Marvão

The views of the mountains as you approach the medieval fortress town of Marvão are spectacular, and the town's castle, atop a sheer rock cliff, commands a 360-degree panorama. The village, with some 120 mostly older inhabitants, is perched at 2,800 feet on top of a mountain, and laid out in several long rows of tidy, white-stone dwellings terraced into the hill.

The biggest event of the year here is the boisterous chestnut festival in early November, when marching bands take to the tiny streets and transform Marvão into a homemade wine-swigging, chestnut-roasting party. But be forewarned: parking is impossible, and hotels book up sometimes a year beforehand.

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