There are two ways to appreciate Marvão - one of them entering the castle, enjoying its details, and the wide sights across border, showing that Portugal and Spain are only conventional designations for the same landscape.
The other one is from distance with the castle topping the ridge, as a sentinel guarding the hills, where "progress" is the pretext to some visual offenses...
Marvão is a very small city, inside walls, with a very well preserved image that justified the privilege of being considered UNESCO heritage.
The location, upon very steep hills, allowed it a very important role in Portuguese history, after being conquered by our first king.
Disputed and temporarily occupied by Spanish and French, it was also relevant in Portuguese civil war in the 19th century.
Marvão from below
Several times I passed in the road to/from Spain, always saying to myself - you must get time to go up and see the castle of Marvão.
One day, I got it.
The castle is really nice, the views are gorgeous, but my strong sensation keeps connected to the view from below - the remains perched in the cliffs are a challenge to imagination, and a call to the memories of the hard old times.
However... don't skip the visit.
Downhill, a small village called Portagem is developing, taking advantage of tourism.
Those who visit Marvão or those who only pass by the border, have there a good place for a stop, even for a meal or simply for some rest.
We visited Marvão but, to lunch, we opted to descend and to stop in Portagem, that we had only seen in a glimpse in the way up.
It was a wise decision - good lunch, calm, with easy parking.