Carrazeda de Ansiães is a beautiful, old, diverse place that knows how to welcome those who visit! It is located between the Douro and Tua rivers in the Bragança district. It is there that the famous Port wine is produced!
CARRAZEDA de ANSIÃES
From a geographical point of view, Carrazeda de Ansiães is a place of plateaus (high ground that extends into plains) and slopes (slopes), i.e., it is a heterogeneous region. The vineyard dominates the landscape on the slopes. On the plateaus, tucked between the mountains, we find diverse crops: potatoes, beans, corn, apples, wheat, honey, pear trees… The natural and landscape diversity has given rise to agricultural diversity. This variety is also reflected in the architecture and ways of life of its people. It is one of the oldest Portuguese counties and has 6373 inhabitants.
WHERE IS CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES?
If you live in Lisbon, be prepared for a 4h21 trip (422 kilometers). If you live in Porto, 1h37 (145 kilometers) is the time you will need. A small effort for a beautiful reward!
WHAT TO VISIT IN CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES?
Breathtaking landscapes are the hallmark of Carrazeda de Ansiães! But the attractions of this place go far beyond the landscapes. Villages, farms, fairs, viewpoints, monuments, festivals and culture. In Carrazeda boredom is at the door! So that you can organize your walks efficiently we have prepared a map with the main attractions. We hope it will be useful to you!
MEDIEVAL VILLAGE OF ANSIÃES CASTLE
The castle of Ansiães is 5.6 kilometers from the village of Carrazeda de Ansiães. It is an ancient fortification that was built on top of a hill. It is also called the Medieval Village of Ansiães because it has a series of medieval houses that used to house the population. Its geography has always offered it a position of dominance, facilitating the defense of the region. It was built in the 3rd millennium BC! Throughout the centuries it was always occupied for its exceptional defensive vocation. In the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, there was an important growth of the population living in this defensive stronghold.
At the end of the 15th century and during the 16th century, the number of inhabitants of the fortification suffered an important decrease. This regressive process culminated with the transfer of the city hall to Carrazeda in 1734. The castle has two distinct areas. The higher one – an oval wall with five towers – was intended as a definitive defensive area to protect the inhabitants (in case of enemy invasion). The second area was intended for the residents living inside the fortification and was protected by another defensive wall that extended for over 600 meters. This second ring of the fortification was divided into a kind of small neighborhoods of residents connected by archaic paths.
SÃO SALVADOR CHURCH
It is within the walls of the castle of Ansiães and dates (probably) from the 12th century. The church is formed by a chancel and a nave. The main door of the church (which was built later, probably in the 13th century) is the most important element of this temple.
INTERPRETIVE CENTER OF ANSIÃES CASTLE
Visiting this center is like taking a trip into the region’s most remote past. Built from a ruin, the project culminated in a pleasant and well organized space with 2 floors. Throughout your visit you will find archaeological objects and remains, the result of a 10-year project that collected countless artifacts from the past. The center also has an educational service that organizes guided tours and various workshops. There are also two tours that take place between the months of February and September. Participation in all these cultural events is free of charge.
GATEWAY TO THE TUA VALLEY OF CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES
It is a tool to promote the magnificent Tua valley and the local geography. Located at the mouth of the Tua, it is inside an old train station building in Carrazeda de Ansiães that was restored to house “The Gateway to the Tua Valley of this municipality.
It is a place equipped with interactive equipment that will allow you a visit full of sensory stimuli and learning about the Tua Valley. Several municipalities (Alijó, Vila Flor, Murça, Carrazeda de Ansiães and Mirandela) also have their own “Gateway”. It is the starting point for tourists who want to get to know the region well.
TUA VALLEY REGIONAL NATURAL PARK
The Tua Valley Regional Natural Park covers an area of 25 thousand hectares (if you can’t see how big an area 1 hectare is, think of a soccer field as being about the same size). It is located in the Baixo Tua region and connects the districts of Bragança and Vila Real. Because it includes 5 municipalities (including Carrazeda de Ansiães) with distinct cultures and identities, those who visit the Tua region know they will find a multiplicity of wines, gastronomies, and ecosystems. The entire landscape is characterized by mountains and plateaus that follow the meandering of the Douro, Tinhela and Tua rivers. The park has more than 1100 different plant species and more than 1000 animal species (including bats, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and mammals).
CACHÃO DA RAPA
Not to be missed by those interested in prehistoric cave paintings. In Cachão da rapa the paintings can be found in a flat panel with 4 meters. Here you can appreciate schematic forms where rectangles and squares dominate in a reddish and dark blue tone. This painting differs from all the others existing in our country precisely because of its geometric shapes. It is believed that these paintings were made between the Copper Age (3.300 – 1.200 BC) and the Bronze Age (3.300 – 700 BC)!
