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Dão and Lafões

The region of Dão and Lafões has wonderful places, framed by mountains as Caramulo or Gralheira/Montemuro, and rivers as Dão and Paiva.

Dão-Lafões is placed in a territory of the Centre Region, between the coast and the hinterland of the country, it has a rich ancient heritage, ranging from prehistory until today, with both roman and medieval traces.

In the middle ages, the vineyard was essentially developed by the clergy. They knew most of the agricultural practices and, as they had much influence upon the population, they manage to occupy a lot of land with vines and increase the wine production. However, only after de 19th century, after the plagues of mildew and phylloxera, the region began its true development (the Dão wine was extremely well known by the Europeans at the time when the phyfloxera decimated the European vineyards). In 1908, the wine production area was delimited, becoming the second demarcated region in Portugal.

Rich and varied, the local gastronomy of this region is also one point of attraction, alongside with the wine Dão. With an extension of about 376000 hectares, this region has developed itself among mountain zones and valleys with gentle slopes and rounded hills, with a cold and rainy climate in winter and dry, hot summers, unique conditions to an unique wine.

The varieties in Dão are diverse. In what regards the white ones, the most important are: Encruzado, Bical, Cercial, Malvasia Fina, Rabo de Ovelha e Verdelho. In the red ones, in addition to Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Jaen e Tinta Roriz, we also have the less known Baga, Bastardo and Tinta Pinheira. The white wines are very aromatic, balanced and fruity. The red ones are full-bodied, aromatic and complex after aging in bottle.

Lafões is a small transition region, trapped between the denominations of Dão and Green Wine, cut by the Vouga river, with mainly granitic soils, where the white varieties of reference are Arinto, Cerceal, Dona Branca, Esgana Cão e Rabo de Ovelha, being the red dominated by the varieties Amaral and Jaen. Usually, the Lafões wines show some acidity, close to the neighbour designation of Green Wine.



Tourist Areas


The region of Dão lies in the region of Beira Alta, in the center north of Portugal. Viseu is the charming capital of Beira Alta, in the way to the medieval fortresses of Guarda and Trancoso and to the border. The mounting of Estrela, the highest of Portugal, separates Beira Alta from the little visited Beira Baixa.

Lafões is a small transition region, wedged between the desiginations Dão and Vinho Verde (Green Wine), bisected by the river Vouga.

Viseu, located in the heart of tourism of Dão and Lafões, is the epicentre of the Dão wine region, one of the most famous wines in the country. It is based on a hill, on the banks of river Paiva and is dominated by its massive cathedral. A visit to the cathedral, to the Museum Grão Vasco, Museum Almeida Moreira and to the manor house Dão is recommended.

The mountain of Estrela is unique in the country. Its highest point, named Torre, has 1993m (1.2mi), making of it the highest part of Portugal. Close to there is produced one of the most famous wines in the country. A visit to Linhares, Gouveia, Manteigas and Torre is recommended.



TRANSPORT


Train

Mangualde Train Station, 15Km (9.3mi) east of Viseu, +351232427493 / Covilhã Station, Rua da Estação, +351 27 5332767. More info.: www.cp.pt


Bus

Covilhã Station, Largot da Estação, +351 275 332767.


Car

Covilha: From the city of Porto, take the A1/Lisboa, take exit 16 to merge onto A25 towards Viseu, take exit 30 to merge onto A23 / IP2 Guarda Sul / Covilha / Portalegre, take exit 31 towards N18 / Covilhã North to Covilhã. From Lisbon, take the A1/Porto, take the exit toward A23 to Abrantes / C.lo Branco / T.res Novas, take exit 30 towards N18 / Covilhã Sul to Covilhã.

Manteigas: From the city of Porto, take the A1/Lisboa, take exit 16 to merge onto A25 towards Viseu, Take exit 22 to N329-1 towards Mangualde / Penalva C.lo and then take the EN (national road) 232 to Manteigas. From Lisbon, take the A1/Porto, take the exit towards A23 Abrantes / C.lo Branco / T.res Novas, take exit 32 towards N18-3 / Caria / N233 / Sebugal, take the EN (national road) 232 to Manteigas.

More information: www.estradasdeportugal.pt.



TOURIST OFFICE

Tourism region of Dão e Lafões, Avenue Gulbenkian, +351 232 420950 / Tourism region of Covilhã, Avenue Frei Heitõr Pinto, +351 275 319560 / Tourism region of Serra de Manteigas, Dr. Esteves de Carvalho Str., +351 275 981129 / Natural Region of Serra da Estrela (Manteigas), Rua 1º Maio, Manteigas, +351 275 980069.



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