Belonging to Aveiro' district, but with Porto as the city of reference at all levels, Arouca lived and developed in its monastery's shadow. Built in the 10th century, the monastery lived times of splendor after the inclusion in D. Mafalda, daughter of King Sancho I, religious community, who was later, in the 18th century, beatified. For centuries it was the main pole of economic dynamism in the region, but there are many more places of interest. Rich in worldwide recognized geological and archaeological goods, there are several must-see locations in the county: the Frecha da Mizarela, the Serra da Freita waterfalls and river beaches of the Paiva river, the parideiras stones, the trilobites fossils in Ordovician, the Roman remains of the mining extraction and a number of picturesque villages that are a delight for the eyes and for the soul, such as Albergaria, Mizarela, Castanheira, Tebilhão, Drave and Regoufe, among others. And to better enjoy the visit, there is a network of 13 hiking routes, covering the various areas of historic interest and scenic heritage, at your disposal. Irresistible is also the traditional gastronomy of the region. The arouquesa meat from animals reared in freedom, on the Serra da Gralheira slopes, and fed with natural vegetation without recourse to rations, makes all the difference and provides a superior quality to the local dishes. The veal and lamb recipes are the most typical dishes, always accompanied, of course, by the typical vinho verde wine! And if this meat is a temptation, so are the conventual sweets, an inheritance of the nuns who inhabited the monastery for centuries. Sweet chestnuts, manjar de língua (sweet made with cow tongue), roscas (kind of sweet bread) e charutos de amêndoa (cigar-shaped sweets filled with eggs and almonds), barrigas de freira (kind of mousse made with bread, eggs and almonds), morcelas doces (sausage-shaped fried sweets) e bola de S. Bernardo (cake made with bread) are some examples of the richness of Aroucas' conventual sweets.
Where to eat in Arouca
What to do in Arouca
The Arouca Geopark covers the administrative area of Arouca municipality, which has been stated by his exceptionally located geological heritage of international relevance recognized by European and Global Network of Geoparks of UNESCO since April 2009. The valuable and unique geological heritage inventoried covers a total of 41geossítios especially the famous Parideiras Stones in the village of Castanheira (Serra da …
Mosteiro de Arouca
Its initial use was as a feminine Monastery under the Cistercian rule and it is where Dona Mafalda tomb is placed. IT has a roman classicist style with baroque features by the gold carving.
A unique phenomenon in Portugal, quite rare in the world, that consists of rocks that grow and set free from the "mother-rock", hence the name of "pedras parideiras".
Percurso Pedestre Nas Escarpas da Mizarela (PR7)
This walk lasts 3 hours and a half along rather sinuous paths. It starts at the leisure park by the Merujal camping park and follows a route that leads to Mizarela. After a long walk, one arrives at the village …
Frecha da Mizarela
A well known waterfall that falls, at an altitude of 60 metres, from the top of the Freita Hill. It is located between Vale de Cambra and Arouca.
Centro de Interpretação Geológica de Canelas
A space that shows fossils of pre-historic invertebrate animals that are 465 millions of years old and quite rare in the entire world.
Praia Fluvial do Areinho
A beach on the Paiva river, with parking for 30 vehicles. It is the departure point for several sports activities on the river.
Calvário de Arouca
Calvary of Mannerist style in that the cruises feature geometric motifs on the base. All in granite, is composed of several crosses and is topped by an interesting pulpit dated 1643. Classified as Property in the public interest, have for …
Museu de Arte Sacra de Arouca
A space by the monastery, with a varied collection, composed mostly of art works that used to belong to the monastery. It features painting, sculpture, tapestry, furniture and other collections in several rooms.
Igreja São Miguel de Urrô
This church was built on the XVII century and it is incorporated in the mannerism style presenting the most naïf elements from the popular architecture. It has a granite campanile.
Carreira dos Moinhos
It is assumed that this asset is set only in the country, by the way the 17 windmills are arranged in career. Located in the parish of Alvarenga, windmills, built in schist and slate-covered are fine examples of traditional architecture …
Capela da Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Arouca
Chapel built in 1612, very rich in its iconographic programme, where are represented Evangelists, Apostles, scenes from the Birth, Life and Passion of Christ, among others. The interior consists of a very simple altar and the ship's all covered with …
Torre dos Mouros
Also called Medieval Tower, Moorish Tower or Torre de Lourosa field. Stately tower with Gothic elements and military defensive features. Is a unique building in the municipality and is in good condition.
Where to sleep in Arouca
Up to date tourist information about the city's top attractions
The 10 Best Walkways in Portugal to Explore Nature
From the north to the south of Portugal, from the coastal strip to the countryside, walkways are an increasingly strong…
The municipality of Estarreja, located in the subregion of Baixo Vouga, is part of Aveiro's district and is characterized by the existence of branche…
The municipality of Vagos belongs to the District of Aveiro and has a privileged location with a stretch of coast approximately 7 kilometres. Th…
Oliveira do Bairro
Located in the central part of Portugal, the municipality of Oliveira do Bairro, of Aveiro's district, is a territory of passage between the coast an…
The municipality of Águeda is located in the District of Aveiro, a Beira Litoral region. In 1834 it became the county seat and, in 1985, a city. It…