Belmonte is one of the most fascinating villages of Portugal.
Nestled in the interior of the country, close by the mountains of “Serra da Estrela”, this small village has hundreds of history and heritage to show.
In the late 1400’s, early 1500’s, it was here that thousands of Jewish, escaped from the Inquisition in Spain, and settled safe an secure around this area of the country, close to the border with Spain.
Some other places nearby worth to see are:
- Vilar Formoso
- Castelo Branco
They all have Jewish Presence and history to be witnessed and visited.
The Jewish community settled in Belmonte and lasted for hundreds of years until today. Even during the Inquisition in Portugal, the community kept practicing their religion secretly, until discovered by Samuel Schwartz in the last century. It is one of the rare cases in Portugal.
Belmonte is also home of the famous Pedro Alvares Cabral, the famous sailor that discovere Brasil in 1500.
Belmonte is located 2h30 to 3h driving time from Lisbon (5h to 6h roundtrip), therefore is not possible to see in one single day.
I offer tours of Belmonte from Lisbon for 2 days (with overnight).
Since the village is located in a remote part of the country, it’s not easy to find a guide there. Therefore, we need to come from Lisbon, see Belmonte and surrounding areas, and return the next following day, or extend for some additional days to explore more.
It is also possible to see Belmonte on the way to Porto, instead returning to Lisbon. It is also necessary to overnight, due to the long driving time.
Some of the places that should be visited in Belmonte, with a knowledgeable private guide:
- Synagogue “Beit Eliahu” (Elijah Son) – Usually closed and only allows visits on request
- Jewish Quarter of Belmonte
- Jewish Museum of Belmonte
- Belmonte Castle
- Santiago Church and Pantheon of Cabral Family
- Discovery Museum (Museu dos Descobrimentos)
- Centum Cellas, old roman ruins back 2100 years ago.
Please always refuse to travel to Belmonte and return to Lisbon in the same day. Drivers may get tired and sleepy for extra hours driving, and not safe whatsoever.
I can provide tours of Belmonte from Lisbon, including most important places around the area, with transportation included.
I have also some of my team members also available as well. Please contact me for more details: [email protected]