It is the breath-taking landscape provided by the Zêzere River with its surrounding dams and reservoirs, river beaches, lakes, the ever-present wide forest and the region’s diverse and significant archaeological, historical, architectural and cultural heritage that make of this part of Portugal the new destination of choice for those who seek their own piece of paradise.
THE REGION - CENTRAL PORTUGAL
GoRustico is an Estate Agency and relocation Consultancy operating mainly, but not exclusively, in the Sertã region of central Portugal – an area renowned for its outstanding natural beauty in a still vastly unspoilt region of Portugal, away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist destinations.
With an area of 453 km² and 16,720 inhabitants in total, the Sertã municipality is divided into 14 local parishes and is part of the district of Castelo Branco. Its administrative centre is the picturesque town of Serta. The whole west of the county is delimited by the Zêzere River. The municipality of Serta is bordered to the north by the municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra, to the northeast by Oleiros, to the southeast by Proença-a-Nova, to the south by Mação and Vila de Rei, to the west by Ferreira do Zêzere and to the northwest by Figueiró dos Vinhos and Pedrógão Grande. The Mountain range of Alvelos has the peak with the highest altitude in the region (1082 m).
Situated in a geological area where schist, graywacke, quartzite metamorphic rock formations dominate the landscape, the region is dotted with charming historical churches and small chapels, shrines by the road side, ancient schist villages and quiet hamlets, and from the mountain peaks and slopes, one can catch the unforgettable view of the Zezere River snaking through the valleys. On a bright summer’s day, the shimmering waters reflect the sunlight and all around, the vast open skies and mountain views are indeed awe inspiring. When the mists gather in the silent valleys in the colder months of the year, nature becomes otherworldly and ever more enchanting.
The landscape is thickly covered by vast swathes of fragrant forest where many native botanical species thrive: heather, carqueja (Baccharis trimera), Genisteae (broom), kermes oak, gum rock-rose or labdanum and the famous “medronheiro” or strawberry tree whose berries are traditionally used to manufacture the Medronho brandy.
There are lakes and three reservoirs along the Zezere River- Cabril, Bouçã and Castelo de Bode - where it is possible to rent a boat, practice water sports, swim or fish (bass, carp and trout). Local river beaches, such as Trizio, Fragas de São Simão, Malhadal, Troviscal and Mosteiro, some with their own waterfalls, are stunningly beautiful. However, off the beaten track, there are also many mountain streams where to bathe and many mountain trails to explore. In the village of Castanheira de Pera, there is a beach with artificial waves, the Praia das Rocas, and the beautiful hilltop village of Alvaro, a UNESCO site, on the banks of the river Zezere is also a local landmark not to be missed.
If you wish to return to the hurly-burly of city life for a spot of shopping or a day out, the historical towns of Abrantes, Castelo Branco, Tomar and Coimbra are relatively close by and at equal distance from Serta. These also offer many unique and interesting opportunities for sightseeing: the historical centre of Abrantes with its many listed buildings and its castle, the medieval Coimbra university and the convent and castle complex of Tomar, a UNESCO world heritage, are but a few examples. In fact, the municipality of Serta is conveniently located in the geographical centre of Portugal, hence relatively close to Lisbon and Porto airports. These are easily reached thanks to our excellent road network and new motorways.
The region’s climate is Mediterranean, with some continental influences. Summers are quite hot, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C,and winters are considerably cold with nights sometimes reaching sub-zero temperatures in certain parts of the municipality. In Cabeço da Rainha, the highest peak of the Alvelos mountain range, and in the neighbouring parishes, it often snows in the coldest winter months. However, winters are rather short; one can still expect mild temperatures in November and by mid-February temperatures begin to rise.
DISTANCES TO MAIN TOWNS AND CITIES
From Lisbon: 189 km / 2 hours
From Porto: 191 kms/ 2hours 15 minutes
From Castelo Branco: 69 km / 56 minutes ( avoiding toll roads)
From Castelo Branco: 68 km / 48 minutes ( using toll roads) From Coimbra: 84 km / 1 hour 10 minutes (avoiding toll roads)
From Coimbra: 83 km / 57 minutes (using toll roads) From Tomar: 39 kms/ 47 minutes From Abrantes: 52 kms/ 50 minutes
From Pombal: 65 kms/ 53 minutes
GPS COÖRDINATES: N 39º 47'59.93" W 8º 05'56.06"