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Castro Daire

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The pretty town of Castro Daire rises clinging to a slope of the Serra de Montemuro mountains, characterized by its verdant scenery and abundant vegetation.

Already inhabited since Neolithic times, as various dolmens found at the zone seem to indicate, Castro Daire was used as a military garrison by the Romans, who built a bridge over the river Paiva.

The town boasts of many ancient noble houses with elegant façades, and the municipal museum exhibits an excellent ethnographical collection.

At about six kilometres from Castro Daire, on the beautiful valley of the river Paiva, it is worth admiring at the village of Ermida the Romanesque church from the end of the 12th century, located on the western slope of the Montemuro mountains.

At Soutelo, the 13th-century Chapel of Santa Eufémia, recently restored, exhibits four 17th-century paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ.

At the parish of Mamouros, the Carvalhal thermal spa, framed by the mountains of Montemuro and Arada, offers good facilities to visitors, with an hotel and camping park, and its waters are used to treat diseases of different kinds.

Across the county, small and picturesque villages, such as Gosende, still show traditional granite houses and old communitarian mills.

The handicrafts of Castro Daire reflect the population's traditional way of life and rural roots, with objects of black pottery, linen and wool woven fabrics, clogs, wicker baskets and straw capes.

The gastronomy is succulent and based on what the land has to offer, with specialities such as roast kid, pork's ear with rice and beans, smoked ham and sausages and a delicious home-made maize bread.

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