From the Romans there is a stone marker indicating the Roman road between Braga and Tui. From King Sancho I it received its first charter and King Afonso II confirmed the charter. It used to be called "Contrasta" because it was opposite the frontier from Tui. Today it is called Valença and it played a part in the Wars of Restoration, the Napoleonic invasions and the Liberal Wars in the 1800s.
It is a Medieval world within the old fortress of Valença. There are narrow little streets and small houses and colourful shops as Valença is one of the largest commercial centres of Minho.