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Vila Pouca de Aguiar

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Vila Pouca de Aguiar lies at the geographical heart of the district of Vila Real, surrounded by the Alvão and Padrela mountains. An ancient town, it exhibits several fine houses and manors, such as the Casa do Cimo da Rua or the Casa da Tapa.

At the foot of the Padrela mountain, inserted in the green landscape, the small and graceful Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Conception offers a superb panorama of the town and of the fertile plains of the Aguiar valley.

The Castle of Aguiar (10th century), situated near the tiny village of Telões, preserves little more than the Romanesque portal and the exterior walls, but its domineering aspect, at the top of a hill which commands a vast horizon, always surprises and impresses visitors.

The small village of Pensalvos, at about ten kilometres from Vila Pouca de Aguiar, has a curious church with a separate bell-tower, a beautiful 17th-century manor (Solar dos Canavarros) and an unexpected private museum exhibiting coaches, cars and copperware: in spite of its small size, it is quite interesting.

The spa of Pedras Salgadas was once extremely popular and even chosen by the last kings of Portugal to spend their Summer holidays. Surrounded by magnificent woods, it knew a period of decline after 1960, but there are still several hotels, a swimming-pool and sports facilities.

The region's gastronomy offers an excellent veal and trouts from the river Corgo, as well as delicious game dishes.

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