In this section we will introduce you to the seven “gateways” towns and cities of the Montanhas Mágicas that welcome you to the territory!

Before venturing through our mountains, rivers and valleys, we suggest you discover a little more about each of these towns and cities: its history, monuments, events, bars and restaurants, commercial spaces and much more. In addition, it is here, in the Interactive Tourism Shops or in the Tourist Offices, that you can obtain more detailed and updated information about what to see and do in the territory.

Arouca Village

The village, seat of the municipality of Arouca, has approximately 3,000 inhabitants and is located about 60 km from the district seat (Aveiro) and 50 km from the city of Porto.

Located at the foot of Monte da Senhora da Mó and sheltered by the slopes of the Freita Mountain, Arouca is a village with an ancient history, witnessed by its magnificent monastery, whose current building is the result of innumerable architectural restorations and transformations over time.

It is in this village, full of life, that throughout the year the most diverse cultural events are held, linked to the local traditions and the history of the Arouca Monastery and the Queen Santa Mafalda, not to mention sports events, festivals and pilgrimages, the carnival and the parade and the fairs and exhibitions that celebrate the agricultural and craft products that are produced throughout the municipality.

Start with a visit to the Interactive Tourism Shop, where a professional will advise you on the places to visit and on the activities you can do in Arouca and the Montanhas Mágicas. Also here you can find an exhibition/sale with a selection of the best local agrifood and handicraft products.

Strolling through the streets of this historic town you can visit some of its most emblematic monuments: the Arouca Monastery, with its majestic church, the historic pipe organ, the extraordinary cloister, the cloisters, the convent kitchen, the chapter room and the Sacred Art Museum, considered one of the best of its kind in the Iberian Peninsula.

Also in the Historical Center you can visit the renovated square, with its buildings of typical traces, as well as the Misericórdia Chapel. Along one of the oldest streets in the village, enjoy the grandeur of Casa de Malafaias and visit one of the most symbolic places of religious worship in this village - Calvário de Arouca.

Do not miss the opportunity to get to know the Municipal Museum, which houses several thematic exhibitions related to ethnography, local traditions and geology.

The Municipal Park is a very pleasant place to take a walk, especially if you are traveling with children. In the streets the atmosphere is cozy and invites you to stroll through the commercial spaces, where you can find out about what’s going on. In the center of the village and in its surroundings you can taste the best typical dishes and local vinhos verdes (green wines).

Near the village you can visit the Senhora da Mó Viewpoint, site of geological interest and beautiful viewpoiint over the Arouca valley, and the mountains around it; the Santo António Memorial or the Rainha Santa Memorial, in Santo António; the Church of S. Miguel de Urrô, with its bell tower of Romanesque origin, and the Casal Romano da Malafaia. All this within 3 to 8km.

Castelo de Paiva Village

Located about 50 km from the city of Porto, the Castelo de Paiva village gathers around it some of the most emblematic monuments that testify its rich and long history, also the scene of countless events that bring thousands of visitors all over the year.

From the Vinho Verde (Green Wine) Fair, a product of excellence in the municipality, to the colorful and popular festivals of S. João, passing through the magic of "Vila Natal" (Christmas Village) and the Lampreia (Lamprey) festival, there are plenty of reasons to visit this beautiful and welcoming village, full of tradition and identity.

The Conde Square, decorated with beautiful gardens and large trees, where stands the statue of the first Count of Castelo de Paiva, is the village central square. This dynamic and welcoming space, home to many cultural activities, is surrounded by secular buildings of high architectural and cultural interest: the former Cadeia Building, the Paços do Concelho, the Sobrado Main Church, the Cruzeiro da Independência and the Sobrado Fountain.

On the ground floor of the former Cadeia Building is the Interactive Tourism Shop, where you can get information about what to see and do in the municipality and throughout the Montanhas Mágicas. Next to it there is a regional product room and, on the top floor, you will find the Interpretation Center for Local Culture, where there are numerous theme exhibitions throughout the year.

