The land of bread and slate
Located in the coastal Douro region, in a valley surrounded by mountains, the council of Valongo offers scenarios abruptly changing scenarios from the typical urban landscape to the tranquillity of the countryside. The first settlers of these lands were the Romans, who extracted here ore and slate. Even today Valongo has the largest slate quarries in the country, but its development was mainly due to the baking industry (bread and biscuits) that supplied the entire region. That is why for a long time the city was known as "the land of bread and slate." In terms of natural heritage, we highlight the Palaeozoic Park, consisting of mountains that can be explored on foot. Visitors will find here traces of ancient fossils, Roman mining centres and the small village of Couce. The built heritage is scarce – consisting only of the main church and the Calvary - but the cultural wealth is enormous in these parts, as shown by the festivities of Bugiadas, which are still today a quite interesting phenomenon of cultural expression. These feasts are the symbol of the struggle between good and evil, dating back to the era of the Christian Conquer, attracting every year thousands of visitors to the city.