DOURO HISTORICAL TRAIN
If you want to take this magical trip, be aware that the historic train only runs between June and October. Make your reservation in advance so you can take the tour on the day you have planned. Get ready for fabulous views of the Douro River! This authentic trip back in time takes place on a steam carriage that will take you from Régua to Tua. The beauty of the region has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. For more information check out the site of TRAVEL TO THE TUA!
APPLE, WINE AND OLIVE OIL FAIR
There have been 24 editions of the Apple, Wine and Olive Oil Fair. Here are promoted the products of the region of Carrazeda de Ansiães in an event that attracts visitors from all over the country. If you pass by the fair, you can buy not only apples, olive oil and wine but also other products of the region. Dried fruit, sausages, cheeses, folares, honey, dried fruit, meat balls and much more. The fair is adorned with games, live music, entertainment, processions and street parades.
TOWNS AND VILLAGES BELONGING TO CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES
Carrazeda de Ansiães is a 16-minute drive from Vila Flor, a 17-kilometer drive. It is a quiet place perfect for those who are not bored when they have nothing to do. Perfect for those who like to not make plans and let time go by. People-watching, walking, reading a book in a local café, and listening to the residents talk. Still, you are wrong if you think that there are no attractions in the village. There are, and lots of them, namely: manor houses in the historic center, museums, shrines, churches, hiking trails, and magnificent cuisine. Write it down in your little book, a must-visit!
VILLAGE OF VILARINHO DA CASTANHEIRA
Between Carrazeda de Ansiães and the village of Vilarinho de Castanheira there are 14 kilometers (a distance that can be covered in 14 minutes). A village with 800 inhabitants, a rich historical heritage and surrounded by a landscape of great beauty. If you go there, be sure to see the Anta da Pala Moura, the church of Santa Maria Madalena, the museum of rural memory and the beautiful and interesting water mills of Ribeiro do Coito.
From Carrazeda de Ansiães to the village of Fontelonga is an 8-minute drive and a distance of 5.2 kilometers. The great attractions of the village are the municipal swimming pools and the dam. If you go there, don’t miss also the imposing Santa Maria Madalena church (19th century) made of granite. In the parish there is also a picnic park and a beautiful viewpoint on the Santa Clara hill.
SÃO JOÃO DA PESQUEIRA
34 minutes and 25 kilometers separate Carrazeda de Ansiães from São João da Pesqueira, the heart of the Douro Wine Region. Spectacular landscapes and the viewpoint of the Valeiro barrier are its greatest natural attractions. Also worth mentioning are the beauty of its main church, the Areita Polmen, the chapel of mercy and the republic square.
.33 kilometers and 43 minutes separate Carrazeda de Ansiães from Alijó. Mountains, valleys, vineyards and rivers (Tinhela, Pinhão and Tua rivers) deeply mark the idyllic landscape of this village. A place inhabited by humans since immemorial times as evidenced by the various forts, the cave paintings and the dolmens that have been discovered there. If you like religious monuments, be sure to visit the chapels of senhor do andor and the chapel of nossa senhora dos prazeres.
NOSSA SENHORA DOS PRAZERES CHAPEL (ALIJÓ)
A chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Prazeres located right on top of a hill. The festivities to our lady occur at the beginning of the harvest and are held by farmers. There is a curious story (legend) in the region that says that in the past the inhabitants of the village of Chã tried to turn the image of the saint in their direction. Without success! The saint turned again to Alijó keeping the dispute between these two villages alive. As you can easily guess from the picture below, the view from the top of the hill is breathtaking! Don’t forget to try the regional wine, the roasted kid, the Portuguese stew and the meat ball, the latter a specialty in Alijó. One last note for the viewpoints around the village, not to be missed!
It is a bit far from Carrazeda de Ansiães (65 minutes away). But if you are a big wine lover you will love Quinta da Ferradosa. An excellent option to have lunch, walk around the farm, learn about the production of the region’s wine and do a tasting. The farm, besides being a producer, also provides lunches, dinners and guided tours. Those who have been there also insistently mention the friendliness of the people who work there!
VIEWPOINTS IN CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES
There are many and very beautiful viewpoints in the municipality of Carrazeda de Ansiães! But because time is a scarce commodity and there is much to see in this Portuguese region, we will only make two suggestions of those that are, in our opinion, the most beautiful in the county.
EYES OF TUA VIEWPOINT
You can find it in Castanheiro do Norte. It is a recent viewpoint that was built on top of the cliffs of the Tua valley. From the water eyes viewpoint you can see and admire the course of the Tua river and the valleys and hills of the region. Fabulous!