A few meters from the center of the village you can visit the historical monument that is the ex-libris of the municipality - the Sobrado Marmoiral or the Boavista Marmoiral - an integral part of the Romanesque Route. The Penedo de Vegide, Tílias Park and the Primeiras Artes Museum are other places to visit just a few minutes from the village center.

Before continuing your visit, we suggest you try the good flavors of the local gastronomy, whether the lamprey and the shad, in due time, whether the typical veal or kid dishes, baked in the oven, always accompanied by the unmistakable vinhos verdes (green wines) , produced in Castelo de Paiva.

Castro Daire Village

The Castro Daire village, with about 4600 inhabitants, is located about 30 minutes from the district seat (Viseu) and about 90 minutes from the city of Porto.

Located on the top of a hill overlooking the Paiva river, this picturesque village by the river, ancestrally inhabited by Romans, is one of the "gateways" to the great Montemuro Mountain. Given the altitude (more than 600m), it is common in winter to see the roofs, streets and gardens of this village painted white, making it even more beautiful.

The characteristics of its architecture refer to an aristocratic past, visible in the insignia of eighteenth-century buildings, such as the Casa dos Fidalgos da Cerca (Cercas’ Noble House) and the Carrancas Chapel, the emblazoned houses of the Aguilares and Mendonça, and the Castro Daire Main Church.

Along a stroll through the streets of this village, you will come across beautiful gardens, narrow, picturesque streets, houses with typical traces, historical fountains and religious monuments, such as the S. Sebastião Chapel, dating from the 16th century. XVI, and the panels of tiles that make up the Via Sacra. Climb to Calvário Park, an area of choice for those looking for moments of tranquility and leisure, and get an amazing view over the Paiva valley, the Montemuro Mountain and the village of Castro Daire.

Recently it opened to the public, in the center of the village, the Interpretation and Information Center of the Montemuro and Paiva, an exhibition space that reveals a little of the vast territory delimited by the Montemuro Mountain and the Paiva river, assuming as a starting point for the discovery of the territory. This space also has a tourist information point, which is why we suggest you start your visit here. A tourism professional can inform you about the places to visit and the activities to be carried out in the territory.

Near the Castro Daire village, about 10-15 minutes away, you can visit the Carvalhal Thermal Waters, the Folgosa River Beach and a Penedo Engraved Inscription, in Lamas de Moledo.

Before going up the mountain or going down to the Paiva valley, take time to taste the delicious gastronomic delicacies served in the Castro Daire village and to explore its traditional commercial spaces.

Cinfães Village

The village of Cinfães has approximately 3400 inhabitants and is located about 60 minutes from the district seat (Viseu) and about 1h15m from the city of Porto.

Located at about 400m altitude, on the foothills of the Montemuro Mountain, this beautiful and historic village is surrounded by nature on all sides: the mythical Douro river to the North, the magnificent Bestança Valley to the East, the imposing Montemuro Mountain to the South and the heady Paiva Valley to the West. It is, therefore, an excellent "gateway" to the Montanhas Mágicas and its most important natural and tourist attractions.

Begin the discovery of this village with a visit to the Interactive Tourism Store, a space equipped with the most modern communication and information technologies, which will give you a comprehensive perspective on what to see and do in the municipality and in the Montanhas Mágicas.

From there, take a stroll through the picturesque streets of this village, watch the daily life of its inhabitants and enjoy the harmony between traditional and modern. Climb to the Calvário Viewpoint and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

In one of the oldest parts of the village, the 17th-century São João Batista Main Church, deserves an attentive visit and, next to it, the Serpa Pinto Garden and Museum are a must visit, leading you on a trip that goes back to the times of the exploration of the African continent by the illustrious military, explorer and Portuguese colonial administrator Alexandre Serpa Pinto.

A stage of multiple and diversified events throughout the four seasons of the year, this village and its House of Culture, maintain a constant cultural dynamic. Of note in this context are the popular popular parties of S. João, in June, and ExpoMontemuro, in July, a fair that promotes the best endogenous products of the city, with emphasis on gastronomy, vinhos verdes (green wines), smokehouse, jams, confectionery, handicrafts, agribusiness and nature sports.

