DESTINATIONThrough well seasoned paths we discover pieces of history at every step
This month you'll discover…
The Christmas Villages in Minho
Christmas may be passed on either side, in peace and harmony, preferably with the family or who else liked, but there are places where this court seems to magnify.
Come with us to the Minho Valley Portugal's Villages, where the mountain landscape is intertwined with the traditions and the houses. Feel the calm and tranquility of a region where water constantly runs and stroll through the snow and animals.
And when the cold press, come up to the fireplace, bask in the warm flavors of the Minho cuisine and listen to the stories of a people who went through millennia.
Branda of Hazel
Villages of Sierra d'Arga
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Castro Laboreiro village
Castro Laboreiro is a well-leaning village Spain. By the way, our GPS took us first to Galician lands before us to return to Portugal through the mountain.
We are in the National Park Peneda-Geres, with cows and goats to graze in green gardens surrounded by walls. The sound of clappers fills the air until we get to the church, in the center of Castro Laboreiro, next to the tourist information / Museológico Centre and the pillory.
The streets are framed by buildings fortified settlement accustomed to endure the cold serrano. We heard the barking of dogs breed dog Castro Laboreiro, an original race of this village and one of the oldest breeds in the Iberian Peninsula.
Surely these dogs are suited to rocky uneven ground stretching ahead. We are now at the viewpoint of Castro Laboreiro, overlooking the valley and the gray mountains. The cold air will blow from time to time to remind us that here the winter is harsh. Up there, at the top of the left mountain, we glimpse the walls of silhouette of a castle. That's where we.
The arrow indicates the path to the castle points to a way in which only gives to walk. The path is made by rocks, riverbeds, through the vegetation and always with a landscape of removing the breath. Rising tries to do the same, but once we arrived up there all the tiredness disappears. Portugal is really a magical country. A mountain range unfolds before us, a small waterfall gushes water incessantly down there. And the winter late afternoon colors paint the orange sky, lilac, pink and blue.
The open door leads us to the ruins of what will have been a Moorish castle or an ancient Roman or Celtic fortress. In the fourteenth century it fell a distance in the powder magazine causing an explosion that determined its rebuilding by D. Dinis. Here you can watch the village and surrounding area.
But there is more to discover. Roman and medieval bridges, a set with megalithic 62 monuments (one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula) and the regional cuisine available in any restaurant of Castro Laboreiro.
GPS: 42° 01′ 39″ N / 8° 09′ 37″ W More information: www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt
Village of Hazel Branda
The Village of Hazel Branda is located at the entrance to the National Park Peneda-Geres, surrounded by beautiful scenery. Mild designated the places where they summered. Since XII or século, in early May, the pastors of the Gave de Parish went up the hill with their herds for mild so that the fields were planted with new crops. After, only returning home when he got the winter (with some exceptions such as: attend Mass and to bring supplies to the bland).
Nowadays, Branda of the Hazel is almost devoid of inhabitants. As casas típicas, ou cardenhas, They have been turned into tourist dwellings for those who enjoy union with nature, a paz, a calma.
Of note is the chapel of Senhora da Guia, the Sanctuary of Senhora da Guia or, a bit far from the village, o Dólmen then Batateiro.
The way of life of old not yet abandoned these parts, as evidenced by herd of cows that blocked the road delaying our trip to the next village. Never mind, we even like to be here.
GPS: 41° 59′ 41″ N / 8° 16′ 49″ W More information: www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt
It is thought that the name Porreiras been furnished in the old way of paying taxes, "By eiras", today is the Community threshing floor which is the landmark of the village. Nine granaries and four porches contributed to Porreiras was nicknamed "barn Minho".
And if there are grains, there are also mills turn it into flour and, later, the bread that feeds the village. There are five requalified and mills that still work. Also pass by the Chapel of the Lady of the Pillar, the Church Porreiras Matrix and the picnic area.
The Outreiro the picnic area invite to a picnic by the lake created by the waters of the river. An idyllic spot for socializing with friends that lasts all afternoon, especially in summer. A grass extension leaves grow picnic tables, a barbecue and rock constructions.
Nature is all around us. If you want to embark us his ways can the pastor rail or rail Pia Four Abbots.
GPS: 41° 57′ 6″ N / 8° 33′ 16″ W More information: www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt
The nozzle Village is located on the slopes Nozzle Horn and extends to the river Coura. This place should have been held since the megalithic period, as evidenced, traces of tumuli in the vicinity of the village.
We stopped near the bandstand, the Parish Council of the surroundings. On our side is the parish church, one of the points of interest of this village. On the other side of the road, Cows graze wistfully enjoying the afternoon sun and the fertile fields.
This whole area is especially attractive for those who enjoy nature, sports and adrenaline. Be sure to make the Balcony Rail Coa, Top of Morrões, Nozzle Horn, the trail of Viewpoints, Mills and Megalithic Vascões. You can walk or bike, but whatever the means of locomotion, we guarantee it will be worth.
From the nozzle Horn of Belvedere will be able to envision the entire length of this Protected Landscape. Green pastures is stopped, Here and there, the cluster of houses in villages that breathe this air of the mountain.
GPS: 41° 53′ 37″ N / 8° 31′ 39″ W More information: www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt
Village of Covas
The waters of the Rio Coura are a constant sound when visiting the village of Covas, in the municipality of Vila Nova de Cerveira.
Here, at the foot of Covas and Argas saws can visit the House of carboalkyl or House Covas, Parish Church, the Chapel of Santa Marinha, the Chapel of St. Gregory, the chapel of Santa Luzia and the Cross of Our Lady of Mercy, this already next to the bridge that crosses the river.
Further on, be enchanted by picnic, a green spot, full of trees. The stone tables and benches invite you to stop and enjoy the beauty of the river that runs alongside there. We assume that there should be leaving the trout to the restaurants of the village in order to confecionarem this typical dish Covas.
This village has a lot to offer as, for example, the Trail Interpretive the Covas Ribeira accompanying the river Coura through unique landscapes. enjoy.
GPS: 41° 53′ 07″ N / 8° 41′ 49″ W More information: www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt
Villages of Sierra d'Arga
The majestic Sierra de Arga is home to three different villages: Arga de Cima, Arga de Baixo and St. John Arga. As explained during the visit to the Arga Hazel, the Argas were the village where they were going shepherds were with their cattle spend the spring months, summer and fall, a chamada “Transumância”. It was common, for as highland people, They have two houses, one for the hot days and the other for the cold. Life was lived according to the seasons.
Each of the villages has its own personality, but can not dissociate the Arga saw context that unites them. The saw that unites them and the river, feeding the water mills, covered with slate slabs, examples of mountain architecture.
The houses are well preserved and some have been turned into tourist homes. Stroll through the narrow streets and dark (because of the color of the stone, because the sky seems endless) and hear the sounds of animals from farms, as geese, chickens and cows. Feel the scent of burning fireplaces (if fall or winter) and savor the roasted chouriça, the lamb and the bread, all washed down with the good vinho verde.
You can enjoy the trails of the Sierra de Arga to move between the Villages. You can see the Rail Alçada Stone, the Rail Cha Grande, the Rail Cabeço Noon and Rail Cha da Franqueira. Take the opportunity to pass by the Monastery of St. John D'Arga, and by the river.
The landscapes will take her breath away, far more than the altitude. With the setting of the sun, Heaven wins orange shades, pink and lilac. As we look to the mountains on the horizon almost it seems like we were transported to the landscapes of Montana, na América do Norte, but ... This is Portugal.
GPS: 41° 50′ 12″ N / 8° 41′ 51″ W More information: www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt