Arcos de Valdevez is a very old and idyllic town by the Vez river from which it derived its name. In 1140, the tournament of Valdevez was held here and pitted King Afonso Henriques against Afonso VII of Leon. Many tears were shed here, when during the War of Restoration, the Spanish General Pantoja burned the town to ashes.
Arcos de Valdevez was reborn in the 17th century. It is the Municipal headquarters and has 51 parishes and 32,000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by green hills, where the grapes ripen in the sun. On its roads there are stately houses, towers, bridges and churches.
Inhabited since prehistoric times, as can be seen by the various archaeological finds on display at the Mezio Megalithic Centre, the town is situated in the valley of the River Vez and still retains much of the typical charm of the Alto Minho province - luxuriant green landscapes and the traditional architecture of its buildings, amongst which the most impressive are the manor houses. The municipality of Arcos de Valdevez is located inside the boundaries of the Peneda Gerês National Park, where nature still conserves all of its original charm. Hidden within the region are many delightful communal villages, such as Soajo, where the local populations continue to maintain their ancestral customs and practices.