A very pretty little village with beautiful run down baronial houses, a lovely square, café and church. The best shop selling hand made Portuguese pottery and linen is A Loja Amarela, just below the church.
Gouvães is perched high above the Quinta’s vineyards with lovely views. There is a pretty church that has been beautifully renovated. Ask for the key in the village.
Magalhães (Magellan), the first person to sail around the world, was born here. Pretty church and square.
Rather unattractive town but as the centre for port has an interesting museum of the Douro and a Solar do Vinho do Porto, where you can taste ports and learn a little about them.
A pretty market town with a castle, an interesting Museum, Cathedral and pilgrimage church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios with 686 steps leading up to 18th century church. Try climbing to the church before lunching in many of the small restaurants in the main square.
18th century Baroque Manor House and garden. Home of the famous Mateus Rosé wine. Situated on the left hand side of the road just before Vila Real.
Head through the River Torto valley to São João de Pesqueira where you can have lunch at the Forno and visit the restored main square. A km from the town there is a series of tiny chapels (stations of the cross) leading up to the main chapel with a magnificent view of the River Douro and the Valeira dam.
Drive up to Valença do Douro, off the road to Régua and head to the village of Penedono through the unspoilt countryside. The keep of the castle commands beautiful views over hills and countryside. There is a good Pousada that serves lunch near the ruined castle.
30 minutes beyond São João da Pesqueira, heading towards Foz Coa. You will see to signs to the village and see remains of large walled castle on the left. The journey time is just over one hour from Pinhão. Lovely for picnics and walking.
One hour north from Vila Real on the A7 towards Guimarães. It is a great park with the longest fantasticable ride in Europe, rafting, canyoning, paintball, etc. Call to book in high season Tel 259 498 085 www.penaaventura.com
Drive to Lamego and from there to the small village of São João da Tarouca. You will find a vast ruined monastery (the first Cisterian foundation in Portugal) with an interesting church that is still used. Either return via Moimenta da Beira and the Tavora valley or retrace your steps for a kilometre or so and then bear right to Ucanha, an interesting old Roman fortified bridge over the river.
Visitor Centre – Castelo Melhor Tel 279 713 344 information or 279 768 260 for reservations. It is a two hour drive to see the prehistoric cave paintings at Foz – Côa and you have to book a time to visit. There are several different sites to see in the most remote countryside. Alternatively, take the train to Pochino and use one of the bus tours to get to the caves. Closed on Mondays.
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