In the Montesinho Natural Park, one of the largest areas of protected landscapes in Portugal, stroll, unhurriedly, by the hills and deep valleys that are home to villages and perpetuate old community habits.
The park is inhabited by species such as otter and wildcat and there are over 150 species of birds crossing the Montesinho sky. You can see beautiful examples of the golden eagle and other birds of prey.
The villages of Montesinho, Rio de Onor and Guadramil are villages that live in peace with nature and preserve the memory of rural life. You will be able to realize it by going through the mountains of Montesinho and Lombada – you can do it quietly on foot, by bicycle or comfortably by car.
On the banks of the river Côa, hundreds of rock carvings spread over tens of kilometers. The Côa Valley is the most important Paleolithic rock art site with the outdoor world. Try discovering it in the company of a guide.
The Douro International Natural Park covers part of the municipalities of Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Freixo de Espada à Cinta and Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, in the border stretch of the Douro River, a distance of about 122 km.
Green plateaus, deep valleys and steep banks, forming large canyons are a place of excellence sought by many birds, some endangered. Stay tuned to the Egyptian Vulture or Britango, which was chosen as the symbol of this park.
You can see the traditional lofts, 650 on all the Park, and visit Miranda do Douro and Freixo de Espada à Cinta, cities with a rich heritage.
The climate of the region records cold winters and very hot summers. In February and March, with the almond trees in bloom, nature offers a spectacle of beauty and color, much appreciated and celebrated with the popular festivities.
At the heart of Porto and North, is worth visiting Alvão Park. Do not miss the traditional villages of Ermelo and Lamas de Olo, starting points for the most interesting walks. The great diversity of fauna and the majestic waterfalls of Fisgas de Ermelo are holy medicine to cure the stress of everyday life.
The waters of Chaves are used for healing purposes since immemorial times. Visit the thermal baths of the Emperor Flavius Vespasiano. These famed waters spring from the heart of the earth at a temperature of 73 Celsius!
At the foot of the mountain of Barroso, you can relax in the spa complex of Carvalhelhos, a prime resort home in a landscape of chestnut and oak. The spa Vidago is another solution to help you forget the worries and restore the natural balance. Escape for a few days in this spa, which includes a palace of the early twentieth century, recently restored and converted into a hotel, a golf course with 18 holes and a spa with 2,000 square meters, designed by the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. Take the opportunity to make some walks in the woods surrounding it and take a dip in the pool. For the more active, there are biking and horse riding and tennis court. This privileged site is also where Vidago mineral water originates from.
In the same county, Chaves, visit the spa town of Pedras Salgadas, where Água das Pedras, drunk regularly throughout the country, comes from. In the Spa of Pedras Salgadas, test the powers of this water with natural gas. The spa complex offers a pleasant park, an equestrian center and a golf course.
Integrated in the Natura 2000 network, the Protected Landscape of the Azibo Lagoon in Macedo de Bragança offers hiking and biking and is a privileged site for observing birds and other wildlife. Bathe in the nearby river beaches and enjoy a unique panoramic view from Santa Combinha. In Macedo de Cavaleiros, it’s also worth visiting the sites of Natura's Network of Monte de Morais, the valleys of Sabor-Maçãs and the saws of Montesinho-Nogueira.
In Trás-os-Montes, ask the best dishes of the region. The stuffed-like sausage, chestnut, Mirandese veal, Bísaro pork and river trout and Terrincho cheese with sweet pumpkin are some of the delicacies that await you in the northeast of Portugal.
Visit Miranda do Douro, known for its lively and colorful folklore, which brings out the Pauliteiros, and Mirandês, the language spoken only in this region of Miranda do Douro. Another tradition worth watching is the “caretos”. This is pre-historical religious ritual that takes place in Podence during the “carnival”. “Caretos” are masked young men dressed in fringe wool quilts, wearing masks and rattles in their belts. They show up in groups running and shouting frantically. The goal is to frighten the people around (specially single young girls) and “rob” all the wineries. Some experts link this tradition with old practices related to land fertility cults.