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6285 Piódão, Portugal

Slate Villages in the Mountains of Portugal

Built from dark stone and located in the heart of the country, Portugal’s mountain villages have witnessed more than 900 years of Portuguese history.

While these villages are amazingly peaceful places to visit today, they have not always been so tranquil.

Perched high on the region’s rolling hilltops, the villages played a crucial role in protecting the surrounding lands. Their vantage point made it nearly impossible for would-be invaders to approach undetected.

Whether you want to experience Portugal’s breath-taking landscapes, its historic fortresses, or the warmth of its people, the villages offer it all.

When visitors enter Piodão, they can’t help but notice how the unique, arching layout of the homes seems to blend into the landscape. The delightful, orderly streets are lined with houses built of schist, or slate. These stone houses are anything but drab, though. Deep blue windows and doors accent many. This iconic color is said to have originated from the village’s isolation. There was one shop in town – and it only stocked blue paint.

It was also isolation that preserved the historic characteristics of Piodão as they are today. The tiny, whitewashed parish church dedicated to N.S. da Conceição, stands out among the small two-story houses with its unusual cylindrical buttresses. Built in the early nineteenth century, the villagers paid for the construction with their own money and gold.