Friday, May 14, 2010

Serra da Estrela: Mountain Range of the Star

Photo: The highest point in the Serra da Estrela mountain range

Serra da Estrela (Mountain Range of the Star), the highest mountain range in Portugal and one of the highest in the Sistema Central, includes mainland Portugal's highest point at 1,993 meter/ 6,539 feet above sea level at its highest point. However, the summit of the Pico Mountain in the Portuguese Azores islands is higher. This point is not a distinctive mountain summit, but rather the highest point in a plateau, known as Torre (Tower in English). Torre has the unusual feature of being a summit that is accessible by road. The peak has a topographic prominence of 1204 meters and his parent peak is the Pico Almanzor, in Spain.

The mountain range, situated between the municipalities of Seia, Manteigas, Gouveia, Guarda and Covilhã, is about 100 km/ 62.14 miles long and is 30 km/ 18.64 miles wide. It is formed from a huge granite ridge. Due to its bizarrely shaped crags and gorges, mountain streams and lakes, beautiful forests and magnificent views, the area ranks among Portugal’s outstanding scenic attractions and tourist attractions. There is a ski resort at the summit, named Vodafone Ski Resort.

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