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    Home DestinationTourist ItinerariesA Day Out in Vila Pouca de Aguiar

    A Day Out in Vila Pouca de Aguiar

    Vila Pouca de Aguiar – the granite town – stands between Alvão and Padrela; the municipality of which it is the capital extends along the length of the Corgo valley.

    Known since the earliest days of Portuguese nationhood as the lands of Aguiar de Pena, it has been occupied since the megalithic era. Roman colonisation of what is now Portugal began only towards the end of the 3rd century B.C. but the Romans left many significant marks of their presence. These include the Tresminas mining complex, at one time among the Roman Empire’s most important gold-mining operations. For approximately 250 years, Tresminas was a busy open-cast gold mine. It can now be visited and appreciated with the help of the interpretative centre built at the site. The sheer scale of the landscape formed by the slopes of the Serra da Padrela is an arresting sight that you can enjoy on the journey to Tresminas.

    Throughout the region, the flora and fauna are an attraction in their own right. The various routes of the Aguiar Nature network criss-cross this natural heritage, with information points at classified natural sites; they also provide access to the cultural, archaeological and architectural heritage of the towns and villages through which they pass. Human ingenuity in making use of the natural context is singularly apparent in the castle of Aguiar da Pena. Raised on a huge granite outcrop, it enjoys panoramic views over the Aguiar valley. Alvão Nature Park offers another breath-taking landscape from the Minhéu viewpoint, at an altitude of 1200 m, while the peaceful Falperra dam on the plateau of the Serra do Alvão is a vast mirror of water, a great spot for leisure and relaxation.

    The locality is also known for its mineral water, drawn from the thermal springs of Pedras Salgadas. Hypersaline and naturally sparkling, with bicarbonate, sodium, iron and silicate ions, it is unique in the world, and sure to do you a power of good. Within the thermal park you can savour the tranquility of vast and varied woodlands. Alternatively, seek out the treatments on offer at the thermal spa and benefit from the health-promoting properties of this medicinal water.

    Traditional products like chestnuts, honey and mushrooms are not to be missed either. From the abundance of nature they lead to traditional gastronomy and the pleasures of the region’s typical dishes, as served in a variety of local restaurants. At the end of the day, you can find a summary of what the local area has to offer by visiting the Vila Pouca de Aguiar municipal museum.