The gastronomy and the monumental and environmental heritage make of Viana do Castelo a tourist destination that offers those who visit it vast grounds of enchantment and provides the palate with exquisite and substantiated pleasures. Viana do Castelo has always been linked to the faithful friend, cod. From here they set out for Newfoundland and Greenland, the bacalhoeiros loaded with faith and hoping for a good job. There they stayed for six months, after which they returned to their lands. And the cod settled gastronomically, in this county, making of it the center of all the attention of the faithful gourmets to a good bacalhoada.
Vinho Verde is unique in the world. A naturally light and fresh wine, produced in the Demarcated Region of Vinhos Verdes, in northwestern Portugal, a geographically well-located coastal region for the production of excellent white wines.
The Hospital Ship Gil Eannes, built in Viana do Castelo in the shipyards of Viana do Castelo, started its activity as a hospital in 1955, supporting for decades, the Portuguese cod fishing fleet which operated on the banks of Newfoundland and Greenland. Off the cod fleet, was rotting on the docks of Lisbon, for many years.
In 1998, Gil Eannes Foundation, considering the cultural and emotional heritage of the city, rescued it from the scrap for about 250,000 euros, after an unprecedented campaign involving all the population.
On 31 January 1998, was received festively in Foz do Lima, where, once cleaned and restored, was opened to the public, assuming as a pole of attraction for Viana do Castelo.
The conversion turned it into a museum space, integrating exhibition halls, meeting rooms, gift shop, four multimedia kiosks, navigation simulator and a youth hostel.
Winning a gap of 160 meters in six to seven minutes to travel in Santa Luzia Funicular is the longest of all the country funiculars, with its 650 meters, with more than twice the distance from following you, Nazaré (310 meters), there is still in Lisbon the Bica (283 meters), the Glory (276 meters) and Lavra (188 meters) and Braga, the Bom Jesus, with only 274 meters. the capacity it is 24 passengers, twelve sitting and twelve feet, and reducing these may be carried people in wheelchairs, baby cars and two bikes
Viana do Castelo is one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Portugal. Its involvement in the Portuguese Discoveries and, later on, cod fishing shows its traditional connection to the sea. Viana do Castelo is easily accessed from Porto, or from Valença for those coming from Spain. The special geographical situation of the city, next to the sea and to the mouth of the river Lima, can be seen from the Santa Luzia hill. This stunning view and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a revivalist building by Ventura Terra, of 1898, could be your starting point for visiting the city. Viana is rich in palaces emblazoned with coats of arms, churches and monasteries, monumental fountains and water features that constitute a wealth of heritage worth visiting. At the Tourist Office, you can ask for a brochure and choose a route inspired by Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Deco or tile architecture. Whichever streets you stroll through in the historic centre, you will always come back to the Praça da República, the heart of the city. This is where you will find the 16th century Misericórdia building and fountain, as well as the old Paços do Concelho (Town Hall). Close by is the Romanesque Cathedral or Igreja Matriz (Parish Church).
Theme area: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês
Recommended for: Families, couples…
Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês Protected Areas In the extreme north-east of Portugal, between the Alto Minho and Trás-os-Montes, the Serra da Peneda and Serra do Gerês constitute the only Portuguese protected area that has been classified as a National Park. It is a world apart, where human activity is integrated in a harmonious manner with nature, preserving ancient values and traditions that can be seen in the community villages of Pitões das Júnias and Tourém. The exuberant vegetation covering the mountains, exhibit every shade of green, include a holly bush wood - unique at a national level - and endemic species such as the Gerês lily, whose blue-violet colours grace the fields. The rugged mountainous terrain is cut across by rapidly flowing rivers and streams, including many waterfalls, which finally slow down their pace in dams such as those of Caniçada, Vilarinho das Furnas or Portela do Homem. The landscapes are quite stunning. Keep your eyes peeled, because you may be able to spot a roe deer (symbol of the Park) or its predator, the Iberian wolf. It is more common to come across garrano ponies -which are small wild horses that run freely across the hills. You're also likely to find Barrosã cattle and dark haired Castro Laboreiro dogs, that look after the flocks of goats and sheep which move between the “brandas” and “inverneiras” in the different seasons. If you want to expend some energy there are plenty of opportunities, since you'll find ideal conditions for practising activities such as canyonning or canoeing. If you just want to go for a walk, follow the winding and well conserved path of the Roman road or ""geira"" and admire the milestones that are almost 2000 years old. Other itineraries will enable you to see dolmens and cromlechs, mediaeval castles or monasteries and sanctuaries, that are perfectly integrated in the landscape.
The track of Pump Track of Ponte de Lima is located inside the Urban Park of Ponte de Lima. It is a very small track, very irregular and characterized by multiple elevations, depressions and raised curves, all with unique characteristics, which together form obstacles that are arranged closer to each other in order to define profiles that allow to maintain The speed of the cyclist who must travel the entire course without the need to pedal gaining speed only with the transposition of obstacles.
The entire Estancia's Bike Park is provided with a transport service to the mountaintop. These increases are made in vans, availability transporting riders 36 per day and ensures an average of 12 drops per day in 10 different lanes of 2.8 to 4 kms. All this service is subject to daily availability markings, so it is neccessary previously online.
Theme area: Sports
Recommended for: All ages…
The Protected Area of the Ponte de Lima Lagoons develops around two lagoons and Estorãos river, a total area of about 350 ha, which are associated habitats and priority conservation species (more than 508 species now and 218 vertebrate species).
With a set of infrastructures that help the visitor to enjoy this space in its fullness, the visit must start by the Environmental Interpretation Centre, which has parking for cars and bus.
In this centre, you can visit thematic exhibitions about the values of this place and view a unique landscape, using a splendid outdoor terrace. This centre is equipped with an area reserved for the care of the visitors that includes a store with products from protected area and regional articles, as well as an auditorium which enables the realization of conferences, seminars or meetings.
In this space it is still possible to visit the Information Centre of Lima river, equipment for the disclosure of environmental, historic, economic and social of the river Lima.
In order to allow direct contact with the protected area and its surroundings were implemented 5 footpaths, with duly marked towers and observation posts, and 3 cultural-historical routes. For these journeys were edited publications that are intended to support the interpretation thereof.
The protected area offers a wide range of animation and environmental interpretation activities, including through guided tours by prior registration.
The estuary of the river Minho, located in the extreme northwest of Portugal, forms the border with neighboring region of Galicia. Although in recent years it has been underexplored from an ornithological point of view, this zone of markedly Atlantic climate, well deserves a visit, as it allows us to observe several species
The two sides of the sandbank Ofir are an interesting course to visit: one facing the estuary of the river Cávado, where there is vegetation such as Juncus reed spp and arméria Armeria spp, in addition to a rich avifauna, which stands out the handle -rabuda Pica pica, cormorants, gulls and mallard Anas platyrhynchos. The other focused on the legendary horses of Fão, in the Atlantic Ocean, which spreads the fine sandy beaches and Ofir dunes dotted with a wild vegetation mosaic.
These two distinct faces of the sandbank are separated by a stone pine forest Pinus pinea and maritime pine Pinus pinaster which extends to the south end of the route.
The Port Wine Cellars are a Portuguese ex-libris and document an unusual history of temperance and courage. Open for visits all year, knowing them is to deepen knowledge about the Port wine and Douro region. Visit a Certified Port Wine Cellars and enjoy the moment!