FRAGA DA OLA VIEWPOINT
It is on the road that connects the village of Pinhal do Douro to Coleja. Recently a platform was created from where you can see the waterfall of… “Fraga da Ola”. But from this recently built structure you can also enjoy a magnificent view of the village stream valleys and the Douro River. Superb!
VIRTUAL TOUR TO ANSIÃES CASTLE
WHAT TO VISIT NEAR CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES?
Carrazeda de Ansiães is synonymous with natural beauty and landscapes to fill the heart and soul! And there are many splendorous landscapes to see in this region. 4 days are not too many to see the most important and interesting things Ansiães has to show. If you decide to spend a longer period of time, also visit some places that are nearby Carrazeda. Here are 4 suggestions and a map to help you organize your tours more efficiently! Have fun!
From Carrazeda de Ansiães to Vila Pouca de Aguiar is a 52-minute drive, a distance of 74 kilometers. The Pedras Salgadas natural park is the great attraction of this place. A park with more than 100 years that still has a lot to offer. Near Vila Pouca you will also find the Roman gold mining complex of Tresminas, a place full of history and breathtaking views. Not to be missed!
48 minutes and 69 kilometers separate Carrazeda de Ansiães from Peso da Régua, the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region. It is from there that the famous Port wine and other magnificent wines of the region sprout. Besides the viewpoints for stunning landscapes over the Douro river, Peso da Régua also has monuments, parks, farms, museums and a divine gastronomy to offer to those who pass through there.
From Carrazeda de Ansiães to Mirandela is a distance of 38 kilometers and a 41-minute drive. The Tua river and its imposing 200 meter long bridge are the ultimate symbols of the city. Situated on a hill, Mirandela has a lot to offer to its visitors: palaces, museums, churches, archaeological remains, magnificent views and a gastronomy to taste and cry for more. If you go to Mirandela, it is a sin not to eat alheira sausage!
40 minutes and 46 kilometers separate Torre de Moncorvo from Carrazeda de Ansiães. A beautiful transmontana village near the border with neighboring Spain. A very old place that dates back to the middle ages and is located near the confluence of the rivers Douro and Sabor. The great symbol of the town is its imposing Mother Church, which holds the title of National Heritage and is the largest in Trás-os-Montes.
CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES HISTORY
It has an area of 282 square kilometers and is a land of contrasting landscapes. Only in the 18th century it was renamed Carrazeda de Ansiães, until then it was only called Ansiães. The human presence in this region is very ancient. Here one can find traces of cave paintings and dolmens (funeral monuments) dating from prehistoric times (period between the beginning of time until 3500 ac). Later, the Romans occupied this territory and left numerous traces of their passage (bridges, mosaics, roads). Portugal was founded in 1143 but the first charter of Ansiães dates back to the 11th century (granted by King Fernando Magno). In 1734, the management of Ansiães passed to belong to Carrazeda, resulting in the current name (which retains the memory of the county).
CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES GASTRONOMY
Carrazeda de Ansiães is also famous for its good wines, great digestives (“vinho tratado”) and its magnificent gastronomy! Don’t forget that the smoked meat is king in this county. Its quality and flavor are incomparable. Salpicão, ham and sausage meat are delicacies not to be missed in Carrazeda de Ansiães. If you are a fan of hunting dishes, then try the rabbit à caçador, the partridge, or the wild boar. At Senhora da Ribeira (Foz-Tua), ask for river fish accompanied by a sauce of escabeche or order them fried. If you visit the region in September, attend the pilgrimage in favor of Santa Eufémia and try the “marrã” (a roasted pork dish). If you are a more conservative “fork”, then you should know that this region is also famous for its codfish, feijoada à transmontana, boiled octopus (at Christmas), and roast kid. For sweet tooths (like me), the best comes at the end of the meal: arroz doce, folares doces (at Easter), cakes with apples and pumpkin sweets are the regional sweets.
RESTAURANTS IN CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES
Over 260 reviews on Google and an overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of a maximum of 5). It presents itself as a 1 cipher ($) restaurant, in other words, an inexpensive restaurant. The positive comments are insistent on the friendliness of the staff, the family atmosphere and the quality of the food. A great option for those who enjoy grilling.
HOTELS IN CARRAZEDA DE ANSIÃES
QUINTA DO PALAME
3-star hotel. It is very close to Vila Flor and about 15 kilometers from the center of the town of Carrazeda de Ansiães. More than 100 reviews on Google and an overall rating of 4.6 (out of 5). It was the hotel we found with the best relation between the rating given by the users and the price. The comments refer insistently to the tranquility of the place, the beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the staff and the comfort of the rooms. It has an outdoor pool.