Heir to the ancient lands of Panóias, Vila Real was born against the background of the Christian Reconquest, in a small place still known today as “Vila Velha”. Building on a notable historical reputation, the city has grown and today is a centre of culture and development, and a particularly ideal starting point for the Douro valley and Port wine route.
Vila Real is today, par excellence, a young, dynamic, safe city, with a strong academic tradition and a varied cultural life, where many of the activities are planned with young people in mind. These are just some of the ingredients that, along with the traditional Trás-os-Montes hospitality, mean that those who have passed through UTAD and Vila Real never forget their student days. Some of them, from the most varied corners of the country and from many foreign countries, on finishing their course, opt to stay in the region because they have become sentimentally attached to it. Another part is replaced by successive waves of young people who come and go, bringing their habits, their vivacity, their culture with them.
Vila Real is particularly well located in the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro region, an area that, as a whole, is a very attractive, ideal place to live these days. The contrasts in the landscape, with its imposing mountains, fertile meadows, meandering rivers and streams, form a mild and charming natural paradise, that is restful on the eyes and leaves no one indifferent. It is a region of centuries-old traditions, which give it a strong cultural identity whose great wealth is Man. The hospitality found in the emblematic expression “entre quem é” (“welcome, whoever you are”), the openness and greatness of character, the strong sense of responsibility and the enormous capacity to work, are just some of the defining traits of its personality.