Vila Real is the capital of Trás-os-Montes province. It has several centuries of history. It was already inhabited in the Palaeolithic Age, followed by the Celts, Romans, Barbarians and Moors. The Romans left the rupestrian Santuário de Panóias. During the 12th century plans for populating Vila Real were carried out. In the 13th century King Dinis founded Vila Real de Panóias that gave rise to the city of today. There are churches and convents of different eras and styles. The famous architect Nicolau Nazoni was here and left his mark on the façade of the Church of the Clérigos and also designed the beautiful Baroque manor house, Casa de Mateus. There are other manor houses in this city, so much so it was known as the "Court of Trás-os-Montes".
Besides being the capital of the important wine producing province of Trás-os-Montes, there are things to see on the outskirts. Vilarinho da Samardã, a small charming village where Camilo Castelo Branco spent his early years and the only happy ones of his life is a such a place. There are Bisalhães and Vilar de Nantes where black clay pottery is made. The women of Agarez produce hand made linen.