Esposende: Travel and tourism

Mother Church
Mother Church
Esposende, the only county of the district of Braga bathed by the sea, has some of the loveliest beaches of the Green Coast, along an extension of 18 kilometres of sand, integrated in the Protected Landscape Area of the Esposende Coast.

It begins at the beach of Apúlia, with its soft sand and scenery characterized by enormous dunes where a number of typical wind-mills may still be seen, and stretches to Ofir-Fão, with dense pinewoods framing the beautiful sandy stretch.

Facing the beach, the «Horses of Fão» are a string of rocks always covered by mussels, limpets and cockles.

The sea, although its temperature isn't exactly inviting by Portuguese standards, offers clear blue waters.

Equally surrounded by pinewoods, the town of Esposende, set in the idyllic scenery of the river Cávado estuary, displays some fine and ancient houses, aired squares and interesting churches, such as the Igreja da Misericórdia (16th century) or the Church of Bom Jesus and the ruins of the Castle of Saint John the Baptist, a fort dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Chapel of the Lord of Seafarers exhibits fine paintings and gilded woodwork.

Nearby, the Celtic Settlement of Belinho rises on a hill of difficult access but offering panoramic views over the sea; it features circular stone constructions and remains of an ancient defensive enclosure around the Pre-Roman village.

It is also worth visiting, at Vila Chã, the São Lourenço's Hill Fort, dating from the Iron Age.

The county boasts of many pretty chapels and churches, such as the Good Jesus Church and the Chapel of Our Lady of Benignity, at Fão, or the church of Our Lady of Franqueira, at Faria, often welcoming picturesque religious festivals during Summer.

At table, the coastal zone naturally offers products from the sea, such as roast rock-bass, grey mullet, flounder and shellfish, whereas inland visitors may find excellent roast pork and a succulent sarrabulho (dish made with pig's blood), served with the local vinho verde.

Traditional handicrafts are characterized by their variety, from the basketry of Forjães to the rag quilts of Vila Chã, the stoneworks of Belinho and Marinhais or the objects made with shells of Fão, among many other products.
Hotel Suave Mar Hotel Suave Mar
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

Facing the Cávado River and flanked by green forest, the Hotel Suave Mar is ideally located for those looking for a quiet break. Set in northwest Portugal, Esposende is a fine old fishing village, appreciated by many Portuguese visitors who frequent the pleasant beaches; walk through Esposende to discover its unique and charming characteristics.

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