Melgaço: Travel and tourism

The small and tranquil town of Melgaço grew around a fortress built by order of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal (1139-85).

The castle, now a national monument, has an impressive keep and dominates the labyrinth of ancient streets and alleys that cross each other within the walls.

The open-air Museum Nucleus of Melgaço, at the town's center, includes a Medieval moat and a small part of the fortified walls.

All the region is characterized by its close relationship with the river Minho and with neighbouring Galicia (Spain), and by a rigorous climate, specially the harsh winter, which determines the architecture of the small villages.

Castro Laboreiro, on the county's limits, is mostly known for the breed of sheepdog to which it gives its name, also considered an excellent watchdog and traditonally used to protect the flocks from the attacks of wolves.

The ruins of a Medieval castle can also be seen at this village, rising at 950 metres and proud of its curious traditions and customs.

All of the zone evokes a remote past, an example of which can be confirmed at the plateau bordering Spain where there is the largest collection of megalithic monuments known in Portugal.

The town of Melgaço also provides a convenient gateway to the dramatic scenery of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, with its rich fauna, wild peaks and beatiful wooded valleys.
Hotel Castrum Villae Hotel Castrum Villae
Castro Laboreiro, Melgaço
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

Situated inside the Peneda-Gerês National Park, this hotel features air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV and private balconies and offers a garden, on-site restaurant and free wireless internet connection.

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