“We present here, at the Santuário da Lapa, the Caminho de Torres for a historical reason. This sanctuary in Portugal and Santiago de Compostela in Spain were once the two most important sanctuaries in the Iberian Peninsula”, said the mayor of Sernancelhe.
Carlos Silva Santiago explained that the Caminho de Torres enters Sernancelhe and runs through six more councils in this world heritage region: Moimenta da Beira, Tarouca, Lamego, Régua and Mesão Frio, these last two councils in the district of Vila Real.
"It is a route of great beauty along 567 kilometres that pays homage to the Spaniard Diego de Torres, who was exiled in Portugal and conceived this route in the year 1737", said the president.
In the public presentation of this new Camino de Santiago, Carlos Silva Santiago said that “ancestral paths of Portugal and Spain are traversed, crossing cities that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage and the Alto Douro Wine Region”.
“Caminho de Torres is a national example of cooperation between regions, as it arises from a joint application of five inter-municipal communities (CIM): Tâmega e Sousa, Alto Minho, Ave, Cavado and Douro, with an amount of investment in excess of one million euros”, he explained.
The official added that "there are parts of the path that are already properly signposted" and, in Sernancelhe, "it has already been noticed that some hikers have been using the route at weekends. However now the route will be fully signposted to make it safer to use.”
The president of Turismo Porto e Norte, Luís Pedro Martins, promised to promote the path nationally and internationally and praised the “speed of the entire process” and the director of the Directorate of Culture of the North; Laura Castro added to the compliments the “importance of these paths in the aggregation of heritage, cultural and natural values that aggregate territories”.
The Camino de Torres, which connects the Spanish cities, both heritage of humanity, Salamanca and Santiago de Compostela, entering Portugal through the municipality of Almeida (Guarda) to Valença (Braga), and joins the existing Camino de Santiago in Portugal.