It was in the middle of the high mountains that I have found the ancient (and stunning!) Portuguese village of Pitões das Júnias. Authentic, beautiful, and quiet, Pitões das Júnias is one of these traditional villages, surrounded by a majestic landscape, where time seems to stop.
Pitões das Júnias is located in Montalegre, within Peneda Gerês National Park, and it is one of the highest villages in Portugal at an altitude of 1200 meters. The traditional architecture was perfectly preserved. Therefore, strolling around the narrow streets, among the stone buildings, is an unforgettable moment, especially if GPS tells you to go through the alleys by car. Yeah!! It has happened to me, and I was always waiting to see the car stuck by the walls.
Next to the village, the never-ending farming fields make the scenery perfect. Here, it is your time to stop and appreciate: the serenity of the day (which was about to end during my visit), the farmers who take advantage of the last few rays of evening sunshine, and the cattle that return home.
We do not know the origin of Pitões das Júnias, but some traditions should last forever. Do you agree?
#01 Mosteiro de Santa Maria das Júnias
One of the best things to do while visiting Pitões das Júnias is watching the sunset nearby Santa Maria das Júnias Monastery. This place is absolutely wonderful, and it still preserves the Romanesque details.
Santa Maria das Júnias Monastery is the most isolated Cistercian Monastery in Portugal. It is easy to understand why they chose this location: quiet, surrounded by trees, and the river running smoothly.
During the Autumn, there are no words to describe the environment.
#02 The Waterfall of Pitões das Júnias
From the high giant rocks, the Waterfall of Pitões das Júnias falls over the trees. The waterfall is completely immersed in a scenery of natural beauty: the mountains that continue for a long distance, and the deep silence. Unfortunately, I could not photograph the waterfall.
It is very straightforward to get there. You can park your car in the parking access to the waterfall, follow a path of about 600 meters, and follow the walkway till you see this spectacle.
I suspect the best time to visit the waterfall is during the autumn or winter, due to the amount of water.
#03 The village
Pitões das Júnias provides us an authentic experience. Here, you can find the ancient traditions, the historical architecture, the kindness of the people, who are always ready to help with a huge smile. Take your time, discover every single corner, and do not miss the opportunity to taste the food.
You still do not believe that such astonishing scenery can exist? Then, delight your eyes with the photos.
I hope you enjoy these villages as much as I did, and if you have any advice just write here to share your experience.