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VISITING THE CÔA VALLEY


Cultural Heritage

After acquiring a supply of regional products – different types of bread, biscuits, figs, wine, olive oil, rosemary honey, almond and almond-made pastry - that will accompany your tour, we invite you to discover the heritage and landscape of the Côa Valley region. Embedded in granite and schist terrains, the Côa Valley is a region of wide horizons, punctuated by niveous dovecotes, where almond trees blossom in tones of white between February and March, and the vines gain spectacular colours in autumn.

Archaeological sites
In addition to the rock art sites open to the public there are other archaeological sites worth visiting.

Within the area of the Côa Valley Archaeological Park:
- Castelo Melhor (Vila Nova de Foz Côa): ruins of a medieval castle (
www.cm-fozcoa.pt);
- Chãs/Muxagata (Vila Nova de Foz Côa): Quinta de Ervamoira Site Museum, which includes an exhibition on the roman and medieval archaeological site that was excavated in the estate (
www.ramospinto.pt)

Within the municipalities of the Archaeological Park but outside its limits:
- Freixo de Numão (Vila Nova de Foz Côa): Castelo Velho and Castanheiro do Vento ruins dating from the Copper Age/Bronze Age, and the Prazo, Rumansil and Museu da Casa Grande Roman sites which integrate the Freixo de Numão archaeological itineraries (
www.acdr-freixo.pt/ and www.igespar.pt);
- Numão (Vila Nova de Foz Côa): well preserved ruins of the fortified village of Numão, an important medieval settlement (
www.cm-fozcoa.pt);
- Marialva (Mêda): important roman settlement and medieval fortified village, ancient head of the municipality during the Middle Ages and the Modern Period. It is integrated in Portugal’s Historical Villages Route (
www.visitportugal.com);
- Coriscada (Mêda): ruins of a Roman villa featuring vestiges of mosaics, located at Vale do Mouro (
www.cm-meda.pt/);
- Longroiva (Mêda): ruins of a Knights Templar castle located in a village founded in Roman times due to its therapeutic thermal waters, still used today (
www.cm-meda.pt/);
- Almofala (Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo): ruins of an imposing Roman temple (
www.visitportugal.com);
- Castelo Rodrigo (Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo): ancient medieval village integrated in Portugal’s Historical Villages Route (
www.visitportugal.com);
- Pinhel: ancient castle located in the town’s historic center (
www.cm-pinhel.pt).

See also:

IGESPAR:

http://www.igespar.pt/en/patrimonio/pesquisa/geral/patrimonioimovel/
Instituto da Habitação e da Reabilitação Urbana:
www.monumentos.pt


Natural heritage

Part of the Park’s territory corresponds to the Côa Valley ZPE (Special Protection Zone). The occurrence of rock dwelling birds recently led to the classification of the area as a ZPE (Birds Directive - nº79/409/EEC, Habitats Directive nº 92/43/EEC, Decreto-Lei nº 384-B/99). Such a classification allows for the protection, management and monitoring of endangered bird species with the objective of assuring their reproduction and survival.

The Egyptian Vulture, the Griffon Vulture, Bonelli’s Eagle and the Golden Eagle are four species which are on the European Community endangered species list. The Côa Valley is one of the most important nesting areas of these birds in Portugal. Although having different biological habits (vultures are scavengers while eagles are essentially predators), these species depend on the same ecological conditions and habitats present in the farmland mosaic that spreads from the steep slopes of the Côa to the edge of the adjacent plateaux. In cultivated areas such as arborescent bush zones used for sheep grazing that alternate with the traditional olive and almond trees orchards, natural pastures and dryland farming (activities all subsidiary of livestock breeding) these endangered birds manage to find essential sustenance to survive. (Associação Transumância e Natureza, www.atnatureza.org/)
 
The Douro International Natural Park is located nearby to the Archaeological Park.
http://portal.icnb.pt/ICNPortal/vPT2007-AP-DouroInternacional


USEFUL LINKS:

City Councils that form the Côa Valley Municipalities Association:
Almeida: www.cm-almeida.pt
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo:
www.cm-fcr.pt/
Freixo de Espada à Cinta:
www.cm-freixoespadacinta.pt
Mêda:
www.cm-meda.pt/
Mogadouro:
www.mogadouro.pt
Pinhel:
www.cm-pinhel.pt/
Sabugal:
web.cm-sabugal.pt/
Torre de Moncorvo:
www.cm-moncorvo.pt/
Trancoso:
www.cm-trancoso.pt/
Vila Nova de Foz Côa:
www.cm-fozcoa.pt/


Local associations:

http://amigosdocoa.blogspot.com/
http://www.apdarc.org/
http://www.atnatureza.org/
http://www.acdr-freixo.pt/
http://www.fozcoactiva.pt/
http://amigosdechas.no.sapo.pt/
http://www.algodres.com
http://www.luzlinar.com/

Restaurants

Almeida

http://www.cm-almeida.pt/tudosobrealmeida/hotelariaerestauracao/Paginas/Restaurantes.aspx
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo

http://www.cm-fcr.pt/turismo/Paginas/Restaurantes.aspx
Freixo de Espada à Cinta
http://cm-freixoespadacinta.pt//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=119  
Meda
http://www.cm-meda.pt/turismo/Paginas/Restaurantes.aspx
Pinhel
http://www.cm-pinhel.pt/turismo/guiadehotelaria/Paginas/default.aspx
Sabugal
http://www.sabugalmais.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=38&Itemid=35
Torre de Moncorvo
http://www.torredemoncorvo.pt/onde-comer
Trancoso
http://www.cm-trancoso.pt/turismo/linkshotelaria/Paginas/default.aspx
Vila Nova de Foz Côa
http://www.cm-fozcoa.pt/turismo/restaurantes/Paginas/default.aspx


Lodging:

Almeida

http://www.cm-almeida.pt/tudosobrealmeida/hotelariaerestauracao/Paginas/default.aspx 
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
http://www.cm-fcr.pt/turismo/Paginas/Alojamento.aspx
Freixo de Espada À Cinta
http://cm-freixoespadacinta.pt//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=118  
Meda
http://www.cm-meda.pt/turismo/Paginas/Alojamento.aspx 
Pinhel
http://www.cm-pinhel.pt/turismo/guiadehotelaria/Paginas/default.aspx
Sabugal
http://www.sabugalmais.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=37&Itemid=35
Torre de Moncorvo
http://www.torredemoncorvo.pt/onde-dormir
Trancoso 
http://www.cm-trancoso.pt/turismo/linkshotelaria/Paginas/default.aspx
Vila Nova de Foz Côa
http://www.cm-fozcoa.pt/turismo/alojamento/Paginas/default.aspx

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