A twisting 43-kilometre route from Vouzela heads over the 1000m peaks of the SERRA DA FREITA to Arouca, via a beautiful, terraced landscape littered with dolmens, crumbling villages and waterfalls. Vines grow on precipitous slopes, while the roads snake through pine forest and then high across the heather-dotted moorland. A regional map available from Arouca turismo details all the local sights and attractions, as well as several breathtaking hikes, and you could easily spend a day or two touring and walking in the hills. AROUCA itself is a handsome little town which – though largely unbothered by tourists – is a real gem. The central square holds a couple of pavement cafés, while in the medieval backstreets there are some beautiful old houses decked with wisteria.
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