Viana do Castelo: Travel and tourism

Afife: Convent of Saint John of Cabanas
Afife: Convent of Saint John of Cabanas
Viana do Castelo lies in a beautiful scenery, between the estuary of the River Lima and the sea and nestling against the hill of Santa Luzia.

Crossed by winding streets and pictoresque squares, its many mansions, monuments and small palaces recall the importance it gained in the 15th century as a fishing centre and providing ships, sailors and navigators for the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the 16th century.

The ex-libris of the city is the central Praça da República, with the magnificent Medieval "Paços do Concelho" (Town Hall), the Miserichord House (Renaissance monument) and the beautiful fountain (16th century).

The city is like a living museum, with countless monuments and mansions of different periods and styles. But it is also the capital of the rich Minho folklore, with an important handicrafts industry and animated festivals.

The most important is the "romaria" (religious festival) of Nossa Senhora da Agonia (Our Lady of Sorrows), in August, which attracts enormous crowds to watch the religious procession, the parade where the women exhibit their magnificent traditional dresses, the music, dancing and singing, fireworks and a ceremonial blessing of the fishing boats.

For dazzling views it is worth climbing to the top of the Monte de Santa Luzia (3 kilometres, 2 miles north of the city center), by foot, car or funicular; there is a luxurious and beautiful "pousada" (state-run inn).

South of Viana do Castelo, the fine beach of Praia do Cabedelo is a popular holiday resort.
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Hotel Rural Quinta de São Sebastião Hotel Rural Quinta de São Sebastião
Barroselas, Viana do Castelo
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

In the main house, the distribution of space is both funcional and welcoming, with spaciours rooms and public areas: guestrooms, dinimg room, sitting room and TV room, games room and library.

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