Destinations: Guarda, Portugal

Guarda, Portugal.

What to see?
Guarda was founded by King Sancho 1 in 1199 and is the highest point in continental Portugal. It was a strategic city in terms of defence and carries much of its historical charm through to modern day. The main attraction in Guarda is Se-Catedral da Guarda. A beautiful example of a gothic, medieval cathedral. The cathedral is located centrally in the old town of Guarda and is surrounded by labyrinth like streets filled with bars, shops,cafes and restaurants to keep you occupied all day.

Where to stay?
I have only been to Guarda once and feel like I am cheating a touch with my recommendation but it was a great place to stay so..
Guesthouse da Sé is a beautiful place to stay, it is overlooking the main square where the cathedral is and has everything you could want for an enjoyable stay in Guarda. The owner is very helpful and couldn’t have been more friendly to us when we stayed.

Where to eat?
A Floresta is a particularly pleasant Portuguese restaurant located in the middle of the old town, a short walk from the cathedral. We had the menu of the day which consisted of 3 courses, coffee and wine for around 12 euros each. The staff are very friendly, the food was great and the overall experience fantastic.

Where to drink?
For a coffee with a view try one of the cafes opposite the cathedral, the prices here are a little more expensive than others just around the corner but it is a very pleasant place to while away an hour. If you are after something stronger I would highly recommend Domvs Vini, it has a unique feel to it, an extensive wine list and some excellent tapas style dishes available.

Top Tip.
Don’t get lost! The old town of Guarda is like a labyrinth, so many different twists and turns, it’s great fun to explore but remember the way back! Being the highest point in Portugal, Guarda can have colder weather then you may like, should you find it to cold to stay outdoors there is a small cinema located in a shopping centre very close to the cathedral. The cinema shows the latest releases and the programme can be found online.