Amarante owes a great deal of its privileged location to the development and historical importance it has achieved. It is a kind of turning table between the coast and the interior on the one hand and between the Douro and the prelude to the Minho, which is the Basto Region, on the other.The Serra do Marão (Marão Mountains) and the Tâmega River are the two geographic formations which mark Amarante. The first can be seen a short distance away, with its steep slopes, surrounded in mist or shining in the sun. The second divides it in two, with a tranquillity that beckons you to enjoy the cool water and practice water sports.

The group of monumental constructions comprising the Bridge, the Saint Gonçalo Church and Convent, framed by very respectable buildings and the woods lining the banks of the Tâmega, are the town’s brand image. The Bridge, whose massive look infuses a feeling of great sturdiness, has two balconies jutting out on both sides of the deck and baroque pinnacles giving it all its grace.

The Churchand Convent constitute a surprisingly balanced ensemble, even when considering the fact that they represent different times and styles.The list of illustrious names linked to Amarante is long – from Francisco da Silveira Pinto da Fonseca, 1st Earl of Amarante, hero of the Peninsular War (French invasions of Portugal, 1807-1814), to a long list of personalities linked to the arts, such as the writers, Teixeira de Pascoaes, Agustina Bessa-Luís and Alexandre Pinheiro Torres, and the painters Amadeu de Souza-Cardoso (who gives his name to an important museum of modern art), António Carneiro and Acácio Lino.The egg-based sweets made by the nuns in the local convents - "lérias", "brisas", "foguetes" and "papos de anjo" – are local favourites. Two of the most popular dishes of the gastronomy are trout and kid, but veal and codfish (à la "Zé da Calcada" and à la "Custódia") are also very popular.

The "vinho verde" is lively and spirituous.Thanks to its proximity to the Minho, the region has assimilatedthe Minho tradition of great festivities and pilgrimages where the religious character of the people, clearly visible in the processions and the sometimes dramatic fulfilment of vows, goes hand in hand with the idea of fun and fairs. There are scores of them, throughout the council; but none as radiant and lively as the «great feast day» of Saint Gonçalo, the match-maker saint, at the beginning of June.