Going through Barroso is to travel to simplicity in a unique rural environment, where the traditional way of working the land and treating cattle was recognized with the declaration of the Barroso region as a World Heritage Site, by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
“Road trip at Barroso World Agricultural Heritage” is the first of two roadmaps dedicated to the high Barroso. In the course of about 65 km you will get to know some of the most emblematic villages and enjoy some spectacular views. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.
Start the itinerary in Boticas county seat and head for Carreira da Lebre (Salto direction).
At Carreira da Lebre take a short detour to visit the village of Codessoso, one of the oldest in Barroso and where several films were shot. Walk through the narrow streets and enjoy the large manor houses. Some of these houses have been adapted for rural tourism.
Casa Pastoria Mourão.
Return to Carreira da Lebre and head towards the village of Carvalhelhos, route M520 road.
Most of the cafes in the villages do not serve meals and the restaurants work by appointment so we suggest you bring a snack.
When leaving Carreira da Lebre is the Boticas Parque. One of the most visited places and ideal for family programs. The park associates biodiversity and nature with knowledge and leisure, presenting itself as an important active nucleus in the promotion of conservation and preservation of the environment.
When entering Carvalhelhos, an access to the right takes you to the springs of Caldas Santas. Stroll calmly through the park, ennobled by lush vegetation and carved by a water line. You can try the thermal water during the bathing season. The inn and the bathhouses are closed.
Near the Caldas is the Hillfort of Carvalhelhos, one of the most important Iron Age settlements in Barroso, classified as ‘Property of Public Interest’ in 1951.
Hillfort of Carvalhelhos.
A few kilometers from Carvalhelhos, you will find the village of Lavradas. Stroll along the main street of one of the most colorful villages in Boticas. A hymn to creativity and unleashing, in a region where the word recycling is neither fashion nor novelty. Once you get to the pillory, turn back to the M520 road and continue the route towards Atilhó.
Village of Lavradas.
Lost in the details of the Barroso plateau, the village of Atilhó is distinguished, isolated in the hills. The buildings distribute themselves comfortably on the narrow streets. The small dimensions of the windows denounce the low temperatures of the place, especially when it is isolated by snowflakes.
Continue to go up the plateau to the village of Alturas do Barroso, the highest in the county, located at more than 1000 meters of altitude.
Enjoy rural buildings with small windows and solid granite walls. The ground floor is generally used for storing agricultural implements and for livestock. Some dwellings maintain the rough floor in wood, preaching directly to beams of the same material, where through the fringes the transfer of the heat from the cut of the animals to the upper floor was facilitated.
Village of Alturas do Barroso.
Head towards Vilarinho Seco, one of the best preserved villages in all of Barroso. Here, enjoy the pillory, the various water fountains, the people’s oven, the chapel and small drainage canopies open on the granite.
Village of Vilarinho Seco.
When leaving the village, to the south, come across a small hydraulic mill. Continue in the direction of the R311 road while enjoying one of the 10 most spectacular views of Boticas.
When you reach R311, head towards Covas do Barroso (turn left). On the M519 road enjoy another of the 10 most spectacular views of Boticas, particularly beautiful in the spring, with spots of color to lose sight of.
In Covas do Barroso, visit the Church of Santa Maria de Covas, the most notable example of the romanesque-gothic style religious architecture of the Barroso region, dating from the 14th century, and the House Museum Quinta do Cruzeiro (open to the public in July and August), where you can get to know some aspects of the social life of the house and work in the farm and village.
Group bookings (all year) by phone (+351) 276 410 200.
Church of Santa Maria de Covas.
Back on the road, head towards the village of Campos, from where you can enjoy a privileged view of one of the most important settlements of the Iron Age in the north-west of the peninsula, not only because of its size and monumentality, but also because it is associated with the largest set of statues of Gallic-Roman warriors.
Hillfort of Outeiro Lesenho.
Take a short hike to the Hillfort of Outeiro Lesenho, which crowns the hill of the same name at 1078 meters of altitude, dominating a wide landscape that covers practically the whole county of Boticas. This place is part of the list “The 10 most spectacular views of Boticas“.
Back on the R311 road, return calmly to the county seat of Boticas while enjoying the scenery.
Visit Boticas / 19/07/2019 / Sources: Câmara Municipal de Boticas 2006, Preservação dos Hábitos Comunitários nas Aldeias do Concelho de Boticas, Boticas; Associação de Municípios do Alto Tâmega 2007, Atlas/ Guia das Rotas do Alto Tâmega, Chaves; Unidade de Arqueologia da Universidade do Minho 2016, Boticas o Espírito dos Lugares, Boticas. / Photography: TR