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Montemuro Mountain

Edition 35 — 08.11.2021 • 14.11.2021
Montemuro Mountain by João Cosme

Montemuro Mountain is the 8th highest mountain range in Portugal. The Portuguese geographer, Amorim Girão, described Montemuro Mountain as "the most unknown mountain of Portugal". Owner of a great biodiversity, Montemuro Mountain has an average altitude of 838 meters. The geographical diversity of the region stems from its morphology, which displays two distinct types of landscape realities: the mountain landscape, arid and bare of vegetation, traditionally fostering subsistence agro-pastoral values; and the riverine landscape, marginal to the valleys of the Douro and its tributaries, rich in waters that descend from the granite peaks of the Montemuro, flooding the landscape with green.

It lies between the Douro River to the north and the Paiva River to the south. The whole mountain range has a lot of relief and is steep practically on all sides. The mountain is populated until about 1100 meters of altitude, the villages are scattered all over the mountain, but almost always near water courses. The highest point of the mountain range is called Talegre or Talefe, at 1,381 metres of altitude.

The Montemuro Mountain is part of the first phase of the national list of sites of the natura 2000 network. It is classified as a CORINE BIOTOPUS, with the designation of Serra do Montemuro/Bigorne.

Portas do Montemuro: a gateway to heaven
A place of ancient passage, Portas do Montemuro is a privileged spot to observe the morphology and the landscape of the Montemuro mountain range. To the south, with steep slopes, we can contemplate the Paiva valley and see some of the mountains of central Portugal, such as the Serra da Estrela, Caramulo and Gralheira massif. Its occupation dates back to the Iron Age.

The Montemuro mountain range has a climate that allows during the summer period to preserve the green and tender vegetation for the cattle "For a little more than a month, from the first days of July until S. Bartolomeu, these inhospitable pinnacles are usually demanded by an adventitious population of shepherds driving their flocks". These flocks came from the counties of Oliveira do Hospital, Seia, Tábua, Santa Comba Dão and Tondela.

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