Ponte da Barca: Travel and tourism

Bridge over Lima river
Bridge over Lima river
The small town of Ponte da Barca, overlooking the river Lima, still preserves a web of streets with graceful arcades and fine houses from the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries, an interesting pillory crowned with sphere and pyramid and, naturally, the pretty 15th-century bridge which gives its name to the town (Boat Bridge).

Jardim dos Poetas (Poets' Garden) lodges some of the main monuments and is ideal for picnics or for taking a stroll due to its tranquil atmosphere and bucolic scenery. Near the river, the large open-air market also attracts many visitors.

At Bravães (four kilometres west of Ponte da Barca), the 13th-century Mother Church exhibits an unique Romanesque portal with monkeys, oxen and birds of prey carved on the stone columns, and the tympanum depicts Chirst flanked by two angels.

Visitors can choose the county's fine fluvial beaches and camping sites, the pleasure of canoeing down the river or simply walking along its banks to enjoy the scenery and the sight of many windmills.

As for the local gastronomy, it is worth trying the typical rojões (fried pork) or the savoury arroz de cabidela (rice with stewed giblets of chicken).
Casa Nobre do Correio-Mor Casa Nobre do Correio-Mor
Ponte da Barca
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

With the mountains of Peneda-Gerês National Park on the horizon, boasting beautiful views of the Lima River valley, this former noble house radiates a welcoming ambience.

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