It was the Romans who first developed the spas of northern Portugal, not only in Chaves (their name for the town was Aquae Flaviae) but also at several other nearby thermal stations. Even now, for example, Carvalhelhos spring water is a big deal in Portugal – it comes from a small town around 25km west of Chaves in the Barroso hills. But it’s the historic spa of Vidago, 17km south of Chaves down the Rio Tâmega, that has the highest profile, centred on the opulent Art Nouveau Vidago Palace Hotel (wvidagopalace.com), transformed into a five-star resort by top architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. A similar renovation has taken place at the old spa of Pedras Salgadas (another famous Portuguese mineral water), 20km south of Vidago, where there’s new accommodation and revitalized spa facilities as well as more resort and leisure outlets.

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Portugal features

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9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

9 of the best pousadas in Portugal

From Gothic monasteries and riverside palaces, to Moorish castles that loom over terraced hillsides, Portugal has a good deal of striking places to stay. Its c…

12 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Our expert's guide: the best area to stay in Lisbon

Heading to the Portuguese capital this year? Whether you want rich history or shops galore, these are the best areas to stay in Lisbon according to our expert.…

09 Feb 2016 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
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