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Although it received its first charter in 1226, Alijó was inhabited from a much earlier date, as is witnessed by the number of Roman castros (hill forts) and pre-historic monuments found in the area, particularly remarkable at Carlão (rupestral paintings of Pala Pinta) and at Vila Chã (dolmen of Fonte Coberta).

The seat of the county, Alijó, boasts of an 18th-century Mother Church and of an historical plane-tree, planted in 1856 and now more than six metres in circumference, which was declared National Heritage.

The county offers stunning sceneries, with its tall hills and gorges terraced with vineyards which produce the renowned Port wine, verdant in Summer and golden and reddish in Autumn, overlooking the imponent river Douro on its way to the sea.

Specially dazzling are the views which may be admired from Pinhão, a small town surrounded by traditional quintas (farms) belonging to famous names in the Port wine production and which is equally proud of a railway station decorated with beautiful panels of tiles portraying local scenes.

It is worth exploring the county and visiting typical villages such as Perafita, Amieiro or Sanfins do Douro, or catching the old train at São Mamede de Ribatua to travel alongside the river Tua and enjoy the scenery of terraced vineyards, or stopping at the ancient village of Favaios to taste another local speciality, a sweet muscatel wine.

The Pousada do Barão de Forrester was named after Baron James Forrester (1809-62), an Englishman famous for his reforms and defence of Port wine.

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