If you decided to visit Mata do Buçaco, you will find yourself quite exhausted today, after exploring the magnificent forest, but surely the effort will have been worth it. If you chose to let yourself be carried away by the tranquillity of Mealhada, you will probably find yourself willing to continue advancing.
Today's stage is one of those days characterized by an uninterrupted succession of towns, small roads, industrial estates and urban areas. Throughout the day we will almost lose sight of the IC2 motorway.
In order to cope with today's stage, we must arm ourselves with patience, since it is not one of the most beautiful stages of the Camino Portugues. However, the day ends in Águeda, a quiet town that will receive us with various samples of street art.
Itinerary Mealhada - Águeda
This stage of theCamino Portugues covers 25 kilometres, mostly on asphalt. It is not a day with many ups and downs.
Mealhada (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy your passage through the forest of eucalyptus and pines, probably one of the most beautiful sections of the stage today. Buen Camino!
We leave Mealhada, crossing the locality and we continue straight until linking with the national road IC2 or EN-I, that we cross by a pedestrian crossing. On the other side, we find a yellow tourist information booth reminiscent of an art-deco style. 50 metres later, we find a stone fountain with tile murals.
We continue along a paved bike lane, surrounded by trees, which moves parallel to the road and ends up turning into a cobbled sidewalk. 400 metres later the arrows indicate to us that we must deviate to the right, after the turn, we pass by the restaurant and the Hilário Hostel. We have entered Sernadelo (km. 1.5), a district of Mealhada.
Continue along Rua da Fonte, the street behind the Hilário hostel, and turn right on Rua 25 de Abril. 450 metres later we leave it on the left from Sernaledo along a dirt track that enters a forest of eucalyptus and pine trees. After passing an area with olive trees, we reach the small town of Alpalhão, where we find a stone cross of blue granite and the vestiges of its old Templar castle.
Alpalhão (Km. 3,4)
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy Arcos and Avelãs of Caminho, although neither of them has great tourist attractions, both have their own charm. Buen Camino!
Turn right next to a white chapel that crosses our path and down the Estrada dos Poços. The pilgrim path passes the outskirts of the village of Aguim. After passing in front of a rather modern church, turn right onto Estrada del Vale de Cid. Soon we find a roundabout, which we pass on the left.
After a few white warehouses and a descent to the left, we reach the sports area of Anadia. We pass in front of a cinema-theatre building that is very curious and we continue straight along an avenue flanked by blocks of flats until arriving at a petrol station. Just before reaching the next roundabout, we move from the pavement and turn to the right, passing next to the cemetery. On cobblestones, we arrive in Arcos (km. 9.2).
150 metres after passing the Parish Church of Arcos, we turn left on Rua Calçada. We continue until reaching Aféloas (km. 9.7).
We go over a small roundabout with a stone cross in the middle and then on the other with an electricity pole. Down a cul-de-sac, we cross a road and follow the left, ascending, to an industrial area. Along the hard shoulder and after a kilometre of March we pass by a cemetery.
With the national road IN-1 a few meters away, we turn right along a woody walk and a stone cross. This is where we come to Avelãs de Caminho.
Avelãs de Caminho (Km. 13,5)
Practical tips for this section: in the Plaza de São João da Azenha there is a chapel in the shade of a large oak, it is a nice place to stop to take a break. Buen Camino!
After visiting the town, the arrows lead us to cross the national road IN-1, by a zebra crossing and without a traffic light. On the other side of the road, follow a street with a cobblestoned pavement to the small village of São João de Azenha (km. 15.5).
On a secondary road, with almost no hard shoulder, we reach the next town, Aguada de Baixo (km. 17.6). We cross the village passing in front of a tiny chapel and in front of a stone cross located under a temple in the middle of the street; then we arrive at the church, with a tiled façade. We then leave the town on a small road that goes to Landiosa.
We will soon be walking by Estrada Velha or Estrada Real, in the Parish of
Barrô. We continue on asphalt, passing under the motorway IC2, and we arrive in front of the restaurant bar Dois Postes, located, as its name indicates, between two high-tension towers (km. 20).
After the restaurant, turn left, next to a huge roundabout, and continue along the road to the north. We advance for two kilometres through the industrial estate of Barrô. We leave the warehouses on the left, to retake the Estrada Real, this time in the Parish of Recardães.
