City of Viana do Castelo

Revisiting Portugal’s Past by taking a Memorable Trip to Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Viana do Castelo is a coastal town in Portugal that lies in the mouth of the Lima River. This city has been in existence since the Roman times, but was only developed as a town in the 13th century. Just like most towns in Portugal, Viana de Castelo takes pride in its well-preserved structures. Many of the town’s buildings have stood the test of time, and these include the very old churches that still stand in the town’s center.

Viana do Castelo, Portugal has a fair share of majestic churches, comparable to those in the cities in France, Italy, and Spain. Fortunately, most of these historical structures are located in the downtown area, and thus, are very accessible.

Some of the town’s most visited churches include the Basilica of Sta. Luzia, the Mother Church, and the Church of Sto. Domingos (Igreja de São Domingos). Built around the 15th century, these churches feature exquisite Romanesque and Gothic architectures. Meanwhile, the Basilica of Sta. Luzia was only built in 1903, featuring Romano-Byzantine architecture, reminiscent of the famous Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Basilique du Sacre Coeur) in Paris. This church, located on Mt. Sta Luzia, offers picturesque views of the city and its coastline.

In addition to churches, there are also museums that tourists should not miss in the city. One is the Museu Municipal, which houses furniture from 17th century India and Moorish Spain, as well as 18th century pottery, porcelain, and glassware.

If you are tired of visiting museums, churches, and other historic sites in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, you can go to the scenic beaches along the coast. One of the most popular beaches that showcase fine, white sand is Praia de Cabedelo. The town also has something to offer for those who are into water sports. The Afife Beach and the Carreço Beach offer ideal waves for surfers and bodyboarders alike.

After exploring the coast and the river, you can also go to the town’s most popular restaurants to try the local specialties, such as bacalhau à margarida da praça (a cod dish popular in the Minho region), bacalhau à moda de Viana do Castelo (a cod dish which originated from Viana do Castelo), and pescada Vianense (a local fish dish).

There are also many charming hotels and inns that can accommodate you in Viana do Castelo, Portugal.
Hotels located at the center of the town include Hotel de Parque and Residencial Laranjeira. There are also hotels situated on higher ground and these include Pousada de Viana do Castelo and Axis Viana Business and Spa Hotel. These hotels offer a spectacular view of the ocean and some parts of the city.

From outside Portugal, you can reach the town by travelling to Lisbon or Porto by airplane, and from there you can catch a bus bound for Viana de Castelo. There are also train stations from Aveira and other neighbouring towns.

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