Vila Real – Where Nature and Heritage Embrace
Welcome to Vila Real, a land where enchanting landscapes and rich heritage embrace, inviting you to embark on a journey of discovery through the captivating wonders of Northern Portugal.
Geography & Location
The Vila Real district is located in the Trás-os-Montes region of Portugal. It is bordered by the districts of Bragança to the north, Viseu to the south, and the Spanish province of Zamora to the east. The district has a total area of 4,239 square kilometers (1,637 sq mi) and a population of 230,000 people. The capital of the district is the city of Vila Real, which is located on the Corgo River, 180 kilometers (112 mi) north of Porto. The city has a population of around 55,000 people.
The district is mostly mountainous, with the highest peak being the Serra do Alvão, which reaches 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) above sea level. The district also has a number of rivers, including the Corgo, the Douro, and the Tua. The climate in the district is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The district is known for its beautiful scenery, its rich history, and its delicious food.
Enveloped in Natural Beauty
Vila Real is nestled amidst some of Portugal’s most breathtaking natural beauty. Explore the majestic Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where terraced vineyards cascade down the hillsides, producing the renowned Port wine. Embrace the tranquility of Alvão Natural Park, where lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and mountainous vistas create a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
An Architectural Legacy
In Vila Real, history unveils itself through its architectural legacy. Admire the grandeur of Mateus Palace, an elegant Baroque mansion surrounded by splendid gardens. Stroll through the charming streets of the historic center, where centuries-old buildings harmonize with the modern pace of life.
Embracing Tradition and Gastronomy
Vila Real’s vibrant culture is a celebration of tradition and gastronomy. Experience the lively atmosphere of local markets, where farmers proudly showcase their fresh produce and artisanal delights. Savor traditional dishes like “Feijoada Trasmontana,” a hearty bean and meat stew, and “Bola de Carne,” a savory meat-filled pastry.
I was absolutely lost in the Vila Real, you're an undiscovered gem. Between the terraced vineyards and baroque mansions, I felt like I was walking through a living postcard. Can't believe places like you still exist. - Petra A. - Austria
A Tapestry of Festivals
Vila Real comes alive with colourful festivals that pay homage to its cultural heritage. Join in the merriment of the Romaria de São Brás, a lively procession that honors the city’s patron saint. Be enchanted by the sounds of traditional music and the spectacle of vibrant costumes that grace the streets.
Crafting Your Northern Sojourn
Craft your Northern sojourn to immerse yourself in the best of Vila Real’s natural wonders and cultural heritage. Wander through vineyards, hike in the mountains, and embrace the city’s historic soul.
Unraveling Tales of the North
- The legend of “Chaves Springs” says that the hot springs in the area have miraculous healing powers, once even curing a Roman centurion’s incurable wounds, leading him to build a temple in gratitude.
- It’s said that the “Mateus Palace,” known for its picturesque beauty, hides a secret room with treasures. However, whoever dares to seek them will be trapped in the room forever.