Along asphalt and Pavements, we pass between blocks of flats and in descent, we arrive at Fonte do Atalho, from 1467, where we have a magnificent view of our destination today: Águeda.
We cross the N-1 road, then we cross through the district of Sardao and we arrive at a park by the river. We go through a small wooden bridge and then under the N-230 road, to enter the bridge over the road that leads us to the Plaza de Águeda.
Águeda (Km. 25). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Do not forget to discover the street art that you can find on the streets of Águeda. See you tomorrow!
Águeda is a quiet town, which has a beautiful square. In it you can relax and regain strength for the rest of the afternoon. If you are doing the Camino Portugues in summer, maybe you are lucky and you can see the Umbrella Sky Project that settles in this locality in those dates. It is an art exhibition in which a multitude of colorful umbrellas hangs from the sky.
However, even if it's not summer, be sure to walk through the villa; you will find other examples of urban art, as its streets hide dozens of multi-coloured murals and pop works.
In addition, in the town, you can visit expressions of religious architecture, such as the Convent of Santo António and the Churches of Santa Eulália, and São Salvador da Trofa. Or you can discover the Casa Museo do Cancioneiro, La Estación Arqueológica de Cabeço do Vouga y el Cruceiro da Trofa y Pelourinho.
Comments Mealhada - Águeda
Next, we detail some aspects that you should keep in mind throughout today's stage and suggest some dishes that you can enjoy during the day.
Precautions stage Mealhada - Águeda
Today's stage does not contain many difficulties. During the tour you will pass through different places that allow you to supply yourself with everything you need and, in addition, you'll always have the option to deviate slightly from the IC2 road and you will always find some establishments open.
On the other hand, this stage of the Camino Portuguéshas been very well signposted, so there is no risk of getting lost. The worst part of the day is the two-kilometre journey that crosses the Barrô Industrial Estate, which on weekdays is full of vehicles and is somewhat hostile to pedestrians.
Gastronomy stage Mealhada - Águeda
Next, we recommend some regional dishes, to help you cope on this stage with so much asphalt.
Roasted Suckling Pig and Fried diced Pork
Lamb or Goat Stew
Rabbit "Agueda style"
Cod "á Lagareiro" (with Potatoes)
Fuzis and Sequilhos (Local cakes)
Pastry: Santa Águeda Pastries, Santa Eulália sponge cake, sweet pastries and merengues.
Sparkling rosé wines from the Caves da Bairrada.
What to do Mealhada - Águeda
Next, we provide you with information about the tourist attractions that you can visit during your day.
Alpalhão is a Parish in the Council of Nisa, in the district of Portalegre. It has an area of 34 square kilometres and a population of 1,200 inhabitants.
In the locality, you can visit a stone cross, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Redonda, a castle and the House-Museum of the town.
Cruceiro de Alpalhão
The stone cross of Alpalhão dates from the 16th century. It is a construction made in blue granite from the region and measures about two metres high. It is formed by a smooth octagonal column, supported on a platform and topped by a Latin cross. On the cross are the figures of the crucified Christ, São João Evangelista and the Virgin.
The Alpalhão Castle dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. Its construction is the work of the Order of the Temple in Portugal, which dominated the town at the time of the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1319, with the extinction of the order, the population and its castle remained under the command of the Order of Christ and the castle was rebuilt.
Although the Castle does not form part of the tourist itineraries of the Council of Nisa, today you can still see vestiges of the ancient wall that protected the castle and some towers.
Arcos is currently a Parish called "Union de las Freguesias de Arcos y Mogofores", of which Arcos is the seat. Until 2013, Arcos constituted an autonomous Parish, but from this date, following an administrative amendment at national level, the locality was annexed with the Parish of Mogofores.
The locality has 12 square kilometres and in it resides about 5,500 inhabitants. On its streets, you can visit various palaces, such as La Graciosa, Quinta de la Condesa del Ameal or Foz de Arouce.
It also has several houses of interest, such as the La Misericordia, Los Capitanes-Mores, de Los Aledres or the 17th-century En Famalicão, as well as with different monuments and chapels.
