Douro Wine Region: World Heritage of Humanity
The classification as a World Heritage Site arrived on December 14, 2001 by UNESCO, but the origins of the Douro Wine Region date back to the second half of the 17th century. Bathed by the river Douro, this region of the northeast of the country totals 26 thousand hectares in 13 municipalities, being an area representative of the characteristic landscape of the Douro Demarcated Region, the oldest regulated wine region in the world.
It is the eighth smallest municipality in the country, but it is also known as the Douro Door since in its territory are the first Pombaline landmarks of the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. In Mesão Frio the typical landscapes of the Douro are highlighted and a rich built heritage in which the Franciscan Convent of the Varatojo stands out, building of the Town Hall.
Peso da Régua:
It is the center of the demarcated region of the Douro and it is in its territory that is one of the most beautiful viewpoints of all the region of Douro, the Miradouro of S. Leonardo de Galafura. Its development is due to the creation of the General Company of Vineyards of the Alto Douro, in 1756. The municipality of Régua has a rich patrimony that emphasizes the manor houses, the producing wine estates and the mansions.
Santa Marta de Penaguião:
In the origin of this region are the Neolithic peoples, being proof of this the existing castros in the county. Winemaking was gaining importance in Santa Marta de Penaguião, with vineyards occupying much of the local landscape. In addition to being enchanted with the landscapes and the built heritage, whoever visits this county delights in the typical gastronomy of the region.
Vila Real, city and capital of district, was always the target of human occupation, given its fertile and productive land. In the county it is possible to visit the Palace of Mateus, a solar of baroque architecture attributed to Nasoni. Still in Vila Real stands out the Sanctuary of Panóias, the House of Diogo Cão and the Museum of Archeology and Numismatics. For nature lovers, Marão and the Alvão Natural Park are the destinations.
Vila on the right side of the Douro, in the landscape of Alijó stand out the mountains, valleys and vineyards, which benefit from the proximity to the rivers Douro, Pinhão, Tua and Tinhela. In addition to traces of the people who passed through the county, in the locality of Pegarinhos there are rock engravings. At the architectural level the icons are the pillory and the building of the Town Hall. The gastronomy highlights the wine, especially Moscatel de Favaios.
The creation of the Douro Demarcated Region was a crucial factor for the growth of Sabrosa, with viticulture being the main economic activity of the county. Located in the district of Vila Real, throughout the county there are traces of different peoples and cultures, namely mamoas and castros, of which Castro de Sancha stands out. To discover this heritage there are in Sabrosa three different trails.
This village on the sides of the river Távora has its landscapes marked by the river Douro, since it is located on its left side. Tabuaço very early was populated by prehistoric peoples, previous to the nationality, being kept vestiges like castros, rock inscriptions, necrópoles and wine and oil presses digged in the rock. Currently the county has about 6300 inhabitants and is divided into 13 parishes.
Carrazeda de Ansiães:
Headquarters of a municipality with more than 6300 inhabitants, the county was headquartered in the old village of Ansiães, with its streets located on the top of a hill, in the parish of Lavandeira. In the heritage area you can visit the castle, Cachão da Rapa and the tapirs of Vilarinho da Castanheira and Zedes. In the gastronomy there are some hunting dishes, such as wild boar, rabbit or partridge, accompanied by Douro wines.
São João da Pesqueira:
Having received a charter in 1055, São João da Pesqueira is the oldest village in Portugal, located 850 meters above sea level. Considered the Heart of Douro Wine Region, the main activity is the production of wine, being the largest national producer of Port Wine and DOC Douro. Almond and olive oil are also important products. In 2015 the Wine Museum of S. João da Pesqueira was inaugurated.
On the south side of the Douro, already in the district of Viseu, Lamego is an old city that had Roman occupation and that was conquered to the Moors in 1089. Being a historical city, it has several monuments, churches and emblazoned houses. The ex-libris of the city is the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios and its staircase. The Cathedral of Lamego and the Castle of Lamego are other places of obligatory stop.
Armamar is on a steep slope with the waterfall of Misarela near and several viewpoints where you can see the landscapes of the river Douro. From the Roman period remains in the county traces like monuments, roads and bridges. Agriculture is one of the main activities, standing out the mountain apple crop and the vineyard. Being the Capital of the Mountain Apple, the production is around 70 thousand tons per year.
Torre de Moncorvo:
Vila in the district of Bragança, Torre de Moncorvo is located near the border with Spain, at the confluence of the rivers Sabor and Douro. These rivers are remarkable in the landscape, as well as the Vilariça Valley and the Serra do Reboredo. Classified as National Heritage, the Mother Church is considered the largest religious temple in Trás-os-Montes. The county is part of the almond blossom circuit.
Vila Nova de Foz Côa:
Vila Nova de Foz Côa is the only municipality of Douro Wine Region located in Guarda district, comprising more than 7300 inhabitants. This county is in an area of important archaeological interest, where there are already 195 sites of crucial value, including castles, castles, churches, chapels, manors, bridges, Roman roads and rock engravings of the Côa Valley, considered a World Heritage Site.