Some 15km from the Spanish border, Almeida is a remarkable example of a frontier stronghold. The old village sits entirely within a vast, star-shaped fortress. This monumental structure, completed in 1641 over an earlier medieval fort, was built to bolster Portugal’s defences in the tense period that followed independence from Spain in 1640.
When Almeida’s military functions were largely suspended in 1927, the village settled into weedy obscurity. It has since been designated a national monument and while there’s not a whole lot to do other than explore the fort, there’s enough history in the air to set the imagination humming.