Trás-os- Montes is a northern Portuguese region with a strong cultural tradition. You will find traces of Roman occupation and perhaps even medieval constructions, a wide-ranging historical and cultural heritage, which will make your visit to the region extremely interesting and enriching.
Chaves was a city that flourished under the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. Residents are also known as Flavienses because Chaves was called “Aquae Flaviae” due to abundance of medicinal waters that were found in the earth.
Do you like the spa experience? That’s another reason to visit Chaves. In the city centre, you’ll find houses decorated with iron balconies, a type of construction that is very popular in the region. Also, don’t miss the castle, because the view is spectacular. In terms of cuisine, you must try the Chaves ham, which is a regional speciality.
Bragança is also a city rich in monuments. It is surrounded by a medieval wall with 15 towers, and if you choose to visit the castle, you’ll be impressed by the views and the size of the fortress. Inside the castle, you’ll come across the Military Museum, which tells the history of the castle. Outside the city gates, you’ll encounter numerous palaces belonging to the nobility of yesteryear, which symbolise the power the city had in the History of Portugal.
You can also pay a visit to Montalegre, close to the centre of Chaves, and Guadramil and the Onor River, in the Montesinho National Park. In addition to historical monuments, you’ll come across idyllic locations, where you’ll be able to see herds and shepherds tending to their animals.
At the River Onor, you’ll hear a different dialect. The inhabitants of this little village speak a dialect that is half Portuguese and half Spanish. Do you know why? This village is shared with Spain, and is the best preserved place in the national park. You can’t leave without trying the local ‘Mirandese’ meat, and tasting the honey from the region.
In Miranda do Douro you must see the ‘Pauliteiros’ dances, passed down from the Celtic occupation of the region, and danced to the tune of bagpipes. You’ll also hear the Mirandês dialect – unique to this region – being spoken.
You’ll also come across the ruins of the D. Afonso Henriques castle, where a section of the former citadel remains alongside some walls. The Santa Maria church is also worth a visit.
But that’s not all. Without doubt, along the way you’ll be charmed even more by the historical and cultural attractions. Don’t miss the chance to visit Trás-os-Montes, the land of folklore, traditional music, architecture and fine cuisine. Don’t miss out!