VOUZELA’s old centre is built around a shallow river, crossed by a low Romanesque bridge, overhung by willow and bordered by attractive manor houses. Beyond are the riverside gardens, manicured lawns and municipal pool, all towered over by the viaduct of the former railway which stretches across a narrow terraced gorge. You can cross both bridge and viaduct on an eight-kilometre circular walk – a board at the top of the gardens by the viaduct shows the route. Within Portugal, the town is best known for its pasteis de Vouzela (a very sweet egged-based pastry) and the local vinho Lafões (a wine similar to vinho verde). A good time to visit is the first Wednesday of the month when there’s a morning street market.
From the river, narrow Rua São Frei Gil climbs up past manor houses to a small square where you’ll find the Museu Municipal, housed in eighteenth-century former law courts. The museum has a fairly uninspiring collection of archeological remains and sacred art, though the room of old toys is more diverting. A third room hosts temporary exhibits.