Vila Nova de Foz Côa

Vila Nova de Foz Côa is a municipality located in the Douro Wine Region, in the district of Guarda, at the junction of the Douro and Côa rivers.

The municipality of Vila Nova de Foz Côa is located in an area of great archaeological interest, where around 195 sites of important heritage value have already been discovered and classified. Such as castles, fortified settlements, churches, chapels, pillories, manor houses, bridges and Roman roads, which reveal the passage of the various peoples who lived here and wrote history for centuries.

In the town of Numão, an important stronghold during the Roman occupation, one can still find the ruins of a 10th century castle, as well as some no less important Jewish houses.

Vila Nova de Foz Côa received its first charter in 1299, granted by King Dinis and renewed by the same king in 1314. In 1514, a new charter was designed by King Manuel I.

Located in schistous land or “Terra Quente” (warm land), Vila Nova de Foz Côa saw its name travel the world with the discovery and classification as World Heritage by UNESCO of the Palaeolithic rock engravings located in the valley of the Côa River. These archaeological finds of rock art, are one of the largest in Europe.

The city’s assets are only complete with the beautiful Mother Church, with its Manueline façade, and in the Chapels, such as that of Santa Quitéria (thought to have been a synagogue in other times), that of São Pedro and Santa Bárbara or even the baroque Chapel of Santo António. Some stately and emblazoned houses further enhance the city’s rich architectural heritage, such as the Casa dos Andrades.

Being an agricultural region, where the vineyards and olive groves are very important, the region is also known for its almond trees – the Capital of the Almond Tree. These leave unparalleled landscapes where the almond trees blossom and “paint” the fields white and pink. This can be observed in February and March.

The visit to the region is only complete after taking a walk in the interesting Côa Valley or in the also interesting Côa Museum.

The gastronomy is rich and varied, making the region’s products its added value. Where the famous wine or the fish from the river, as well as roast kid and game dishes are an obligatory part of the county’s cuisine.

To visit:

  • Côa Valley Archaeological Park
  • Rock carvings of the Côa Valley
  • Côa Museum
  • Mother Church of Foz Côa
  • Mother Church of Almendra
  • Misericórdia Church
  • Numão Castle
  • Castelo Melhor
  • Castelo Velho
  • Clock Tower, on the Castle site
  • Palaeolithic rock carvings of Penascosa
  • Palaeolithic rock carvings of Quinta da Barca
  • Iron Age Palaeolithic engravings in Vale Cabrões and Vale José Esteves
  • Palaeolithic carvings from Canada do Inferno
  • Palaeolithic rock engravings of the Ribeira de Piscos
  • Chapel of S. Sebastião
  • Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Graça
  • Viewpoint of Nossa Senhora do Viso (Custóias)
  • Viewpoint of Santa Barbara (Mós) .
  • Viewpoint of São Martinho (Seixas)
  • Viewpoint of Mata dos Carrascos (Santo Amaro)
  • Viewpoint of Arnozelo (Numão)
  • Viewpoint of Santa Luzia (Vila Nova de Foz Côa)
  • Viewpoint of Caminho da Costa (Vila Nova de Foz Côa)
  • Pillory ex-Domus
  • Cross (pyramidal dome)
  • Ethnography Museum and archaeological ruins
  • Museum and ruins of Quinta de Santa Maria
  • Freixo de Numão Archaeological Circuit
  • Ruins of Calábria, Caliábria ou Calábriga
  • Prazo neolithic, roman and medieval ruins
  • Manor houses

Festivities and pilgrimages:

  • Almond Blossom Festival in February and March
  • Nossa Senhora da Veiga, on the 3rd Sunday of March, 1st and 2nd Sunday of August
  • Free Almond Fair, on the first Sunday in March
  • Cebolo Fair, on May 8
  • São Miguel Fair, 29 September