The towns of Chaves (41 200 inhabitants) and Verín (17 600 inhabitants) are situated respectively in the north of Portugal and within the Autonomous Community of Galicia in Spain. While 15 kilometres separate the town centres, the municipalities themselves are joined together.
Each of these towns has a significant history, Chaves as a Roman garrison site and later as a stronghold during the Napoleonic invasions, and Verín, with its Monterrey Castle as a strategic location during the wars between Spain and Portugal.
In 2007, these towns came together to form the Eurocidade Chaves-Verín. In this territory, the river Tamerga is not a physical obstacle – on the contrary, it functions like a natural corridor between the two border towns.
The two urban areas have some characteristics in common. With regard to infrastructure, both towns were considered isolated, but the situation is improving: Chaves is remote in relation to the coastal urban centres and has long suffered from insufficient road and rail connections. In 2007, a new motorway was opened to traffic, linking Chaves with the rest of Portugal (Vila Real, Porto, Viseu, Lisbon). The town of Verín is linked to Madrid by the A-52 motorway and the N-525 trunk road. In 2010 the A57 motorway was put into service, forming a cross-border link between the A24 in Portugal and the A52 in Spain.
The two local economies are based on agriculture (potatoes, maize and milk production on the Portuguese side, and wine production on the Spanish side), industry (water bottling) and services (thermal tourism on the Portuguese side, and cultural tourism on the Spanish side with Monterrey Castle).
Both towns wish to develop the cross-border conurbation by multiplying exchanges in the field of culture, developing a cross-border public transport network and easier access to healthcare between the two municipalities. They also aim to develop cooperation activities linked to tourism, research, education, sport, logistics and the environment.