The region of Trás-os-Montes holds many secrets, ready to be discovered by you. Embark on a journey through the counties of Bragança, Miranda do Douro, Mogadouro, Vimioso and Vinhais which make up the Terra Fria Route (Cold Land). 455 km of the best testimonies of northeastern Portugal, with villages, towns, castles and churches, mountains and valleys, chestnut and almond trees.
The Route consists of several sections that we'll tell you about. The time you spend on the journey is up to you. It's a long journey, but you can do it on your own pace and start by any of the 11 sections. If you visit Trás-os-Montes during the summer, you will find a warm and dry climate. During winter, rain and snow dot the landscape.
As for the means of transportation, you can use the car (the best option if you want to fully discover this part of the territory), bike, or if you are on the more adventurous side of life, you could even do the Terra Fria Route on foot. Each section has its respective gate aiding with connecting the circuits with the regional roads.
In the five municipalities, you will find the Route Gates, where you can gather more information in printed or multimedia format. In the Route Gates, you'll discover a space of knowledge, interaction and animation, where we encourage your participation.
The first section begins in the village of Quintanilha and is the Route gate closest to the Spanish border. You will go through several shale villages, which will be a constant along the journey, through the upper valleys of the Maçãs and Angueira rivers and through the village of Vimioso, until you reach Avelanoso, where the second part of the route begins.
This is the shortest circuit of our journey and crosses the basin of the Angueira river, going through St. Martinho de Angueira, a village that has existed since the thirteenth century. Make a little detour and pass by the Sanctuary of the Nazo Lady where you can admire breathtaking views over the plateau. In a short time, you will arrive at Constantim.
Here begins the third section, which will end in Sendim. At the main church of Constantim, we can see one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the region - the view stretches across the plateau to the mountains of Montesinho, Nogueira, Bornes, and Mogadouro. You'll go through Miranda do Douro where you can't miss the old town and the Cathedral. Learn a little more about the traditions of this land, the Pauliteiros de Miranda (practitioners of a war dance) and Mirandese and taste the cuisine, with Posta Mirandesa (Mirandese beef steak) as a great reference.
Arrived in Sendim, we set off for the fourth section. The destination is the small and upright village of Mogadouro and the path is full of surprises. You'll see the Bemposta dam, the steep banks of the Douro river and find ancestral testimonies, such as Castro de Vilarinho dos Galegos. If you're traveling by car, park in Urróse and walk through vines, olive and almond trees to the banks of the Douro. You will find one of the most beautiful views the river has to offer.
Mogadouro is the starting point of the fifth section, passing by three rivers that feed the Douro - Angueira, Sabor and Azibo, until you reach Algoso. If the weather is ideal, you'll feel some Warm Land aromas, such as olive oil and cherries, along this section.
The sixth section, from Algoso to Salsas, is the par excellence territory of the olive tree, extending up to the plateau climb in Serapicos, where the chestnut tree dominates. This is the best opportunity to make a detour to the city of Bragança, where you can't miss the cathedral, the castle, and the medieval history center.
The next and seventh section goes from the small village of Salsas until Zoio. The Nogueira mountain range and its Pyrenean oak extensions will always be in our sight.
The small hamlet of Zoio marks the begin of another section, the eighth. The Church deserves a visit, especially for its interior, but in this section we have a destination set: the village of Vinhais and its gastronomic delights, with the very prominent smokehouse.
The ninth section begins in Sobreiro de Cima. We follow by the banks of the Rabaçal to the higher altitudes of the Coroa mountain range. In Vila Seco, ask the locals to show you the buried wine cellars - a method of protecting the wine from the harsh climate.
It's worth stopping by Moimenta, the begin of the tenth section, to get to know the community life of the village. Some community operations - threshing-floor, grinders, mills, fountains, and forge - are still preserved, turning Moimenta into one of the most interesting villages in the Terra Fria. We travel half-slope of the Montesinho mountain range until we reach Rio de Onor, perhaps the most emblematic village of Northeastern Portugal.
It is in Rio de Onor, part of the Montesinho Natural Park, where the last part of this route begins, ending where we started (Quintanilha). Like during the Middle Ages, Rio de Onor remains a community village, as evident by the sharing of the ovens, the agricultural land, mills or even a herd, grazed turn by turn by the neighbors in the lands that belong to everyone.
The riverside beach along the clear waters of river Onor (or Contensa, as many also call it), invites you to a well-deserved rest after so many kilometers discovering the Terra Fria.
Curious? Make the journey through the northeast and discover the best that Portugal has to offer. If you venture on a journey of several days, learn about the places where you can stay overnight. For any questions or for a complete travel plan, please contact us! We want to guide you in your adventure through Porto and Northern Portugal.