Start your tour of Tua Valley with a walk along a stretch of railway line, regarded as one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world. Learn more about the history, heritage and traditions in a visit to the Roman baths of São Lourenço and to the castle of Ansiães. And recharge your batteries with a traditional lunch in the village of Tralhariz.
Completed in 1880, the line was built in steep rock, and within a few years, may be submerged by the dam approved for Foz-Tua. The Tua, who runs 100 meters above the sea level, is flanked by cliffs that reach 676 meters high and granite blocks with hundreds of meters of diameter.
When you return to the Douro, it is possible that the landscape has already changed.
Follow on foot the design of this testimony of Portuguese industrial archeology, with its iron bridges and all the equipment that still exist.
Pay attention to the chestnut trees, pines and oaks that cover the slopes overlooking the river and, in the tunnels, watch the populations of bats that live there. You can also spot squirrels, eagles, black storks, and with some luck, peregrine falcons and vultures.
Alternatively, embark on the Historic Steam Train, a charismatic steam locomotive with five historic carriages which today take visitors from Tua station to Régua in a unique journey into the past.
5000 years of History
In Carrazeda de Ansiães, visit the International Museum of Contemporary Outdoor Sculpture, the Castle and the Roman baths of São Lourenço.
The origin of Ansiães Castle dates from the third millennium BC. Built on a granite hill, was occupied during the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and in the whole process of Romanization of the territory and was always the epicenter of which later, during the Middle Ages, came to give rise to the medieval town.
The International Museum of Contemporary Sculpture in Open Air of Carrazeda Ansiães includes 10 sculptures in granite, rich identity of the county, which ultimately perpetuate the life of the people and the region. The museum was born in 2004 on a proposal from the renowned Portuguese sculptor Alberto Carneiro, and the works are signed by sculptors from various countries.
The churches of S. Salvador and S. João are romanesque temples that are worth visiting too.
Despite its not ideal state of preservation, the ancient Roman baths of São Loureço remain for centuries, the original operating system. Cool off in its sulphurous and magical waters.
Still in Carrazeda de Ansiães, it is worth visiting Tralhariz, a village with little more than half a hundred inhabitants, where it was born in 2009, a unit of Tourism Housing absolutely unmissable, stuck between the valleys of the rivers Tua and Douro.
The property, with about 30 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and pasture, is a majestic eighteenth century manor which was transformed into a hotel by the architect Duarte Cunha - designer of the Museum of Douro, in Régua.
Did you know that the Tua Valley is home to 549 species of butterflies of rare beauty and high natural value? Yes, it's true! Also crossing the skies of the region are Bonelli's eagles, golden eagles and black wheatears.
Between the places of contemplation and observation of nature, we highlight the corridors and riparian ecosystems, the fort of Palheiros in Murça, the dam of Vila Cha, in Alijó, the tails of Carlão, of Santa Maria Madalena or of São Lourenço - already mentioned here, the bank of Linhares and the granite mantles that choke the Douro in front of S. Salvador do Mundo.
The natural flora of the Tua Valley also deserves your attention, includes forests, natural meadows, heaths and woods crawling and Sub-Mediterranean as a refuge for wine populations.
Close, very close, you can make a boat trip on the Douro. The Biological Douro Park - Douro Wild Park promotes trips in the river from 10 euros per person.
And do not forget to climb to the Viewpoint Senhora da Graça, where we see the whole region of Trás-os-Montes.
At the end of the day, recharge batteries with a slice of meat ball, a few slices of salami, a few slices of ham, cheese and local wine.
To Porto, there are low cost flights, for example to: London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly and Charles de Gaulle Vatry), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat , Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.
In the summer, there are low cost companies flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.
With normal rates, there are flight connections from London - Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris - Orly.
From the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro is the best way to reach the city center of Porto is by metro. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
Take A4/IP4 towards Amarante, Vila Real and Bragança. Exit Alijó. From here, follow the signs to Carrazeda Ansiães.