Located on the site of an ancient settlement, from which the artefacts and some primitive statuary have been moved to the Martins Sarmento Museum in Guimarães, Fafe was originally called Monte Longo a thousand years ago.
Today it is a small provincial town in the heart of the lush-green Minho region, and a convenient base from which to explore the historical cities of Guimarães and Braga.
Beyond Fafe lies some magnificent countryside, dotted with huge ancient boulders. Visitors to Arões, 4km from Fafe, can see the impressive 13th century church of São Romão. 17 km east lies Gandarela, a pretty town famed for its trimmed hedges and gardens.
The town boasts three museums based on the themes of classic cars, hydroelectric power and typography. A panoramic view is obtained in all directions from the Calvário Gardens.
Having only recently become an administrative centre (in the nineteenth century), Fafe is heavily marked by the influences brought back by many of its inhabitants who emigrated to Brazil in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. On returning to their native land, they built themselves palatial residences in an imposing architectural style that is referred to locally as "Brazilian", whilst also making a major contribution to the region´s development by investing in the textile industry and commercial activities.