The region of Castro Laboreiro impresses not only for its beautiful landscape, but also for the typical houses. At about 3.600 feet high, you’ll find one of the most characteristic leas in Castro Laboreiro: the Branda dos Portos. Leas are places of concentrated and seasonal population, generally situated in highlands. Mainly used during the Middle Ages, the population system was characterized by the fact that each family had two houses, one at the lea and another at the wintery land.
Both were made of ground floor and first floor, built in granite and with thatched roofs (due to its isothermal properties).
If you visit the Núcleo Museológico de Castro Laboreiro, you'll be able to admire a replication of one of these "castro" houses.
The wintery land is the village where families spent their winter, located at lower lands, in sheltered valleys. In spring, the people would climb to the leas, where they’d have fresher pastures and warmer temperatures.
This tradition has lost most of its importance, once that – besides the growing rural exodus – both types of houses are nowadays more comfortable and well prepared.
However, the Branda dos Portos still preserves its charm, and deserves a long and attentive stroll. Wander through the characteristic wetlands, organized according to the land's relief and used as pastures or to grow hay crops. On top of this, you’ll always have an unpaired panoramic view over the Serra da Peneda, a sight that impresses for its pure greatness and beauty.