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Mondim de Basto

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A county of great natural beauty, located on the border between the regions of Minho and Trás-os-Montes, Mondim de Basto combines its rich landscape, particularly remarkable at the Natural Park of Alvão, with an interesting architectural, archaeological and ethnographical heritage.

At the seat of the county, it is worth admiring the Mother Church, in Romanesque style and displaying a Renaissance retable, the Roman Cabril Bridge and several fine manorhouses, such as the Azevedos House.

Those interested in archaeology should visit the Neolithic fortresses of Monte dos Palhaços and Vilar de Viando, about two kilometres away.

From the top of Monte Farinha, with the popular church of Our Lady of Grace and a belvedere at 990 metres, visitors may admire a vast and impressive panorama.

One of the county's main attractions is the Natural Park of Alvão, which it shares with the neighbouring county of Vila Real. At this nature reserve occupying an area of 72 square kilometres between the Corgo and Tâmega rivers, the scenery varies from the green and fertile fields of the lowlands to bleak crags and heights, such as the one where the small river Olo is born, at 1250 metres, which then drops in the spectacular cascade of Fisgas de Ermelo.

The picturesque village of Ermelo is the largest hamlet at the Natural Park of Alvão and still offers the sight of typical schist houses, old oil-presses and stone granaries and threshing-floors.

At a short distance, the Alto do Velão summit displays a splendid and unforgettable view over the mountains and the Tâmega valley.

The park also shelters a varied fauna, namely of hawks, eagles, dippers and otters.

Gastronomical specialities include an excellent roast lamb and the good vinho verde of Mondim de Basto, and visitors may find interesting handicrafts, namely embroideries, woven fabrics and stonework.

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