In the slopes of the Douro Valley there are six wine producing villages that stand out for their cultural and historic richness: Barcos, Favaios, Provesende, Salzedas, Trevões and Ucanha. They are must visit sites, for their unique features, gastronomy and surrounding nature. Every year a festival occurs in these villages, offering outdoor entertainment and several activities.
The origins of Favaios go back to the Iron Age, when people lived in fortified villages, forts, with strategic positions. There are still remains of walls of theses constructions. Its name derives from the ancient “Flavia”, name of the second dynasty of the Roman Empire, which also ruled in the area. In 1211. In the village of Favaios homemade bread and the famous Moscatel delight every visitor. At the Museum of Bread and Wine the importance of these two regional products is very clear, as the evolution of the population over the centuries is portrayed.
Provesende is a wine producing village with rural characteristics. The pillory, the fountain, the church of the 18th century, the chapel of Santa Marinha, the Portuguese-roman cemetery at Quinta da Relva and several manor houses, such as Calçada, Fojo, Fundo da Vila, Praça and Santo, are the most relevant heritage sites.
Barcos, on the slopes of the river Távora, is a wine producing village in the municipality of Tabuaço. It is believed that the village of Barcos had a medieval castle, built as a defense to the Moorish invasions. Other authors reported that the former parish of Santa Maria de Sabroso, prior to the formation of the country, have given rise to Barcos, during the 14th and 15th centuries. In this village there are several winery quintas. The church of Barcos, one of the most valuable monuments of the village, was built during the 13th/14th centuries and it was classified as a National Monument, in 1922.
Trevões is located in the municipality of São João da Pesqueira. In addition to wine production, Trevões has other cultures, such as the olive oil, fruits and vegetables, wood such as pine and eucalyptus. Trevões is placed on a plateau, full of tilled fields, and surrounded by terraces filled with vineyards, interrupted by mountainous areas, where the forest stands out.
Salzedas, which means “salgueiral” in Latin, an abundant vegetation that can be found on the banks of the river Varosa, is one of the six wine producing villages of Portugal. Since the fifth and sixth centuries, who passed by Lusitanian, Roman, Swabian, Visigoths and Muslims, those in the 8th century. There are signs indicating that the “Bairro do Quelho” was, probably, inhabited by Jews. However, it was only after the 12th century that the town has emerged as Salzedas. A few years later the Cistercians monks settled in the area and built the Monastery of Santa Maria de Salzedas.
Ucanha is set more than 450 meters high, on the slopes of the mountain range Serra de Santa Helena, which descends towards the river Varosa. The main crops besides wine, are olives and corn. At Ucanha’s entrance rises a bridge and the Tower of Ucanha that marked the entrance of the old Monastery of Salzedas. The passage was granted after paying a toll.