Nested in the green valley of Lafões and framed by the mountains of Arada, Gralheira and São Macário, São Pedro do Sul is particularly known for its thermal spa, with mineral and medicinal waters that were already used by the Romans for their curing powers, and later also sought by Dom Afonso Henriques, Portugal s first king (12th century), who would give the town its first charter.
Nowadays, the thermal spa of São Pedro do Sul has modern equipment and several leisure facilities, being one of the most important of Portugal, with an average of 25 thousand visitors every year. From its early period, the Roman balneum and the Dom Afonso Henriques pool may still be seen and are of great archaeological and architectural interest.
Otherwise, the county is rich in terms of archaeology, visible in remains such as the fortified settlement of Cárcoda, at the Arada mountain, dating from the Bronze Age and the Roman period, or the settlement of Senhora da Guia, at the parish of Baiões, also from the 7th century B.C.
Yet more fascinating is the «Written Stone» of Serrazes, an important specimen of rupestral art where the surface of a rock displays enigmatic geometrical figures.
Besides this valuable past, the county of São Pedro do Sul also benefits from a priviledged natural landscape, with hills covered by lush green vegetation and streams of clear water, small villages of typical schist houses (such as Pena or Covas do Rio), or the fertile valley of Lafões with its pastures, orchards, vegetable plots and vineyards. Fans of mountain tourism will find a camping park at the village of Coelheira (Arada hills) or rural tourism accomodation near the village of Candal.
Also worth visiting are the typical village of Manhouce, on the slopes of the Gralheira mountain, and Santa Cruz da Trapa, with the impressive ruins of the Convent of St. Christopher (12th century) and ancient manors.
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