In the eighth edition of this heading we will present to you what you can do and what you should visit in a county in the region of Trás-os-Montes, belonging to the Vila Real district: we are talking about Montalegre.
Montalegre is located around 4h30m drive from Parque das Nações, in Lisbon, where is Benerent, your car rental service. In this image you can check the trip to Montalegre, as well as its location.
The ever-stunning Montalegre Castle, the Alto Rabagão Dam and the extremely well-known Halloween Night are some of Montalegre’s points of interest. A place that you go to (k)now.
The cultural heritage of this region is vast, but as we have already mentioned, the Castle of Montalegre is the ex-libris of the county.
Built by King D. Afonso III, it was completed during the reign of King D. Dinis in 1281. At 980 meters above sea level, it’s situated on a granite hill and is made up of four towers, connected by ramparts . It’s also considered a National Monument since 1910.
Another point of cultural interest in a visit to the county of Montalegre are the Mamoas da Veiga. Classified in 1990 as Property of Public Interest, the Mamoas da Veiga are presented as a set of five mamoas erected during the megalithism of the Northwest of the present Portuguese territory in Lugar da Veiga, the same place that gave it its name.
You can also visit the Monastery of Santa Maria das Júnias. A ruined monument, located in the parish of Pitões das Júnias, with an extremely rich history. This monastery dates back to an old pre-Romanesque hermitage, founded in the 9th century, whose implantation obeyed criteria of isolation. It’s in a narrow valley, difficult to reach and far from the paths and places inhabited.
In the county of Montalegre, as in all other destinations that we have already presented to you, there are several activities that you can perform to spend time during your stay.
Frequent in almost all the municipalities already presented, Montalegre is rich in pedestrian paths, because is being inserted in the Peneda Gerês National Park. Among them, we highlight the Contraband Route, a circular pedestrian route of about 11 kilometers, which allows us to connect two raian villages, Tourém and Randin, which have always lived together and where contraband will always live in the memory of the people.
If you want a visit where you can not miss the beach, the county of Montalegre has several river beaches, derived from the River Rabagão. In addition to visiting the Alto Rabagão Dam, you need to know the River Beach of Vila da Ponte. A river beach that allows you not only the normal fresh water baths but also can hold a family picnic in the leisure area of this river beach.
If you want something more adventurous, the city of Montalegre has a car track for racing or testing a car in a sporty environment. At 1050 meters long and 16 meters wide, the floor consists of 60% on asphalt and 40% on clay.
In terms of entertainment, there is a day that is the highlight of the Montalegre county across the country: Friday 13. Whenever day 13 turns to a Friday, the city of Montalegre becomes something totally different, in a sort of Halloween, where chance and witchcraft are celebrated, making it one of the region’s main tourist attractions.
The gastronomy of each place we visit is always something that we intend to try, to also make our taste buds traveled.
The gastronomy of Montalegre has, at its height, the barrosan meat. It has a rosy to dark red color, with white to dirty white fat, depending on whether it’s a calf or an adult animal. The meat is very tender, extremely juicy and very tasty.
There are also two products worth mentioning in Montalegre: the mushroom and the chestnut. They are two traditional products of this county, so important that they even have a festival dedicated to them, in the parish of Salto: Mushroom and Chestnut Festival. It’s also considered the gold of autumn.
If we were asked for a place in the county of Montalegre to visit and stay, we would have to advise the village of Vilar de Perdizes.
A village with a vast cultural heritage to know and with the border with Spain very close, we highlight the Palace of Vilar de Perdizes as a place of election of this village. Created in 1551, this architectural ensemble is connected to Santiago de Compostela and is a place that has to visit.
Vilar de Perdizes has an enormous diversity of archaeological remains and the pedestrian route that you can do there is a great way to know them. It has 16.5 km in length, circular shape, medium level and can be walked on foot or donkey.
- The village of Vilar de Perdizes receives a congress every year in which popular medicine is debated;
- 26% of the Peneda Gerês National Park is located in the county of Montalegre;
- Friday 13th provides the county’s largest event, attracting thousands of people from across the country;
- Due to its demographic position, Montalegre is one of the first counties in Portugal to receive snow.