City of Chaves

A Toast to Good Health in Chaves, Portugal

Chaves Portugal region may have experienced a shaky military history. It was where two significant battles took place: the siege of Chaves in 1807 and the Royalist attack in 1912. Today, however, this town is more popular for being an ideal destination for tourists looking to relax and pamper themselves. This is mainly because of its natural spring waters that are considered some of the best in Europe.

Chaves: One of Portugal’s Top Spa Destinations

Since the Roman occupation of Portugal, Chaves was already established as a spa town called Aquae Fluviae. Legend has it that Roman soldiers, after their battles, would luxuriate in the thermal waters to be cured of their physical and psychological ailments.

These natural hot springs of Chaves can now be enjoyed today by residents and tourists alike. It is now renovated into a highly modernized spa complex, with a full-time medical staff prescribing specific thermal treatments for various ailments. Thousands of visitors flock to the complex every year, with the summer months considered as its peak season.

The water’s high temperature and unique composition is believed to be beneficial for those suffering from rheumatism, obesity, gout, hypertensions; and other muscular-skeletal, respiratory and digestive conditions. Even those without medical conditions benefit from the relaxing and de-stressing effects of the hot spring waters and its vapors. The magnificent views of the surrounding ancient Roman Bridge, glorious churches and medieval palaces add to providing a unique, memorable wellness experience.

Other destinations that tourists should not miss when in Chaves Portugal region include the Medieval Quarter, the Regional Museum, the Chaves Castle and its wonderful gardens; and the Fort, a 17th century structure that now houses the most expensive hotel in Chaves, Forte de São Francisco.

Tasting the Flavor of Chaves, Portugal

Another reason for making Chaves worth a visit is the town’s delicious offering of local food and delicacies that are famed across Portugal and Europe. Not to be missed is the unforgettable gastronomic experience of tasting bolas de carne, savory meat pastries that are bursting with flavor from its filling of sausage and smoked ham. These meat products are also recommended to be enjoyed as appetizers, preferably with a glass of a local red wine, another famous locally-produced product.

The town is also known for its unique coffee blends and a wide array of cake and sweet pastries that put to good use the market’s generous produce of eggs and dairy. Tea houses that exclusively serve desserts and snacks such as little custard tarts, cheese cakes, and egg pastries are proof that these delicious stuff enjoy serious followers in the area. Cheese, especially made out of goat milk, fresh fruits and nuts are also widely available.

Chaves is located north of Portugal, in the historic region of Tras-os-Montes. By car or bus, it is only two hours away from Porto and Braga, another tourism center in Portugal.

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