After yesterday's visit to Barcelos, today we expect another interesting, but long day. Behind us, we leave the monotonous departure from Oporto and ahead we expect fascinating days, which will help the pilgrim to cope with the long distances.
Today's stage runs through wine-growing territories and small rural centres, settled on the slopes of the valleys. Immersed in this landscape we will reach Ponte da Lima, the capital of the Vinho Verde.
Itineray Barcelos - Ponte da Lima
The 20th stage of theCamino Portugues is pretty long, almost 35 kilometres. The pilgrim will have to cope today with various slopes, mostly moderate, but also find some severe ascents. The hardest stretch will be the ascent to Portela de Tamel, which has an ascent of 130 metres in elevation.
Barcelos (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this section, you will find a point where the arrows are pointing in two directions. Some indicate that we must take the Rua Dr. Manuel Pais and others Rua Bem Feito. It is important that you follow Rua Dr. Manuel Pais, the other option, despite being marked with yellow arrows, is not related to the Camino Portugues and is considerably longer. Buen Camino!
We leave Barcelos leaving the Main Church behind us and to our right, the Camara Municipal. We cross on Rua São Francisco, on the right. We continue straight until the Church of Bom Jesús da Cruz, where we take Avenida da Liberdade, on the left-hand side.
From the front, we follow Rua Dr. Manuel Pais and we arrive at a roundabout (km. 1.9). We turn left to cross la Circular of Barcelos, over a bridge, and continue straight along the Avenida Paula Felisberto.
Then take a right onto Rua S. Mamede and follow it until we reach the road. We continue along the road, to the right, to a path that begins on the left and that runs uphill, until the Church of Vila Boas (km. 3.4), where we will also find the stone cross of the Holy Spirit.
At 280 metres before leaving the road, turn right on a cobbled street. We cross the railway tracks (km. 4.3) and follow a dirt road, taking three consecutive detours on the left, reaching the village of Ribeira.
Ribeira (Km. 4,6)
Practical tips for this section: During this section, you will face the steepest ascent of today's route, the ascent to Portela de Tamel, take it easy and rest on the ascent if you consider it necessary. Buen Camino!
In the village, we leave on the right, the Chapel of São Sebastián and continue straight until the Chapel of the Santa Cruz (km. 5.5). We continue advancing, interspersing wooded areas with small rural centres.
At kilometer 8.1, turn left to pass by the Church of Tamel São Pedro Fins. In front of it, turn right to return to the asphalt, in a steep ascent until reaching the Chapel and shelter of Portela de Tamel (km. 10).
Following straight, we go onto to the national N204 road and take it on the right. 450 metres later, we turn left on a road that goes to Quintiães, but then we leave it on the right-hand side, by a dirt road that runs through a prolonged descent that leads to the Church of Aborim (km. 11.4).
We continue descending to the railway tracks and take a tarmac track that after several turns to the right and to the left ends up becoming a dirt path, which takes us into Quintiães.
Quintiães (Km. 12,1)
Practical tips for this section: During the 6.6 kilometres that separate the intersection with the N308 until Vitorino dos Piães you will not find any bars, make sure that you carry everything you need with you before facing this stretch. Buen Camino!
From the hamlet of Quintiães, we go to a narrow road, following along to the left. After a few metres, turn left into a street that returns to the same road.
Immediately turn right, in a turn of almost 180 º, to take the street Ponte das Tábuas, which leads to the bridge that bears the same name and crosses the River Neiva (km. 14.5). After the crossing, we turn to the right and soon after we are forced to cross the national N308 that cuts our way (km. 15.7). We enter the Parish of Balugães.
Then we pass by the Church of São Martinho and then we cross the National 204 road (km 19). Following the same direction, we passed by the Casa da Fernanda (km 21) and again cross the road, this time, the M538.
A few metres later, we make a turn of almost 180 º to the right and we arrived next to the Main Church of Vitorino dos Piães, located next to a cemetery.
Vitorino dos Piães (Km. 22,3)
Practical tips for this section: For those who make the stage too long, this locality is a good intermediate point, to split the stage in two. Buen Camino!
100 metres later we reach a small roundabout, with a restaurant on the right, we cross and follow the asphalt for 300 meters, until a detour to the left by a path that goes to some houses.
At 100 metres, at a small roundabout, we cross a road (to the right, to 80 metres, there is a bar-restaurant) and we continue along asphalt in ascent. At 300 metres We turn left and, later on, we follow a path towards houses.
At the height of Portela da Facha (km. 23.6), we join again the national N204 where we continue to the right, during 200 metres, until a detour to the left, that in descent enters a forested area.
The path crosses the road M1259 (km. 25.2), which we followed for 250 metres, to leave quickly on the left and enter a paved section of stone, earth and asphalt. We advance between vineyards, crossing the small rural centres of Borgonha and Sobreiro.
Sobreiros (Km. 26,5)
Practical tips for this section: There are still 8 kilometres to get to Ponte da Lima. The stage today is considerably long and during this stretch, you will pass through several small villages, do not hesitate to stop at any of them to rest. Buen Camino!