Enjoy your visit to enjoy the gastronomic delicacies that the village of Cinfães has to offer, given that you will find, during your excursion through the territory, excellent restaurants where you can gift and surprise your palate.

S. Pedro do Sul City

S. Pedro do Sul is a city by the river with approximately 3600 inhabitants, located about 30 minutes from the district seat (Viseu) and about 1h40m from the city of Porto. Located in the heart of the Vouga Valley and framed by the Arada, Gralheira and S. Macário Mountains, this city is one of the seven "gateways" to the Montanhas Mágicas.

The history of S. Pedro do Sul is closely linked to the history of the S. Pedro do Sul Thermal Spa, the largest and most developed spa in the Iberian Peninsula, located just 7-8 minutes from the city. With unique properties in Europe, the waters that flow in these spas were, and still are, the great engine of local development, since they began to be exploited in the period of Roman rule, having here passed the Kings and Queens of our monarchy: D. Afonso Henriques, D. Manuel I, and D. Amelia de Orleães.

Located between the valley and the mountain, the city of S. Pedro do Sul has much to unveil. We suggest that you begin your visit to the Franciscan Convent of São José, which was originally built in 1725, to house religious from the Third Order of St. Francis, in order to attend the São Pedro do Sul Thermal Waters. The cloister, divided into two floors, currently hosts the services of the town hall.

Along a walk through the oldest streets of the city you will be able to visit the Santo António Chapel, with a rich Portuguese Baroque style; The Palace of the Marquis of Reriz, of Baroque architecture, where the Queen D. Amélia stayed several times at the end of the 19th century; and the Solar dos Condes da Lapa, a large and very peculiar solar house, recovered and reconverted in different public spaces, including a pleasant terrace in the main lobby.

At the entrance of the city, at the confluence of the Sul River with the Vouga River, you will find a pleasant leisure park - the Lenteiro do Rio - with a beautiful levada (artificial water channel) and a children's playground, ideal for strolling with children.

The city of S. Pedro do Sul is also the scene of countless events throughout the year. Do not miss the crowded City Festivals in late June, or the magic of Terra Natal (Christmas Land) in the historic center at the end of December.

Before climbing the mountain or venturing through the Vouga River Valley, stop by the Artes e Sabores Station, located in the old train station, where you can visit a weaving workshop and purchase regional handicrafts and sweets.

In the local restaurants you can enjoy the typical traditional dishes as, for example, the Lafões Veal and the Gralheira kid baked in the oven.

If you wish to obtain more detailed information about what to see and do in the municipality and in the Montanhas Mágicas, you can go to the tourist office located in the S. Pedro do Sul Thermal Waters.

Sever do Vouga Village

Sever do Vouga is a village with about 2700 inhabitants, located 30 minutes from the district seat (Aveiro) and 60 minutes from the city of Porto. It is the seat of a municipality blessed by nature, where mountains, rivers and valleys abound, that shelter beautiful waterfalls and an exemplary biodiversity. Given its location south of the territory, and its proximity to the coast, it is the "gateway" to the Southwest of the Montanhas Mágicas.

In this village, of ancestral origins, whose toponymia is linked to the existence of a Visigoth warrior of name Sevéri, the tradition and the modernity coexist in perfect harmony.

Strolling through the streets of this picturesque village, you will notice the simplicity of its buildings, witnessing different times and architectural styles. Next to the central garden, near the Paços do Concelho, you will find a small granite house, called "Casa do Artesão", where the Sever do Vouga tourist office is located on the ground floor and there is an exhibition/sale of handicrafts and local products. Here you will have the opportunity to learn about what to see and do in the municipality and in the Montanhas Mágicas, taking advantage of the opportunity to know what is best done in the territory in the arts and some popular knowledge.

