What an absolute gem of a village.
Not only does it have a free aire with free services (apologies again to my ‘tugger’ friends) with what must surely be one of the best views in Europe but the village is simply gorgeous.
Typically Portuguese whitewashed houses huddle together beside cobbled streets which were designed for donkeys rather than cars. Indeed, many houses still have an iron ring set into the wall beside the door to tether the animals.
There was a Roman settlement close by and the defensive position of the crag meant it held a fortress for millennia even before that. Being so close to the border Marvão became an important place in the defence of Portugal against the invading Spanish and French after the Moors had been chased out. It carried on defending the Portuguese border for hundreds of years, right up until the 19th C. Throughout those centuries the defences were strengthened and the castle added to with gate after gate for invaders to negotiate to gain entry. All those gates are still there to be explored and one can imagine the armies trying to batter their way through the twists and turns on the narrow entrances. A display in the castle keep gives details of the history in several languages, including English.
Everywhere we looked there seemed to be a photograph waiting to be taken plus there were those wonderful 360º views across the countryside.
On a sunny day in March the place was quiet with just a handful of tourists wandering round, in the summer months when the tourist busses arrive it will be a noisier and less relaxed place.