Again we end up on the national N203 (km. 28.3), which we follow to the right for 200 metres, and then turn left on the street that goes to Rio Lima. On asphalt, and without changing direction, we cross another string of small villages.
A bridge (km. 31.9) helps us to cross one of the tributaries of the Lima and we arrive at the beautiful Chapel of Nossa Senhora das Neves. We continue in the same direction, passing, next to the River Lima, under the bridge of the N201 Road, to enter Ponte da Lima and to cross the medieval bridge that gives its name to the locality (km. 34.5).
Ponte da Lima (Km. 34,5). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: If you have not tried Vinho Verde yet, do not leave Ponte de Lima without doing so, as this locality is considered the capital of the world in this unique wine. See you tomorrow!
Today we can enjoy the idyllic environment that surrounds the monumental town of Ponte da Lima, as well as enjoying excellent gastronomy and Vinho Verde.
In the locality you can visit several examples of religious architecture such as the Churches of Santo António da Torre Velha, Nossa Senhora da Guia or the Chapel of Das Pereiras and civil architecture, such as, for example, the Torre da Cadeia Velha, San Paulo, the Pazo do Marqués or the Villa Morais Palace.
Also interesting are visits to Monte de Santa Maria Magdalena, the theme park of Arnado Theme Park, the Dos Terceiros Museum, the Diogo Bernardes Theatre, the Dona Teresa statue and the Chafariz fountain.
Comments Barcelos - Ponte da Lima
Now we will make some recommendations to deal with today's long stage and suggest some typical dishes from today's destination.
Precautions stage Barcelos - Ponte da Lima
This is a rather long stage. Some pilgrims may not find the courage to travel almost 35 kilometres in a single day. These can divide the stage in two, and stay overnight in Vitorino dos Piães.
It is very probable that due to paved roads and cobblestones, as well as to the presence of moderate levels, some pilgrims end up feeling discomfort in their knees. To avoid injury, it is important to take breaks during the trip, especially if you start to feel uncomfortable.
Throughout the day we will find many villages where we can stop to have a coffee, eat or simply to rest. The only desolate stretch is the 6.6 kilometres that separate the intersection with the N308 of Vitorino dos Piães.
Except for this, today's stage does not imply great difficulties and therefore can be completed by both cyclists and people with reduced mobility.
Gastronomy stage Barcelos - Ponte da Lima
On arrival in Ponte da Lima, you can enjoy gastronomy rich in spices, with a strong presence of nutmeg and pepper. Here we recommend some dishes for you to enjoy regional cuisine.
Sarrabulho Rice, made with blood, ham and spices.
Rice with lamprey
Rojões Porco. Fried Diced Pork
Cod stew, made with onions and potatoes.
Belouras. A local type of Black Pudding.
Leite-Creme queimado. A dessert made with cream and a thin layer of burnt sugar.
Vinho Verde. The real capital of Vinho Verde is Ponte de Lima, so if you haven't tried it yet, you're in the perfect place to do so.
What to do Barcelos - Ponte da Lima
On today's interesting stage you will pass by various places of historical and tourist interest. Now, we will talk about each one of them.
Cruceiro do Espirito Santo
The stone cross of Espirito Santo is located in Vila Boa, next to the Camino Portugues and south of the Chapel of Espirito Santo. The stone cross rises on a set of four square bases and on one of them you can see the head of an angel that looks towards the chapel.
On the right side of the base, you can read an inscription with the author of the work and the year of creation (1568). On the left side, you can see a skull with an inscription that says "ALEMBRA-TE". The cross is topped with a cross on an Ionian capital.
Capilla de San Martinho
The Chapel of San Martinho is located in Balugães and is in Romanesque style. The temple is formed by a single nave and it has a cover protected by a porch. The sacristy is attached to one side of the temple. The chapel was a parish site until 1927 and, in the past, it served as a refuge for many pilgrims fromCamino de Santiago.
Iglesia de Vitorino dos Piães
The Church of Vitorino dos Piães is located in the Parish of Vitorino dos Piães and there is no record of the exact date of its construction, although it is estimated that it already existed in the 12th century.
It is a temple of Romanesque style, although nowadays there are hardly any Romanesque elements of the temple, since a fire forced the temple to be completely restored. The highlight of the building is its elevated bell tower, visible from a great distance.
Puente de Ponte de Lima
The Ponte de Lima Bridge, located in the town of the same name, dates from the 5th century. The purpose of the construction, attributed to the Romans, was to connect Braga and Astorga.
The construction consists of 16 arches, of which, 5 belong to Roman times. In its structure, you can also see battlements and defensive towers, which were added during the remodelling ordered by Pedro I, in the 14th century. Recently, the causeway of the bridge was remodelled, which today, allows us to walk on it.
Ponte da Lima
Ponte da Lima is a small town, with 2,800 inhabitants, and belongs to the municipality of the same name and the district of Viana do Castelo. The town stands out for its medieval architecture and its bridge, which crosses the River Minho-Lima.
It is considered one of the oldest towns in Portugal, as attested by the multitude of ancestral stories and legends that have been passed down. The historical importance of Ponte da Lima is reflected in the existence of the Palacio do Reino de Leão.
