Iron Age Hillforts Route (Castros)


The term castro is the designation normally given to Iron Age hillforts existing in several mountainous regions of the peninsular northwest. They perform one of the most monumental expressions of the intense occupation of this land throughout the Iron Age period, an era that reached its peak between the second century BC and the rst century of our era.

Nine Iron Age hillforts are known to have existed within the TVAP perimeter, and they are all located on the valley borders of the Terva River. With diverse sizes they all present solid defensive systems. The smaller sites only exhibit one wall line and the wider include complex systems with two or three wall lines, as it is the case of the hillfort of Nogueira.

The extraordinary density of the castreja occupation in the Terva river valley seemed to be linked with an intentional exploitation of existing mineral and metalliferous resources (gold and tin deposits) in the region.


Hillfort of Cabeço

TVAP / Iron Age Hillforts Route (Castros) Located on a hill in the middle of the southern slope of the Leiranco Mountain and dominating the wide valley ending on the Terva River between Bobadela and Boticas exists a wide hill-fort secured by three rugged wall lines. In the western part, a large and deep moat […]

Hillfort of Nogueira

TVAP / Iron Age Hillforts Route (Castros) Located on a rocky spur of the Leiranco Mountain southeast slope, this site is one of the most important castros in the Terva River Valley. It occupies an area with approximately six hectares and is positioned at over nine hundred meters of altitude. The site location offers favourable natural […]

Hillfort of Murada da Gorda

TVAP / Iron Age Hillforts Route (Castros) This small settlement is located on a western spur of the Pindo Mountain, it overlooks the brook of Cerdeirinhas and provides an overwhelming panoramic view over the Terva River valley. An impressive wall incorporating the abundant rock massif on the top of the promontory dominates the defensive system. There […]

Hillfort of Muro de Cunhas

TVAP / Iron Age Hillforts Route (Castros) Located on a spur of conical morphology, at the far end of the municipalities of Boticas and Chaves, this site is bounded by two circular wall lines presenting a sharp overturn. A eld of rocks planted on the soil and located on the northern side complements the defensive system. […]

Hillfort of Sapelos

TVAP / Iron Age Hillforts Route (Castros) This castro is located on a long hill over the left margin of the Terva River. Presenting two wall lines made of granite and quartzite, the site reveals a defensive system reinforced by two surrounding wide trenches that are crossed by broad ditches probably connected with the mining extraction […]

Maps with the indispensable technical information for the realization of the routes are provided in the Interpretation Center of the TVAP in Bobadela.

Source: Unidade de Arqueologia da Universidade do Minho 2014, Rotas do Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Terva, Câmara Municipal de Boticas, Boticas. / Photography: TR