At the mouth of the Lima River, you will find the lovely fishing port known as Viana do Castelo. This historical port city played an important role in the Age of Discovery as it was a popular point of departure for many well-known adventurers and explorers of the day. Today however, the city plays a crucial role in the fishing industry in Portugal.
The narrow cobblestone streets of Viana do Castelo wander their way throughout the city. All over the town you will see a lovely mix of both new and old architecture.
In and around the port town of Viana do Castelo, you will find numerous villages which are home to many fairs, festivals and other festivities all throughout the year.
One of the biggest festivals of the year is the Romaria de Nossa Senhora d’Agonia which has occurred in mid august, every year since the 18th century. The streets of Viana do Castelo fill with parades, floats, music and dancing during this grand three-day event.
For a look into the past, while many people stop to check out the 18th century Igreja da Misericórdia church or the 13th century Mosteiro de Ermelo monastery, most people make their way to the Citânia de Santa Luzia citadel which is located at the edge of town. The citadel is a national monument which dates back to the 5th century B.C. and is part of an Iron Age village that has been slowly excavated over the years.
Viana do Castelo, Portugal
The 12th century Castelo de Melgaço is considered by many to be one of the most important castles situated along the northern borders of Portugal. Then there is the nearby Castelo de Santa Cruz which today stands in ruins was inhabited up until the 13th century but was built long before the 12th century.
But when it comes to rest and relaxation in Viana do Castelo, you could choose to get closer to nature by checking out the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês park which covers more than 700 square kilometers. However, many visitors to the area opt to spend lazy days at the local spas like the Termas de Peso or the luxurious Centro Tesal Termas de Monção spas.