The Tâmega River lies in the north of Portugal in the historical province of Tras-os-Montes Its source lies thirty kilometers north of Verín in the Spanish autonomous region of Galicia and it flows south for about 100 kilometers to enter the Douro River near Amarante. From Verín to Chaves it flows through a fertile valley called the Veiga. Below Chaves the river narrows to pass through mountains. Due to low water level and frequent small dams it is not navegable.
The Tâmega is more important historically than economically. It has always served as an invasion route for foreign armies intent on reaching the richer southern lands of Portugal. The valley around Chaves has especially seen its share of battles and invading armies.
Unfortunately, like many rivers today, the Tâmega suffers from pollution and the ravages of sand and gravel extraction companies. The quality of the water has deteriorated greatly. Another problem is the periodic occurrence of flooding. At the time of writing these problems have not been addressed.
Photo by Tulia Vogensen