There are some places that are very difficult to explain. Tourém is one of them.
Although we are in Portugal, Tourém is surrounded by Spanish lands to the North, West and East. There is no mobile coverage throughout most of the village and the relationships are as strong with Pitões das Júnias (the nearest village) as with the Spanish villages of Randím or Calvos.
The long border and the contingencies of the dictatorships in both countries, and the civil war that Spain went through, led to a very profitable but also dangerous business: smuggling. Smugglers would go back and forth trading goods but also providing for products that otherwise would be nonexistent.
The routes are now transformed into trekking paths, which are perfect for a beginner. The experience is quite interesting and fun to imagine the smuggler with his cargo, sometimes on a donkey, evading the National Guard.
What to do
It’s a great place to be in contact with nature and with the locals.
They are suspicious at first but very welcoming and talkative once you get a few words out of them.
There is no restaurant, so you either take your meal at your rural hotel or head to the nearby villages.
The river is quiet and wide, so a great place to fish or do water sports.
There is a small museum, which belongs to a larger network in this region and the Natural Park, where you can get to know the traditions of this village, its people, fauna and flora.
Here you can find the trails near Tourém.