There is no document evidence as to the exact date that Cabeceiras de Basto was founded, however, judging by dolmens and traces of hill forts in the area it would seem to have been a settlement in pre-Roman times, but was only granted a town charter at the time of Manuel I.
The area is well-known for light, sparkling wine, or vinho verde, corn, olive oil, cattle raising and handicrafts that provide the economic wealth of the municipality. Cabeceiras de Basto has long been known for its basket making, tanning, clogs, brass and also for work in linen and wool, Local specialities in the food line include veal, salt cod with baked potatoes, roast pork and papas de sarrabulho, made with pig s blood. Festivals, fairs and pilgrimages as well as traditional games are held at various times throughout the year.
The town is situated in a region known as the lands of "Basto", its name being linked to the legendary Lusitanian warrior, "Basto", who fought so bravely against the Moorish invaders and was later depicted in a series of granite statues. Such statues were made from what were originally warriors´ tombstones dating back to the period before the Roman occupation (first century BC) and one of them has been placed on a pedestal at the entrance to Cabeceiras de Basto. The region s development was greatly influenced by the monastery of São Miguel de Refojos, which was founded some time before the twelfth century, and the town was also once known as Refojos do Basto. The surrounding countryside is extremely beautiful, with clear streams and luxuriant green hills. Particularly impressive is the Parque de Moinhos do Rei, which includes the communal windmills of Abadim, commissioned in the fourteenth century by D. Dinis, the king of Portugal.