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Well-known for the wild beauty of nature and outdoor activities, Amarante is one of the most beautiful rural towns in Portugal, beautifully located between the river Tâmega and the steep slopes of Serra do Marão mountains.
Tâmega is actually an international river that flows from Spain to Portugal. The historical importance of this river is immense. According to historical documents this river had been the main invasion route for French and Spanish armies on reaching the rich cultivation lands of Portugal. In order to protect the river from pollution, Portuguese government built Torrão Dam in 1988. Currently Tâmega is one of the less polluted river in Portugal. The river Tâmega strategically divides the city into two and joins river Douro somewhere close to Porto.
Other than historical importance and beauty, Amarante offers some of the best cuisine in the world. The city is also famous for traditional cakes and wine. Saint Gonzalo is the benefactor of lovers and marriages.
Igreja de São Gonçalo is one of the main Porto Portugal tourism attraction of Amarante. São Gonçalo was a saint and protector of Amarante. It was São Gonçalo who founded the Igreja de são Gonçalo. The church is located on the right hand side of the river Tâmega. Igreja de são Gonçalo before was a monastery and was transformed to a church in 1540.
Ponte de Amarante is another Porto Portugal attraction in Amarante. Actually, this bridge was built by Romans and historians represent this as one of the local trade routes of Romans to the rest of Portugal. In 1250, São Gonçalo recommissioned the bridge. Five hundred years later the bridge collapsed due to heavy floods in river Tamega. Since 1910, the bridge is considered a national monument.
Tourism in Amarante also supports several outdoor activities. It is a good plan to do some hiking up to Serra do Marão to appreciate the wild beauty of nature. Ansiães valley is situated close to serra do Marão. Ansiães valley is famous for farms and rural tourism.
Try to explore the city as a pedestrian. Monastry square is a traffic restricted area , so that one can walk and explore the city without any trouble. Another advantage of this city is that all the must see sites are really close to each other. However, traffic is allowed on the other side of the river.