The 800-year-old village of Ermelo is famous for its schist cottages capped with fairy-tale slate roofs that seem to have been constructed from broken blackboards. Once the main village of the region, it boasts traditional espigueiros (stone granaries), an ancient chapel, a sturdy granite pelourinho (pillory), a workshop that still practises the ancient local art of linen-making, and Ponte de Várzea – a Roman bridge rebuilt in medieval times.

The Ermelo turn-off is about 16km south of Mondim de Basto on the N304. The heart of town is about 1km uphill.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Trás-os-Montes attractions

1. Fisgas de Ermelo

1.54 MILES

Just north of the town of Ermelo, on the N304 between Vila Real and Mondim de Basto, is a turn-off to the dramatic Fisgas de Ermelo waterfalls. From this…

2. Lamas de Ôlo

4.94 MILES

Set in a wide, verdant valley some 1000m above sea level, somnolent Lamas de Ôlo is the park’s highest village, best known for its photogenic thatched…


8.64 MILES

Once part of a Dominican monastery, the Gothic sé has been given a lengthy facelift that has restored the 15th-century grandeur of its rather spare…

4. Museu Etnográfico de Vila Real

8.66 MILES

This small but colourful museum documents the traditional culture of the surrounding highlands, with exhibits on linen-making, ceramics, farming…

5. Capela Nova

8.69 MILES

Northeast of the cathedral is the magnificently over-the-top baroque facade of this 17th-century chapel. Inside are fine, 18th-century azulejos (hand…

6. Igreja de São Pedro


Baroque architecture and azulejos are on view at the Igreja de São Pedro, one block north of Capela Nova.

7. Miradouro de Trás-do-Cemitério


For a fine view across the gorge of the Rio Corgo and Rio Cabril, walk south to this panoramic viewpoint, just beyond a small cemetery and chapel.

8. Casa de Mateus

10.19 MILES

Famously depicted on bottles of Mateus rosé, the 18th-century Casa de Mateus is one of Portugal’s great baroque masterpieces – probably the work of…