Situated in the center/north of mainland Portugal, between the Douro and Vouga Rivers, the Montanhas Mágicas are in a position of transition between the coastline and the inland of the country. With 1,688.6 km2 of geographical area (about 2 times the archipelago of Madeira), this territory hosts about 127,000 inhabitants, proud of its history and its natural and cultural heritage.

Natural heritage
The Montanhas Mágicas embrace the Freita, Arada and Arestal Mountains, which belong to the Gralheira and the Montemuro Mountains, part of the massif with the same name.
This territory, with incredible natural characteristics, certified as a sustainable tourist destination since November 2013, comprises four locations of the Rede Natura 2000 and a UNESCO geopark, guided by an offer of a responsible and sustainable tourism model, focused on ecotourism, geotourism and active tourism.
The uniqueness of the geological phenomena that occurs here, the remarkable biodiversity features and the characteristics of its geomorphology, makes of  Montanhas Mágicas® an excellent destination for nature’s observation and interpretation and for the practice of numerous sports and adventure activities, among which stand out rafting, kayaking, canoeing, cannoning, hiking and mountain biking.


Cultural heritage
Occupied since prehistoric times, archaeological remains and monuments throughout the territory witness its long history: enigmatic petroglyphs of Atlantic art, megalithic monuments, bridges and roman roads, medieval monasteries and temples, different types of shrines and churches, typical villages of schist and granite, historic mines and much more.

Geographical situation
United by Montemuro and Gralheira Mountains, the territory borders the north and center of Portugal's mainland, as well as the coastline and inland.


Administrative organization

The Montanhas Mágicas is composed by 7 municipalities and 80 parishes: Arouca, Castelo de Paiva, Castro Daire, Cinfães, São Pedro do Sul, Sever do Vouga e Vale de Cambra.


Surface
1.688,6 km2


Population
126.929 inhabitants (Census 2011)


Language
Portuguese


Currency
Euro (€)


Religion
Mostly Catholic


Climate
Due to their high altitude variations, the Montanhas Mágicas have strong thermal and rainfall contrasts between its valleys and the top of the mountains, which lead to some peculiarities of the climate, sometimes damp and cold, typical of mountainous areas.
In the valley areas, the climate is generally mild, ranging between 0°C, during the winter's peak, and 30°C in the summer, being moderate in the autumn and spring. The average annual temperature varies between 7.5°C and 16°C, with about 2,500 hours of sunshine per year.
The winters in the Montemuro, Arada and Gralheira Mountains are generally harsh, with negative temperatures and frequent snow, especially in the Montemuro Mountain.
The rainfall varies between 75 and 100 days/year, distributed, with some variations, over the winter months.