One of the most beautiful regions in Portugal is the Alto Minho. Very close to neighboring Spain, it is a territory that hosts wonderful places, small and cozy villages, where you can taste a good green wine and eat even more!
Yes, in addition toViana do Castelo, there are many more places to discover and feel another Portugal in all of Minho!
In fact, in this article we list tips to consider when planning a getaway through this region. Are10 places to take a stroll through the Alto Minho, and appreciate all the beauty of one of Portugal's best kept secrets.
10 destinations not to be missed during a tour of the Alto Minho
If there is a beautiful village in this region that every summer is filled with tourists it is Ponte de Lima. The first point to start this tour of the Alto Minho.
With a very well preserved historic center, and a Roman bridge that calls for a beautiful photo at sunset, Ponte de Lima is the oldest village in Portugal.
It is a village that lives all year in celebration. Between May and October, there is the International Garden Festival, the famous Vaca das Cordas and, finally, the Feiras Novas, where you can enjoy a large market, traditional fairs, musical performances, traditional dances and all kinds of activities.
On the outskirts of the village there are also plenty of activities to do, close to the village are the Lagoas de Bertiandos and the São Pedro de Arcos Nature Reserve, an abundant area of fauna and flora along the Lima River and with good hiking trails.
Monção is famous for the hot springs and the old part of the city, where the 14th century fortress, National Monument since 1910, with medieval churches and towers stands out.
If you want to know this fortified village on the banks of the river Minho, full of life and with an important historic center, you can enjoy its most remarkable parties: the Feast of Nossa Senhora das Dores, in the third week of August, and the Feast of the Body of God, which is celebrated on the day of the Body of Christ.
In the surroundings, about 5 km is the Brejoeira Palace of the century. One of the most imposing monuments in Alto Minho and one of the most beautiful architectural legacies in Portugal. A majestic neoclassical palace built in the early 19th century. It is still inhabited, but that doesn't stop you from visiting to explore its luxurious interiors.
P.S. Do not forget a stop to taste the Vinho Verde, it is best to go to Adega Cooperativa de Monção..
Stopping to observe the beauty of its historic center is essential when you are in Caminha.
Busy and full of Minho people, Caminha is the last town on the Minho coast. It is a medieval village with a very own connection with the region.
From where stand out the fountain in the central square, a Renaissance fountain, typical of Portuguese squares and the Clock Tower. It gives access to the medieval historic center and reminds us of Caminha's stately past.
This past is celebrated every year in the summer, with the famous Medieval Fair. Market, activities, outdoor music, handicrafts, have a little bit of everything from the height of kings.
For a walk through the Alto Minho, Caminha is an absolute recommendation.
Vila Nova de Cerveira
Connected by the Friendship Bridge to Spain, we find Vila Nova de Cerveira.
From the top we can see its symbol, the Deer, with one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Portugal, from where you can also see the whole village, the mouth of the river Minho, the small and magical island of Boega in the middle of the Minho.
However, Cerveira is much more than that. It has a small historic center full of traditional shops and art galleries from Minho, a river full of aquatic species from the region and the typical street markets. Every Saturday there is also on Wednesdays, there is one of the most typical fairs in Alto Minho.o.
Ponte da Barca
The peaceful and beautiful Ponte da Barca, with just over 2,000 inhabitants, extends along the banks of the River Lima, where a beautiful 16th century bridge stands out.
The whole village invites you to a beautiful walk. All spaces are full of surprises at every corner in the historic center. In addition, it also has a small river beach, very popular during the bathing season.
The festivities in this location take place between the 19th and 24th of August, in honor of San Bartolomeu, with a program of events that includes musical performances, traditional dances and pyrotechnic shows. In other words, a good time to point out a visit!
Arcos de Valdevez
The beautiful village of Arcos de Valdevez is a good starting point to discover the Peneda-Gerês National Park. But before that, discover this friendly city of Alto Minho.
For that, nothing like going up the narrow streets, going through the Pelourinho until you reach the Jardim dos Centenários, enter the Matriz church and then sit down to enjoy the magnificent view over the river and the mountains.
In the surroundings, in addition to the Peneda-Gerês National Park, you cannot miss the Sanctuary of Senhora da Peneda, located in the place of Gavieira, a Christian space from the 19th century with a monumental staircase and a score of small chapels, which becomes pilgrimage center every year during the first week of September.
At about 20 kilometers from Ponte da Barca and Arcos de Valdevez, the picturesque village of Soajo is hidden.
In the center is Largo do Eiró, the main square of the village with a pillory, although the fame of this place comes from its granaries. Altogether there are 27 the oldest of 1782 and serve to dry the corn. Built in stone, they rest on several pillars, directly resting on the rock, on which a round piece is opened to prevent the rats from eating the cereals.s.
A peaceful village that is still known for its fluffy and delicious sponge cake!
The village of Lindoso preserves the charm of the villages of yesteryear, with its characteristic stone houses in a privileged location: in the heart of the Peneda Gerês National Park, very close to the border with Ourense.
At the top of this small village stands a 13th century castle and at its feet are granaries, traditional Portuguese granaries.
Lindoso is a must visit and one of the most special places in the entire region. For its landscape and history, it is an excellent place to discover during a trip through the Alto Minho.
The small village of Sistelo is known as Portuguese Tibet due to its terraces: a huge green staircase that descends from the highest points to the valley, where corn and cattle are cultivated, and which makes the landscape unique.a.
The village is part of the Gerês-Xurés Biosphere Reserve and, at the beginning of the year, it was classified as a national monument. A good way to explore the region is to take a walk on the Ecovia do Vez, with walkways that extend for more than 30 km.
As for points of interest, in addition to the traditional beauty and the village's charm, you will find the Casa do Castelo, the Igreja Matriz, the Castelo do Visconde and a beautiful Roman point that crosses the Vez river.
There is a single tavern in the village, serving snacks and meals, since the village was discovered by tourists. So, you don't have to worry about eating choices.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
To end a tour of Alto Minho in beauty, there is nothing like visiting the first protected area created in Portugal, and the only one with the status of a national park, Gerês offers a unique experience of contact with nature.
The silence, the plant richness with immense oaks, arbutus, holly and specific species such as lily-of-gerês, the fresh air and the landscape are a remarkable anti stress.l.
In addition to hiking, on properly identified trails, there is nothing better than discovering the Park's viewpoints and waterfalls, especially in the summer. We highlight the Cascata de Fecha de Barjas, better known as Cascata do Taiti, in the parish of Vilar da Veiga, municipality of Terras de Bouro in the same parish is also the Cascata do Arado.).
Terras de Bouro could also be perfectly in this selection. With water sports at its head, it is an excellent summer destination.
We will already mark the next weekend?
Whether for a weekend well spent or for a holiday to relax, a stroll through the Alto Minho is an excellent choice to escape the city environment and get in touch with nature.
So, you know! When you find availability, start searching deeply for each of these suggestions. We are sure that you will not regret it!