Porto Antigo - Cinfães

Cinfães is a town in the district of Viseu, in the sub-region of Tâmega, county seat, which is bathed by the rivers Douro and Bestança. It is a mountainous region where its two main morphological features are the huge mountain massif that makes up the Montemuro mountain range, whose ridge reaches 1,382 metres, and the Douro Valley that limits the municipality to the north.

The first people to inhabit the region would have been the Celts, whose mixture with other nomadic peoples would have resulted in the origin of the Iron Age Lusitanians. These, in turn, moved to the mountains in order to settle in strategic positions to protect themselves from the constant invasions they suffered – it is on these slopes of the municipality that today you can still find several secular megalithic forts.

With the Roman conquest, the first settlements grew in the form of villages and cities, where they are all linked by medieval roads and bridges that are still in good condition today.

The history of Cinfães is closely linked to the Knights Templar, who owned fortresses here, such as the Chã Tower or the Pintos Tower.

But of greater importance is also the story of the childhood of King Afonso Henriques and his uncle Egas Moniz – who had his official residence here – whose childhood was spent in the parish of Santiago de Piães. It was in this medieval village that King Afonso Henriques spent part of his youth, having been carefully and strategically brought up by his tutor.

Cinfães was granted a charter by King Manuel I, on May 1st 1513.

Serpa Pinto was, throughout time, the cinfanense personage who stood out the most. Born in the parish of Tendais, this military career, was chosen to lead a scientific expedition to Africa. This would aim to cross the African continent from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. A feat that he overcame with the greatest success and recognition.

The region of Cinfães is largely dedicated to agriculture. But the secondary sector is growing, especially retail trade, manufacturing and hotels and restaurants. The latter due to the growing demand for tourism, which is increasingly becoming a business opportunity in terms of gastronomy and wine, nature tourism (Montemuro Mountain and Bestança Valley) and nautical tourism (Douro River), and is based on the creation of restaurants and accommodation and companies developing activities/sports.

Handicrafts include basketry, wooden or leather clogs, weaving, tinware and hat making.

At the table, kid roasted in a wood-oven, crackling, lamprey rice and “posta arouquesa” are some of the options that should be served with the region’s “vinho verde”.
In traditional sweets, it is the butter desserts (matulos), the dry soup, the “formigos”, and the “falachas” of chestnut that make any diner’s mouth water.

To visit:

  • Romanesque Church of Escamarão
  • Romanesque Church of Tarouquela
  • Church of São Cristóvão de Nogueira
  • Castro das Coroas
  • Mount of São Pedro (Tendais)
  • Wall of the Gates of Montemuro
  • Serpa Pinto Museum
  • Douro River
  • Bestança River

Festivities and Pilgrimages:

  • São João, 24 June
  • Crafts, Gastronomy and Green Wine Fair, on 17, 18 and 19 July