top of page

13th October

Day 3


Vila Real

On the third day a trip was organised to Vila Real. The Erasmus+ group went on a  walking trip around the town, tasted a typical dessert in the famous Pastelaria Gomes, visited  “ Palacio do Mateus” and “Quinta do Vilar” after climbing a difficult path.

Vila Real, the capital of the Tras-o-Montes province, is located above the confluence of the Rio Cabril and the Rio Corgo.

The most famous building to visit, located about four kilometers east of Vila Real, is the Palacio do Mateus used as a holiday home by the Portuguese royal family during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Palacio do Mateus, which is featured on bottles of well-known Mateus rose wine, was built in 1745 to a design by the fashionable Italian architect, Nicola Nasoni.

With a striking Baroque facade, an ornate balustrated stairway, granite wings, rooftop statues and a garden that boasts an impressive thirty-five meter cedar tunnel, the Mateus Palace is considered by many to be one of the best country houses in Europe and a near-perfect example of Baroque architecture. In 1971 the Mateus Palace became a private foundation and now hosts various music concerts, art exhibitions and literary prizes.

Other buildings of interest in Vila Real include a fifteenth century Gothic cathedral, once part of a fifteenth century Dominican monastery, the Baroque Igreja de Sao Pedro, with its ceiling of carved and gilded wood and the Baroque Capela Nova, also attributed to Nicola Nasoni, which features an outrageous Baroque facade and eighteenth century Azulejos (hand-painted tiles).

Vila Real flourished as a result of the wine and port trade, which used to be headquartered here before moving to Porto. Every year on the 28th and 29th June a huge market takes over the streets of Vila Real to celebrate the Festa e Sao Pedro.

Vila Real is well-placed to explore the Parque Natural da Serra do Alvao, with its lush valleys and towering mountains.

bottom of page