The 26km route southeast from Vila Flôr to TORRE DE MONCORVO is a dramatic drive, taking you into the steep mountains round the Douro valley. A network of narrow medieval shopping streets, granite-block walls and handsome mansions makes the small town a pleasant place to stop off for a few hours, with everything helpfully signposted, starting with the imposing sixteenth-century Igreja Matriz – the largest church in Trás-os-Montes, which took a century to build. A terrace here looks out over the distant hills, while following signs across the main square into the “nucléo medieval” takes you to the surviving town gate, the Porta da Vila. Aside from a couple of local museums, that’s basically all there is to see here, except for the annual burst of enthusiasm for the region’s almond trees, the blossoming of which draws crowds of visitors in early spring. The sugared nuts are available in any number of local groceries and “produtos regionais” shops, along with Moncorvo’s famed cherries and lots of good Douro wines.

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