Chaves-Verin - Portugal/Spain

Introduction

Chaves-Verín is a “Eurocity” – a region that straddles the border between the Galicia Region in Spain and the north of Portugal with a large concentration of common water resources in the form of mineral springs and medicinal and  thermal waters,.  Chaves and Verín are urban centres with a common background – they are social and geographical neighbours and share many features such as history, art, gastronomy  and ethnography, complementing each other perfectly.  The Chaves-Verín Eurocity has developed a tourism offer based on health and wellness, and visitors to the region can enjoy a specially-created “Thermal and Water Route”, by car or by bicycle.  The Route explores the main springs, spas and thermal waters of the area, as well as the River Támega which connects Verin, Chaves, and a third historic town, Vidago, just to the south of Chaves.
 
Some of Spain and Protugal's mosed renowned brands of bottled water come from this area - Pedras Salgadas, Vidago, Camphilo, Fontenova, Sousas and Cabreiroá. The industry, based on the five springs of the area has grown out of the original drinking halls, known as “buvettes”, and is still particularly important in Verín, ensuring the continuation of the area’s popularity as a health destination. Meanwhile, the hot waters of Chaves, which emerge at 73oC, have been used for bathing since Roman times, and are still enjoyed to this day in the SPA of the Emperor.
 

Historical background

CV roman baths from FacebookThe springs at Chaves have been known since before the Roman era - a Roman bridge, and the thermal baths of Aquae Flaviae, discovered in 2004 (now a national monument and Museum of Roman Thermal Baths) as well as the Spa of the Emperor remind us of the Roman past.  The thermal spas were known to be used for treatments, as well as leisure, and there is evidence of a theatre, a forum, and a temple/sanctuary.

The town of  Verin dates back to the 16th century, but the water became popular to drink in the 19th century, when several thermal buildings called  "buvettes", dating  from 1859 were established, and where people still can drink mineral water directly from the spring.  The Fontenova Spring is still providing mineral water today.

The Cabreiroá thermal complex is formed by a large hotel building, buvette, bottled water plant, natural park and administrative offices. The buvette is an octagonal building (pictured above in the introduction), with a magnificent stone and iron structure complete with interior paintings. Cabreiroá is one of most important bottled mineral waters in Spain. One of the biggest attractions in the village of Verin was a tram pulled by one or two horses, from Verin to Cabreiroá.

Water sources

CV Chaves water

The Chaves-Verín area has one of the highest concentrations of mineral and medicinal springs in the peninsula, and this means that the area is classified as a "Thermal Tourist Destination", and has developed an area of excellence focusing on health and wellness.This abundance of water is the result of a tectonic fault, the Corga fracture, which crosses the border territory and results in a high density of medicinal waters in Monterrey Valley and Alto Tamega. Due to this common origin, they share very similar physical and chemical characteristics although they can be distinguished by their temperatures, which range from 18oC in Verin to 73oC.

Spa water composition
Verin waters are characterized as sodium bicarbonate water, and slightly fluorinated litínicas and act as an excellent tonic which is both diuretic and detoxifying.

The warm waters of Chaves have long been used in the treatment of joint diseases,  and for musculo-skeletal, gastrointestinal and respiratory tract problems. Vidago waters are hypersaline, bicarbonate, slightly chlorinated and fluorinated.

Cultural heritage

CV Verin spring water CabreiroaChaves Verin has historically been recognized by the abundance of its medicinal and thermal mineral waters. Verin is a thermal village with its most recent history dating back to 1859. The area has a variety of thermal infrastructure, styles and incorporated curious. Medical disciplines were established in the early nineteenth century, and today, modern day businesses flourish around the bottled water industry.


In Roman times, Chaves was called Aquae Flaviae (meaning “the water of the Emperor Trajan”) and the its liaison with Verin started in the Roman empire when the Emperor Vespasiano rebuilt Verin and was responsible for the construction of the roman bridge in Chaves.
From this time there is an archaeological site (in Chaves) – the thermal museum – where its possible to visit a thermal springs building dedicated not only for treatments but also for leisure having, among other infrastructures, a theatre, a forum and a temple/sanctuary. Specialists think this building had approximately the same size (area) as the baths in Aquae Sulis (modern-day Bath in the UK, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site).


Vidago, a town just to the south of the Eurocity was Thermal Spa favoured by several members of the royal family, and had a golden period between the late nineteenth century and the 1930s. In the park there is an 18-hole Golf Course. Its thermal spa was designed by one of the most important Portuguese architects - the Pritzker prize Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Spa and treatments

Drinking Treatments - Medicinal mineral waters in Verin are used for the treatment of kidney diseases, stomach and skin.
Bathing and others Treatments - The waters of Chaves and Vidago have a millennial tradition in the cure of osteo-articulate, muscle-skeletal, digestive and respiratory diseases. Nowadays, both thermal spas are endowed with modern equipment (swimming pools, hydromassage baths, Vichy Showers, hydropressotherapy, and a qualified and experienced group of hydrobalneotherapists.
CV Chaves Thermal SPASpa beauty products
Laboratorios Sybaria (cosmetic lab) Santa Cruz de Arrabaldo, 49. 32990 Ourense.
Tel: 988 384 200Fax: 988 384 068-Mail: info@sybaria.es Web: www.sybaria.es 
Chaves Thermal Spa-Trademark/brand: Chaves – Termas & Spa
 
Therapeutic treatments
Rheumatic and muscle-skeletal diseases
Diseases of the digestive system
Chronic and allergic diseases of the respiratory system
Treatments and means or cure
Therapy with mineral water
Immersion techniques (bathtub and swimming pool immersion with hydromassage)
Steam techniques (bertholet spine column, bertholaix, turkish bath, sauna, hands + feet diluvium)
Shower techniques (vichy bath, sub-aquatic bath, jet and circular showers, hidropressotherapy)
Inhalotherapy (steam inhale, nasal irrigations, sonic aerosols, respiratory cinesiotherapy)
Electrotherapy and physiotherapy treatments (massages, ionization, shockwave, paraffin, ultrasounds, infra-red ray, ultraviolet and hidrocolater)
 

Cultural events and activities

The “Chaves –Verin cross-border destination” combines its thermal spa offer with sport and leisure facilities which complement health and wellness, such as golf courses, cycling paths, wine routes and 2 golf courses (6 and 18 holes),Karts, racecourse, Casino, walking routes, BTT routes, birdwatching, and Museums. It is also a recognized destination for gastronomy and wines.

 

Pilgrims pass through the Eurocity on their way to Santiago da Compostela, either on the Silver Route or the Interior Portuguese Way. Evidence of ancient pilgrims from Portugal and Spain have been found on the banks of Tamega, and today, the area is still popular with pilgrims.

 

 

Facts and figures

The spa receives 29,078 visitors every year. 
Chaves-Verin offers nearly 2800 beds for accomodation, 2 to 5 stars; 8 in Chaves, 2 in Vidago and 2 in Verin including two monumental hotels (Castillo Parador and Forte de San francisco). Chaves –Verin also have a large number of manor houses in the proximity, including rural hotels.

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