts with some locals and found out that most of them were very nice and helpful. Our funniest contacts were when we tried to get some recommendation for a restaurant to have lunch, and noticed that most people we asked about a nice restaurant were quite evasive and ended up saying that “some people say that … “ as they themselves...

    more
  • Flowered streets

    We visited Belmonte on a sunny day in middle February. Although it was still Winter, Belmonte showed itself quite flowered and well taken care off. All through this lovely village, we came across flowerbeds and flowerpots, which made us feel like Spring on was its way.

    more

Belmonte Warnings and Dangers

  • NunoF's Profile Photo

    by NunoF Written Dec 28, 2003

    Be carefull when you ask someone to take a picture of you... Our friend forgot to clean the camera and since it was raining a drop of watter was on my head :(((((

    Was this review helpful?

    more

Belmonte Off The Beaten Path

  • Centum Cellae - II

    We visited these ruins on our way out of Belmonte – it is near Belmonte, on the outskirts of a small village. It was a Saturday afternoon and the door was opened, so we just got in. The ruins are surrounded by a fence, and I have no idea if that door is always opened or not – apparently there was no one taking care of that. Once you get in, there...

    more
  • Centum Cellae

    There is no exact information about these Roman ruins. There are 2 distinctive versions of what it might have been, although none of them is confirmed:1. Some say these are the ruins of a Roman Vila, dating from the 1st century. The Vila was partially destroyed by a fire in the 3rd/4th century and later rebuilt. This version, says that this Vila...

    more
  • Covilhã

    Covilhã is a mountain city, with an interesting past in the fabrics' manufacture and woollen products. Strolling around this city we came across some beautiful churches and a nice Town Hall, all located on the historic centre. The city is under a refurbishment program in order to make it architecturally more pleasant, as the growth of this city...

    more

Belmonte Favorites

  • Location

    Belmonte is part of Castelo Branco District. This lovely village is situated near the slopes of Serra da Estrela, a beautiful mountain in the centre of Portugal, with the highest spot on mainland. Belmonte is situated about 300km of Lisbon.

    more
  • Routes

    The Serra da Estrela region has had some routes defined. Belmonte is such a surprising little town that managed to be included in 3 of them, namely:- The Castle’s route- The Jewish route (the Jewish community in Belmonte has always had an important role, even during the Inquisition, when they managed to keep safe and continue their believes...

    more
  • Pedro Álvares Cabral

    Pedro Álvares Cabral was an outstanding personality in Portugal’s history – it was him who commanded the ships who discovered the maritime route to Brazil in 1500. Pedro Álvares Cabral and his family lived in Belmonte. Apart from this notorious member, the Cabral family also had a prominent role in this village’s history, therefore all through the...

    more

Instant Answers: Belmonte

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

102 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Belmonte
Nice architecture
Favorites
Tourism Office
Favorites
Serra da Estrela
Off The Beaten Path
Sortelha
Off The Beaten Path
Castelo Novo
Off The Beaten Path
Landscape
Off The Beaten Path
Ana's close up...
Off The Beaten Path
Against the wall...
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Belmonte

View all Belmonte hotels