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Vila Nova de Foz Ca

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Vila Nova de Foz Ca
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The fate of the county was changed with the opening of the Archaeological Park of the Ca Valley to preserve the world's largest collection of open-air Stone Age engravings. About 20 kilometres long, this Paleolithic art gallery, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, features bulls, horses, goats, fish and a naked man (Homem de Pisco) estimated to be 20 thousand years old.

Tours start at Vila Nova de Foz Ca and if you are going in Summer it is wise to take a hat, sun lotion and lots of water, as the temperature can be extremely hot, as well as good walking shoes.

Guided tours are organized for groups of eight, but there are also tours by boat along the river for groups from three to six visitors.

Fascinating as they are, the engravings aren't the only attraction of Vila Nova de Foz Ca: the natural scenery of vineyards, olive groves and almond trees on the schist landscape of the Higher Douro (known as hot land) offers magnificent views and is also renowned for its wines.

Small villages rise on terraced slopes with typical churches and farms with whitewashed houses.

At Numo, once an important Roman fortified settlement, ruins of an impressive 10th-century castle are still visible, and at Almendra the Romanesque Mother Church, with three large naves divided by tall pillars and altars of Baroque woodwork, deserves a visit.

In terms of gastronomy, besides the fine local wines, it is worth seeking a speciality, sopa seca (dry soup), a rich stew of vegetables, rye bread, pork, veal, sausages and aromatic spices.

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