Terras de Basto

The route by Terras de Basto starts in Fafe and unfolds until Vieira do Minho, crossing this transition region between the Minho and Tras-os-Montes, through sloped areas and landscapes of rare beauty.

Exit Fafe by EN 206 road to Chaves. Enjoy the lush valleys, the fields in terraces and the trellises that cover the paths dividing them. Here and there, you will see granaries supported by pillars of stone and cottages with porches. After the initial climb we traverse a ridge zone among boulders of granite, gorse and ferns. We arrive at Lameira, a more flat area of pastures and fields. Proceeding by a sinuous road we head to Gandarela. The view over the valley to the right is superb. Here we will see the rural manors (some used for residential tourism), one of the main highlights of this itinerary. En route to Quintela, across the valley is the hill of the Capela da Senhora da Orada. We continue down to Arco de Baúlhe, and once here, it is worth visiting the Railroad Museum. After the visit, follow the direction of Cabeceiras de Basto, but first make a detour to the church of Santa Senhorinha. Inside the church is the tomb of the saint. At Cabeceiras, emphasis goes to the Benedictine convent of Refojos de Basto with a magnificent baroque church. On the façade you can see images of St. Benedict, St. Scholastica and St. Michael the Archangel. Inside, a huge organ and, on the opposite wall, a perfect replica. Admire also the "Basto", a stone statue of an ancient warrior, symbolizing the founder of Basto. Follow by EN 311 to Fafe and visit the Capela da Senhora do Orada. Climb a bit and admire the views. Return to Cabeceiras de Basto and take the road to Vieira do Minho (EN205) to Ponte da Ranha, where there is a river beach. The bridge was made famous by TV broadcasts of the Rally of Portugal. The same can be said about the descent on a cobblestones road, which we will travel in the opposite direction, towards Abadim, a village with ancient medieval tower. Along with some shrines of stone, deviate from the village and follow the ridges to the junction of the forest roads where stands a Casa da Guarda. Cabreira mountain is a fantastic place to explore by foot, bicycle or jeep. You may get information at the Forest Services in Cabeceiras and it will be wise to use topographic maps referred to below. Return to EN via São Nicolau (Travassos / Outeiro da Varela). On the right, you have the chance to return to Cabeceiras de Basto, and on the opposite side, to follow to Vieira do Minho, the end of this route. If you choose to return, you will have to redo the path since Cabeceiras, until reaching the road leading to Agra one of the best preserved villages of the region, via Buços and Carrazedo. Then continue through the slopes of Cabreira mountain, cross the river Ave by the Parada Bridge, follow by Anjos, the church of Rossas, and then, by a niche with the image of Our Lady, take the road back to Vieira do Minho. The route is hilly, with many curves, and goes along the dam of Ermal for a while. On the way to Vieira do Minho, the end of this tour, you will also pass by the site of Mosteiro, where by the road, is a former convent church. Next, the town of Brancelhe, where we highlight the eighteenth century houses Casa da Laje and Casa de Lamas.

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