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Portugal Hideaways: Viana do Castelo

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Portugal))

Viana do Castelo is one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Portugal with a strong connection to the sea

From the Santa Luzia hill you can see the privileged geographical situation of the city of Viana do Castelo, next to the sea and the mouth of the river Lima. The breathtaking view and the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, revivalist building of Ventura Terra, from 1898, can be the starting point to visit the city.

Viana was enriched with emblazoned palaces, churches and convents, fountains and fountains that constitute a patrimonial heritage worth visiting. At the Tourist Office you can order a brochure and take routes inspired by Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Deco or azulejo tiles. Walking through some of the streets in the historic center, you always reach Praça da República, the heart of the city. It is where the Misericórdia building and the fountain, from the 16th century, are located, as well as the old City Halls. Not far away is the Romanesque Sé or Matriz Church.

The baroque church holds the image of Senhora da Agonia, of the fishermen’s devotion, who goes out every year to bless the sea in one of the most colorful festivals in Portugal, where the beauty and richness of the typical costumes that parade at the festivals are worth mentioning.

You can also visit the Costume Museum, the Municipal Museum and the Gil Eanes ship. Viana do Castelo is also considered a “Mecca of Architecture” thanks to the many important names of contemporary Portuguese architecture that sign equipment and spaces in the city. This is the case of the Praça da Liberdade by Fernando Távora, the Álvaro Siza Vieira Library, the Youth Hostel of Carrilho da Graça, the Hotel Axis by Jorge Albuquerque or the Cultural Center of Viana do Castelo, by Souto Moura, among many others .

On the outskirts of the city, we can take a stroll along the coastal or river bike path or on one of the many marked trails, as well as practice surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing and bodyboarding on fine golden sand beaches. And jet-skiing, sailing, rowing or canoeing on the Lima River.

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