Serra da Estrela
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Visitor reviews for Serra da Estrela Ski Resort
November 22, 2013
Fletcher Christian from Pitcairn
Serra da Estrela is very small, suitable for a one day visit only. But is very well equipped for it's size, with a ski-school, a large rental shop, piste-side restaurant/bar, sledding and a shopping center selling local handicrafts and produce. All of which makes it perfect for families with children and/or non-skiers.
The resort suffers from severe limitations such as unpredictable climate, insufficient altitude, flat layout and limited access (it is set in conservation area) which means that it is probably open less than half the season, but it is a miracle that Portugal even has a ski resort.
Serra da Estrela Ratings
Overall: 2.8. Based on 90 votes and 119 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Serra da Estrela.
Public Transport: 2.2
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Serra da Estrela, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Serra da Estrela, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.3
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.5
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Serra da Estrela.
Ski in/Ski out: 2.4
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Serra da Estrela, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Serra da Estrela is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Serra da Estrela relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.3
(1) There are no snow groomers at Serra da Estrela, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Serra da Estrela are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Serra da Estrela is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Serra da Estrela, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.0
(1) Serra da Estrela usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.6
(1) The staff at Serra da Estrela are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Serra da Estrela are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.3
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.2
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 2.5
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Serra da Estrela has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Serra da Estrela, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.7
(1) Not even a kicker at Serra da Estrela, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Serra da Estrela, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Serra da Estrela has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 2.9
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.3
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 2.7
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 2.3
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 2.7
(1) Overall, Serra da Estrela is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 2.5
(1) Overall, Serra da Estrela is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 17, 2013
Jessop Smythe from United Kingdom
OK, it's no Val d'Isere but it's not a bad place. It's basic and the snow is a bit hit and miss. We couldn't get there on the day we'd planned as bad weather had closed most of the roads into the mountains. The next day, the temperatures were well into double figures (Celsius!) and we were skiing in Jeans and T-shirts. There's some very easy green rated slopes and the whole place has a feel of a bit of a ski school for locals who want to go to Spain or France to ski. The red runs would probably be rated blue just about anywhere else in Europe and there wasn't enough snow for the only black run to open. If you booked a ski holiday here, you'd be quite bored after day one. If you're in the area and fancy a day on the piste, at 25 Euros for full hire and 19 for the lift pass, it's a good day trip, especially if you've got youngsters who'll enjoy the easy Green and Blues. You can drive right to the top of the mountain (2000m) and the views accross Portugal in one direction and into Spain in the other are worth the ticket price for the chairlift!
February 05, 2012
CHiggs from Portugal
It is a fact that Serra da Estrela needs some developing, the ski resort is slightly warn out and nothing significant has been done over the last decade to offer genuine conditions. However, everything you need is there and it's a descent resort. We go every year and we don't even ski...we just like the Serra da Estrela since it's not far from Lisbon and it's cute..we stay at the H2otel which is one of the best hotels in Portugal no doubt! I recommend Serra da Estrela if you want a calmer snow resort with good hotels in the area.
[note from the editor: edited for the sake of absolute relevance.]
April 07, 2011
Peter J. from Portugal
Was over (at Serra da Estrela) for some winter sun with Portuguese friends, when they said " Let's go skiing tomorrow". I thought they were joking!
We left in daylight and were there before the lifts opened. A perfect little miniature ski resort! Lots of snow, plenty of off-piste fun, glorious sunshine and not bad food, right next to the slopes. Had loads of fun all day and was back in time for dinner.
Not cheap, if you rent, but still spent less than I would if I'd spent the day in a shopping mall.
February 25, 2011
Carmelino from India
Hello Everyone, I would like to know if there is a possibility of snow fall and skiing in mid April in Serra da Estrela. Please let me know where I can find all details. My email is email@example.com. Thank you.
[Editor's note: this post will stay in place for a short time.]
March 20, 2010
nuno from Portugal
I have never done skiing. I went to Serra da Estrela with my wife. I had two lessons in 1 day (18/01) and trained the other day where I did almost all the tracks at which they call black. Much better than I thought.
If there are so many bright PROS to say bad because do not go to the ski resorts out there instead of going to this?? Leave this to the people who know less. I think the Forfait CARO, but being the only resort in the country, what they wanted, which was for free??
March 20, 2010
hernani from Portugal
Although many of the comments denigrating the image of the Serra da Estrela and Resort Vodafone, my experience after a season of several visits has been excellent. To learn the technique well enough. I took lessons with teacher: Isabel and Prof. Sergio, who are 5 stars. Of Prof.s just have to say well. People closely involved with and enjoy what they do. I learned more in one year thanks to the efforts of these professionals if you were 3 years in self-study plan. The remaining employees: some very friendly and others less friendly. There is everything! On the runways, anyone who can commit to do them all. They may not be very long, but it serves well to kill the addiction. I have spoken with several people who boast of going to popular destinations, but on track to go much harder than me. Maybe it's better to learn and who's right and then go abroad. That's what I did and when I arrived in Spain enjoyed a lot. Serra da Estrela ... for the year to me. I still have much to learn!
March 20, 2010
el coco from Portugal
Good morning everyone!
The Alps to know well.
Stop saying that in Francas in Spain even with snow can make the road is a lie I've ever been stuck for 5 hours in my car equipped with snow tires and chains! A country like Portugal is not normal snow ate ta very good!
Look at these last days a lot of snow fell and everything went well.
In france fell was equal to the total cause.
And stop saying that in the Alps and Pyrenees and bla, bla and better! Stop criticizing what is a national
advantage even if the weather will help ski pra which later will be better sDEstrela has much potential but no one can not help them continue to invest.
Portuguese, in Portugal, are not there just the football team also to a large country with many opportunities for the future.
Portuguese are FACAM skiing in Serra da Estrela.
March 20, 2010
Nuno hernani from Portugal
The sad thing about most of the comments, just be understood and experts! That since it is so they could go directly to neighboring Spain or other countries really with conditions. The Serra da Estrela is the mountain that we have, of course there are many world with much better conditions, but is very bad so many people underestimate what we have and make absurd comparisons. And if we're going for the sympathy, also did not see many smiles out of Portugal! Outside the other comments that were made here.
It is small you start, and if the Portuguese themselves do not help ...
March 20, 2010
Nuno from Portugal
Our office is modest. However, where there will come a belly full of skiing. My level is medium / low and I am well aware that I have in Sierra (Serra da Estrela) optimal support in order to evolve. The tracks are not long or offer great difficulties, but are insufficient to establish the technique and is there at your fingertips. Despite the natural limitations is much that can be improved, for example quality and excellent staff very polite and always ready to help.