The extreme northeast of Portugal is, for us, the most espetacular landscape we have in the interior of the country. Today we tell you all about Foz Côa and the Douro superior
We have to travel beyond Régua and Pinhão, pass São João da Pesqueira to get there. The accesses are by secondary roads, but the scenery around us justifies the journey.
Foz Côa is the birthplace of some of the best Douro table wines, such as the Duas Quintas made by Ramos Pinto. The rugged valley with the vineyards on the background makes it a memorable trip!
We were equally astonished by the number of new vineyards that are being planted in the region. We look forward to sampling the newest wines of the region.
Foz Côa – the village
Founded in 1299, the Portuguese King D. Dinis is the godfather of this village close to Spain, where the Côa river meets the Douro river.
Foz Côa pelourinho
In front of the city hall have a look at the ‘pelourinho‘.
Made from a single block of granite, the ropes you see in the middle of the monument recall the hemp fiber production from which the village was famous for.
Due to the resistance and handling some even say during the Age of Discovery, Portuguese caravels were equipped with the hemp fiber manufactured and planted here.
The parietal art
But there is even a more distant past that goes back to the times of the Paleolithic. Foz Côa is home to the vast collection of parietal art made out in the open.
It is unique, as generally, this form of primitive art is found inside caves, but Penascosa in Fôz Coa was a safe house to primitive man.
Experts say that primitive man selected this location not only because there was fresh water available, but also the existing fauna wasn’t a significant risk.
The Penascosa site is located on a large river beach on the right bank of the Côa river, in the municipality of Vila Nova de Foz Côa, on the grounds of the parishes of Castelo Melhor and Almendra.
Foz Côa was a harbor of refuge during the times of the Paleolithic.
You can only visit the parietal art with a guide and to get there it´s a 6km route in an off-road vehicle.
The route of the tunnels
Until 1985 there was a connection by train between Salamanca (Spain) and the city of Oporto. The Douro railway line that nowadays finishes in Barca D’Alva was once the main route between the two cities.
The section between Barca D’Alva and Salamanca holds landscapes and secrets that attracts the most curious and adventurous to follow the abandoned tracks.
Keep in mind that it is an activity that requires preparation and knowledge of the territory, and you do it at your own risk since it is an abandoned railway line without maintenance.
Visit Foz Côa and the Douro Superior with us