Its almost at the ed my report about this first trip around Europe by van, or campervan or whatever you may call it, I have reentered in Portugal on the Valença do Minho Border, I will do this article just about my path from Valença till Porto, then I will do a separate one with the last days from Porto till I return home.
As I said the entrance was in the Valença border, I have already been there some years ago. The feeling of crossing the bridge from Tui and knowing that on the other side was Portugal, after all the kilometers I have done was awesome, no matter what people say my country is the best . About Valença, it has a really big fortress with a citadel inside it, the walls have a great view to the river “Rio Minho” and Spain is just across the river it is well worth visiting.
Following the side of the “Rio Minho” I made a couple of stops in Monção and Melgaço two historical villages with an interesting old parts to visit on the river side and still overlooking to Spain while heading to the beautiful Gerês National Park where I did just a small stop at Castro Laboreiro another small village with a lot of stories to tell.
I didn’t stay for too long in Gerês, I have decided to leave the visit for future adventures and moved on to Arcos de Valdevez, I enjoyed it so much that I decided to stay for a couple of days, apparently on Sundays there is a spontaneous dance party by the river as you will see on my video about this region, it is an old village by the “Rio Vez” witch provided a great scenery for some running on the trails along the river, I parked in an authorized overnight parking for vans just by the river and very close to the historic urban center.
After this I moved to the “Rio Lima” side and Ponte da Barca a very small village with a nice river beach and a good and very alive center, following “Rio Lima the next stop would obviosly be Ponte de Lima with it’s breathtaking bridge, this is a bigger village with another dimension, I parked right by the river where I’ve spent the night, I really enjoyed it and will definitely return to this beautiful place.
Viana do Castelo was the next destination this is already a big port city with a lot of movement where the “Rio Lima“ meets the Atlantic Ocean and overlooked by the Santa Luzia Sanctuary on the hill top, it’s historical part of town is very rich and full of life, it’s another must see place in this region before heading further south.
The drive back home continued straight to Barcelos a small city well known for its pottery and sculptures where a well known symbol of Portugal has originated, the infamous “Galo de Barcelos”, after this, Braga is the obvious stop a fine walk on a rainy day from the old town to the “Bom Jesus Sanctuary” followed by the “Sameiro Sanctuary” and back down into the city is a great way to spend the day doing tourism and staying in good shape, this was my first time in Braga and I will have to return someday. Guimarães followed off course, It was Portugal’s first capital city, it’s loaded with history and for me personally I have a big connection to the city with a lot of friends there and it’s a place where I go whenever I have a chance.
To finish this article and because I don’t want to bother the readers with big articles, my main goal is for the articles to support my videos and not to do a full tour guide page, there are a lot of sites for that matter. About this article last but not least comes Porto, capital of the north, second largest city in Portugal, a lot has been written about this mythic and currently trendy city, for everyone who never visited you are missing one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Stay with my best pictures and video that I did during a couple of weeks in this region.