One of the main attractions of this village are its pastries. The aromas do not leave anyone indifferent on the street, making it almost mandatory to enter and taste the delicious "Beijinhos de Sever", the "Bateiras do Vouga" and the "Barquinhas do Vouga". Being Sever do Vouga the "capital of the blueberry", it is not surprising that one of the main ingredients of its pastry is precisely this fruit.

After delighting in these wonderful sweetnesses, nothing more convenient and inviting than to take a stroll through the Municipal Park, a wide sports, recreational, tourist and cultural space, where stands out a beautiful lake, an open-air auditorium, maintenance circuits , sports ring and bar, as well as green and landscaped spaces. It is also here that the Municipal Library, with its contemporary architecture, is located.

Near the park is the Municipal Museum. Opened in 2015, it is a space of sensations based on a concept of digital sensorial museography, whose visit should not be missed.

What can not be missed either are the numerous events that take place in this village throughout the year: the already emblematic Blueberry Fair, in the last weekend of June; the Ficavouga, in the last week of July, the Festivals of S Matthew on September 21st (municipal holiday), the Lamprey and Veal Festival, in the second week of March, among others.

Other places to visit in the village are the Sever do Vouga Main Church and the Cruzeiro do Adro, as well as the Sever do Vouga Pillory.

Enjoy your visit to experience the aromas and flavors of the local gastronomy, especially the veal and kid baked in the oven and, in due time, the traditional lamprey and the shad. A few minutes from the village center, you will also find excellent restaurants.

Vale de Cambra City

The city of Vale de Cambra, with approximately 8000 inhabitants, is located about 35 minutes from the district seat (Aveiro) and the city of Porto.

As it is the seat of a predominantly rural and mountainous municipality, the economic development of Vale de Cambra and its elevation to city are due, in large part, to the prosperity of the industries that have settled here for several decades, directly or indirectly linked to the dairy, wine, stainless steel, timber and packaging sectors, which have continued to grow and expand their business throughout the world.

The city's proximity to the coast and the fact that it has good accessibility makes it one of the main "gateways" to the Montanhas Mágicas.

Before starting to discover these mountains and their natural and cultural attractions, we suggest you visit the city, starting with the Interactive Tourism Store, located in the Paços do Concelho Building. Here, with a tourism professional, you can obtain more detailed information about what to see and do in the territory. In addition, the Interactive Store has a handicrafts and local products exhibition and sale space that you can visit. Take the opportunity to ask for information about the Walking Tour, a route that starts at this location and involves a 4 km walk along which you can contemplate a set of 12 large sculptures of Contemporary Art that are distributed throughout the city.

Saint Anthony is the patron Saint of this beautiful city and as such there are several buildings and monuments erected in his honor. Do not forget to visit the Sanctuary and the Chapel of Santo António. If you visit the city in mid-June, you will have the opportunity to watch the popular Santo António Festivities, which last for several days and coincide with the municipal holiday. Whatever the date of your visit, stroll through the streets of the city and know what is going on in the local commerce.

Vale de Cambra is a land of good vinhos verdes (green wines) and good gastronomy. Put your senses to the test and enjoy delicious typical dishes, where the arouquesa beef and the Gralheira kid are the main ingredients.

To spend good moments of relaxation, alone or in the company of family and/or friends, nothing better than to take a walk in the City Park, Dr. Eduardo Coelho and, perhaps, enjoy a picnic by the lake. If you want you can practice sports: hiking, running, cycling, skateboarding, soccer, among others. The space is prepared for this purpose.

During the bathing season, look for the Burgães Riverl Beach near the city, and take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Caima River, which descend from the Freita Mountain and run through the valley.

The Municipal Museum of Vale de Cambra, as well as the Main Church and the Pillory of Macieira de Cambra, are places of tourist interest that you can visit a mere 8-10 minutes from the city, in the parish that was once the seat of the municipality - Macieira de Cambra

Still near the city, visit:
- in the parish of Codal: the Pena Mills and the Lagos Leisure Park;
- in the parish of S. Pedro de Castelões: the Coronados Bridge and the S. Pedro de Castelões Main Church.