In the locality, you can visit various examples of religious architecture such as the Churches of Santo António da Torre Velha, Nossa Senhora da Guia or the Chapel das
Pereiras. As well as numerous expressions of civil architecture, such as the Torre da Cadeia Velha, San Paulo, the Pazo do Marqués or the Villa Morais Palace.
Also of interest are the visits to Monte de Santa Maria Magdalena, the theme park of Arnado Theme park, the Dos Terceiros Museum, the Diogo Bernardes Theatre, the Dona Teresa statue and the Chafariz fountain.
Torre da Cadeia Velha
The Torre da Cadeia Velha is located in Ponte de Lima and, until the 1960s, it functioned as a prison. Later it accommodated the historical and municipal archives and, at present, it is also used as an exhibition area, and for book launches, conferences, etc. It also houses the town's Tourist Office.
Monte de Santa María Magdalena
The Monte de Santa Maria Magdalena, where a chapel with the same name is located, provides an excellent panoramic view over the Lima Valley.
Torre de San Paulo
The Torre de San Paulo, along with the Torre Caideia Velha, is the only medieval remnant preserved from the old wall of Ponte da Lima. It is a square-storey tower, decorated with gargoyles.
On the tower wall, facing the river, you can read the following inscription: "Cabras São Senhor". As they say, the inscription refers to the legend that Afonso Henriques was about to attack a herd of goats, confusing them with moors.
Pazo do Marqués
The Pazo do Marqués is located in the old town of Ponte da Lima, surrounded by extensive gardens. The building dates from the 15th century and has a great architectural and historical value.
The exterior of the building highlights the numerous Manueline-style windows, as well as the calendar, whose date changes daily, and the cross, both located on the façade of the building. At present, the building houses the Tourist Office and a shop with typical products.
Teatro Diogo Bernardes
The Diogo Bernardes Theatre was built in 1893 and opened in 1896. However, a century later it was completely remodelled, presenting today, an Italian style. Today the theatre hosts the Ponte de LIma Festival of Opera and Classical Music.
Timetable: Closes Saturdays and Sundays. Open from Monday to Friday (from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30).
Parque Temático do Arnado
The Arnado Theme Park is a thematic garden that allows visitors to make a journey through the historical memory of the art in the gardens, whose origins are linked to rural culture.
In this space, pre-existent structures of the agricultural exploitation are used, integrated into the old fields of cultivation of different epochs. In the botanical garden, plantations are carried out with a pedagogical orientation. This highlights the greenhouse surrounded by a lake.
This theme park is included in the Global project to valorise the banks of the River Lima.
Palacete Villa Morais
The Villa Morais Palace is located in Ponte da Lima and its construction was carried out in 1892, at the request of João Rodrigues de Morais, a notorious personality of the locality. It is a construction with Brazilian influences, which combines different styles.
The façade of the palace is neoclassical style. However, the reform and enlargement that took place during the 20th century, endowed it with features of Art Nouveau style. This style can be seen at the side door, park-oriented.
The building has a beautiful garden, where trees of great proportions grow. In this one is located a lake, crossed by two bridges inspired by the Romanesque Period.
Museo dos Terceiros
The Dos Terceiros Museum is located in the town of Ponte de Lima. The space was inaugurated in the year 1977 and was built by the Church of the Third Order of San Francisco. Currently, it is collecting part of the sacred art of the locality.
Timetable: Closes on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday (from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00).
Admission: 2.50 euros.
Iglesia de Santo Antonio da Torre Velha
The Church of Santo António da Torre Velha is located in the town of Ponte de Lima. It is a temple with a late Baroque style and a longitudinal plant. Its structure is made up of a single nave, the main chapel, the sacristy and a bell tower.
Iglesia de Nossa Senhora da Guia
The Church of Nossa Senhora da Guia, located in the town of Ponte da Lima, dates from 1630. Its construction was carried out on an old ruined chapel dedicated to São Vicente the Martyr.
The temple, declared an asset of Cultural Interest, is from the 17th century and consists of a single nave. Preceding the nave is a back room of sober but ornamented lines with volutes and leaves. This and the adjoining chapel were built in 1746, along with other elements, such as the organ.
Inside, you can see various altarpieces with polychromed tiles. Also noteworthy are the neo-classical elements of the triumphal arch, as well as the work of the walls and the altar tables.
Estatua Dona Teresa
The Dona Teresa statue is located in Ponte de Lima, is considered the oldest villa in the country. The image commemorates the Queen Doña Teresa de Leão, who in March 1125 donated the land.
The Chafariz Fountain is located at the entrance of Pinheiro, now known as Rúa de Don Pedro. It is the second supply source for Ponte da Lima. Until 1603, the inhabitants of the locality were supplied from a single source, the so-called Fonte da Vila, but since 1575, the supply began to prove insufficient. For this reason, the Senate ordered the construction of Chafariz, which began to be channelled from 1578.
Capilla das Pereiras
The Chapel das Pereiras was renovated in 1998 by the municipality of Ponte de Lima, providing one of the best viewpoints in the locality. The chapel currently houses exhibitions, music and theatre performances; and note that it only opens when an activity is scheduled.