Favorite thing: Vila Real is the capital city of the district (with same name). It is situated about 400 km north of Lisbon, and access by road is very good – mainly highways. It is situated about 90km from Porto, the second city in Portugal, also often referred to as the “capital of North”.
As I mentioned on the previous tip, Vila Real is a great base to explore the Douro region. River Douro and its margins, covered in vineyards are one of the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal. And the grapes and harvest are a tradition for decades.
Vinho do Porto (Porto sweet wine) is renowned all over the world and it is produced on these breathtaking slopes that border the River.
There is part of the Douro landscape that is classified by Unesco as World Heritage site.
Vila Real is a quiet northern district capital. It is situated on the Douro region, which I find one of the most beautiful landscapes in Portugal, apart from those by the coast which undoubtedly are my favourite.
The city itself, on my opinion, has not that much to offer compared to other northern cities which are “near” such as Amarante or Porto. But still, it is pleasant for a daytrip or as base to explore the Douro region, which was our case.
As with any other northern city, its people are very welcoming and food is great.
This main street (Avenida Carvalho Araújo), with a garden dividing both lanes, is ideal for a stroll on a sunny afternoon.
On both sides of the street you may admire some interesting houses and manor houses. Some of them have details which characterize the Portuguese architectural Manueline style. This style shows a lot of details which come from the sea and the Portuguese discoveries overseas, as are the case of sea shells, knots and ropes, not to mention wind roses.
The house on photo has Manueline windows. It houses the tourism Office; if you plan to visit notice that it is closed on Sundays.
Avenida Carvalho de Araújo, 94
5000-657 Vila Real
- Tel.: (+351) 259 32 28 19
- Fax: (+351) 259 32 84 15
- Internet: www.cm-vilareal.pt
- E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org