Avelãs de Caminho
Avelãs de Caminho (in its Portuguese translation, hazelnut way) is a Parish in the Council of Anadia. It has an area of almost seven square kilometres and a population of 1,250 inhabitants. Until 1836, it was the seat of the Council.
On its streets, you can visit the Main Church of San Antonio, the Chapels of the Lord, the Afflicted and the Lady of Aid and a 17th-century house.
Águeda is a town in the district of Aveiro that has a population of approximately 15,000 inhabitants. The locality is located next to the river that bears the same name.
In the city, you can find remains of ancient Roman occupation and also visit places of interest such as the Casa-Museo do Cancioneiro, the archaeological station of Cabeço do Vouga and the stone cross da Trofa and Pelourinho. As well as religious architecture, as for example, the Convent of Santo António and the Churches of Santa Eulália, and of São Salvador da Trofa.
Casa Museo do Cancioneiro
The Casa Museo do Cancioneiro is located in the historic centre of the city of Águeda. The building dates from the 18th century, although throughout history, it has been the victim of many renovations that have affected its current aspect.
The museum is dedicated to collecting and disseminating different elements of the Cancioneiro de Águeda, such as the festive costumes or the old works of the town. In each area, furniture from different eras can be seen from the units, such as beds made with wrought iron, porcelain, etc.
Archaeological Station of Cabeço do Vouga
The Archaeological Station of Cabeço do Vouga is located on the top of Mount Marnel, in Águeda. The excavation was found in the 20th century by António Gomes da Rocha Madahil. Later, it was managed by the Archaeology Office of the Municipal Chamber of Águeda.
After several investigations, it was concluded that the remains of the deposit correspond to the city of Talabriga, the ancient Roman capital of Santarém. This discovery allowed the excavation to be named a site of Cultural interest in 1947, although unfortunately, at present, it is in a certain state of decline.
Convent of Santo António
The old Convent of Santo António is found in the village of Águeda. The building was managed by the Franciscan Order. The convent houses a longitudinal-plant church, formed by a single nave and a larger chapel.
At present the convent is in ruins, although the church is in good condition.
Cruceiro da Trofa y pelourinho
The Cruceiro da Trofa rises in Trofa, in the town of Águeda. The monument is hidden inside an open temple, which consists of four Tuscan columns and a cover with a triangular finish.
The stone cross goes back to the 17th century. This one rises on a pedestal of a quadrangular base and is of Mannerist style, the crucifix located in the centre of the shaft stands out for its excessive size.
The Pillory, also located in the locality, was declared an asset of Cultural Interest. The construction is made of granite and is of Manueline style. It is formed by a block of granite on a base of a quadrangular plant, octagonal and irregular shaft, that rises above, and a capital with a square shape that finishes off the construction. In the capital, you can appreciate the national shield and a rose.
Parish Church of Santa Eulália
The Parish Church of Santa Eulália is located in the centre of Águeda, at the foot of the Camino Portugues going towardsSantiago de Compostela. Its exact date of construction is unknown, but there are documents that speak of its existence, since 1320. Throughout history, it has undergone many renovations.
The collection has numerous carvings and relevant images, such as Santa Eulália, patron saint of Águeda, dating back to the 15th century and in a Gothic style. Other notable images are that of Jesus on the cross and the huge painting dedicated to Santa Eulália, from the 18th century.
It is also worth highlighting the side altarpieces. The right side of the temple is dedicated to Santa Luzía and dates from the 18th century. The left is dedicated to the Madonna del Rosario and also dates back to the 18th century.
Church of São Salvador da Trofa
The Church of São Salvador da Trofa is located in the heart of the city of Águeda. The temple dates back to the 16th century, although its present appearance is the result of the numerous renovations carried out between the 17th and 18th centuries.
The temple has a rectangular floor covered with a ribbed vault, under it is the Capilla Funeraria dos Lemos, or Panteão dos Lemos, a collection by which the church was listed as a national monument and has great sculptural quality, and in a very good state of conservation.
The Panteão dos Lemos is formed by two niches framed by decorated pilasters on which are supported half point arches. It emphasizes the ornamentation under the arch, where it is located the heraldic shield of the Lemos family, together with different vegetal motifs. Inside the pantheon you can see a relief of a praying warrior and his medieval cap on the ground.