Rio de Onor


This lovely little town of 70 souls situated in the eastern half of the park is entirely unfazed by the Spanish–Portuguese border splicing it down the middle. It’s interesting not just for its rustic stone buildings, the ground floors of which still house straw-filled stables for goats, sheep and donkeys, but also for its staunch maintenance of the communal lifestyle once typical of the region.

Spend an afternoon here and you’ll see elderly locals trundling wheelbarrows from the well-tended community gardens surrounding town, pitchforking hay onto horse-drawn carts, stopping in at the local cafe – the communally shared proceeds of which are used to fund town festivals – or trading jobs with each other – one cousin staying to mind the store while the other goes to bring in the sheep. The twinned village also has one other claim to fame – a hybrid Portuguese–Spanish dialect known as Rionorês.

The border runs east–west through the middle of the village, while the Rio de Onor trickles along perpendicular to it. The road from Bragança continues north through town into Spain, branching right just before the border to cross an old stone bridge to the prettiest part of the village, where you’ll find the community cafe.

From Bragança, STUB bus 5 heads to Rio de Onor (€2, one hour) two to three times daily.

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