Pitões das Júnias
Pitões das Júnias is an authentic northern Portuguese village: incredible views, waterfall, national monument and trails. A paradise for nature lovers.
When we think of Portugal, most tourists think of traveling and visiting Lisbon, Porto, or even other cities like Braga, Aveiro, Coimbra or Faro... However, the country is made of much more than its cities, and beauty is everywhere, from the capital to the most remote villages.
Pitões das Júnias is one of those villages in Portugal that is worth visiting, and that proves that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Located at 1200 meters above sea level, in the heart of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, this village of just over 150 inhabitants is a natural paradise, in the municipality of Montalegre, district of Vila Real, a few kilometers from the border with Galicia.
Located 18 km from Montalegre, this village has everything to please: from the architectural heritage that characterizes it to the fauna and flora that form the environment that surrounds it.
The rocks and peaks of Gerês delimit the landscape to the west and northwest, while the plateau of Mourela delimits it to the east and northeast. This enchanting setting attracts many visitors and curious people every year, seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities and find peace and tranquility.
Monastery of Santa Maria das Júnias
The monastery of Santa Maria das Júnias and its church are located on the outskirts of the village, two kilometers south of it. Classified as a national monument, it is a monastery that dates back to an ancient pre-Romanesque hermitage, founded in the 9th century. A place "difficult to access" (accessible by a hiking trail not adapted to the elderly or handicapped) in a narrow valley, far from roads and inhabited places.
But there is more to see in this picturesque village. It has several marked trails, where you can see unique aspects of rural architecture, such as the waterfall of Pitões das Júnias and historical and religious monuments. All this surrounded by the breathtaking views that surround the village, marked by the Gerês and the surrounding vegetation.
Due to its location at 1200 meters above sea level, and due to its distance from the main urban centers, Pitões de Júnias is a village where stargazing is a very popular activity, which can be done with the naked eye or with a telescope.
If you decide to visit this village in winter, it is likely to be covered with a white coat of snow. If you are a fan of this kind of landscape, Pitões de Júnias is without a doubt a must-see destination.