Vila Real City Guide
Vila Real, the capital of Trás-os-Montes, is a bustling town located on a plateau in the foothills of the Serra do Marão. The town is connected by bridges that span the deep ravines created by the Corgo and Cabril rivers, which converge here. From a terrace high above, once the site of a castle, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the gorges below. To reach the lookout, head in a straight line from the cemetery. From this vantage point, you can also see houses perched precariously on the edge of the Corgo ravine.
Vila Real’s historic center is worth exploring, and visitors can spend a pleasant two hours or so wandering the streets and stopping in cafes for a glass of port. Most of the town’s interesting sights and buildings are located along Avenida Carvalho Araújo.
The town’s agricultural roots make it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area, including the Parque Nacional do Alvão to the northwest, which features waterfalls, flower-filled valleys, and ravines. The tourist office can provide maps and suggest places to visit. To reach the park, take the IP-4 west for 10km (6.25 miles), then turn onto the N304 heading towards Mondim de Bastro and Campeã. This scenic drive takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of Trás-os-Montes, though you’ll first need to pass through the drab modern suburbs of Vila Real, which are in stark contrast to the charming historic core.