As a consideration for your trust in us, we would like to invite you to participate in our referral program. It is simple and will allow you to earn some income from the gigantic tourism industry.
Melgaço and Monção: a trip to the two most genuine villages in Portugal that you cannot miss
Melgaço is located in the Alto Minho region, right on the border between Portugal and Spain. Neighboring Galicia, it developed around the castle, built in the 12th century by D. Afonso Henriques.
This village is famous for its landscapes and history, but also for being the birthplace of one of the most important varieties of green wine — Alvarinho.
For those looking for nature, this is the perfect destination. Melgaço is part of the only national park in the country, the Peneda-Gerês National Park.
Did you know that Melgaço is still known for its legends of witches, fantastic creatures, princesses and much more? As you can see, it’s not lacking in reasons to visit!
Also discover the legend of Inês Negra and learn some of the history of Portugal.
A little jump to Monção
Separated from Melgaço by only 24 kilometres, this village overlooks the River Minho. It is a land of terraces and viewpoints, where the peace of nature is a constant.
Although now tranquil, this region was once the scene of great fighting between the kingdoms of Portugal and Castile.
If you close your eyes, you can imagine these battles.
A journey to the best that nature can offer
On this personalized tour, discover why Melgaço is one of the best nature destinations in Portugal.
High mountains are part of stunning, green scenery. It is the perfect invitation to leave behind the stress of big city life and embrace the tranquillity of nature.
On foot or by bike, explore green landscapes full of life. After all this, the couch is no longer an option.
Maybe you’d like a drink already
When it comes to freshness, it is impossible not to mention Alvarinho green wine.
Made of a unique grape variety that only grows on the Iberian Peninsula, Alvarinho is famous and very exclusive.
Visit the Manor of Alvarinho, one of the most important points on the Alvarinho Route, and learn the secrets and traditions of this and other typical products of the region.
Do not forget the historical past of the village, where we will discover castles, Romanesque churches, and medieval bridges.
When it comes to the long-awaited lunch, discover why this region has such a unique gastronomy in our country.
Start the meal with an excellent smokehouse and head to the main course: lamb in the style of Monção, with the hind leg roasted in Alvarinho, and the famous sprouts with Rojões. For fish lovers, you can opt for the lamprey or the tasty and unmistakable trout of the Minho River. These are just some of the typical, flavor-filled dishes you will taste here.
After tasting these delicacies, we will continue to travel to Monção.
Come and discover the rich history of this village that is mirrored in the Monção Castle, the Mother Church of Mazedo dating from the 12th century, or the Brejoeira Palace.
Venture out on a tour that will show you so many of the country’s traditions as you wind through walls and churches that transport you to another time.
Do not forget to finish the tour with a glass of fresh, green Alvarinho wine. After all, it is unique.
Last but not least, immerse yourself in the therapeutic waters of the region, in hot baths that will relax your body and your mind.
Take a break from your routine
Take this opportunity to get to know these genuine villages of Portugal, which is one of the main destinations for nature lovers.
Embark on this personalized tour, lasting approximately twelve hours, to discover another piece of the history of our country.
We guarantee that you will always be in good company with one of the best wines in the world, and will also taste dishes to make you cry for more.
Contact us for more details.
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.
Statue of Black Inês
Inês negra was a woman of the people faithful to the cause of the independence of Portugal, at the beginning of the reign of D. João I. Legend has it that the "Arrenegada", a long-standing enemy of Inês Negra challenged Inês from the top of the walls, proposing that the dispute be resolved between them.
Melgaço Castle / Museology Nucleus Torre de Menagem
At the top of a hill overlooking the village, we find this ancient fortification, testimony to the first moments of Portuguese nationality. It was built by Dom Afonso Henriques in the 12th / 13th century. There is only one quadrangular church with three floors and a roof, and part of the old medieval village.
Located in an old watchtower, it offers superb views over the surrounding hills and the historic centre of the village, with its narrow streets and stone houses. Strolling in the intramural zone, those who visit feel relieved to the background, such as the grandeur of the structure and the views it provides.
Built to reinforce the authority of the newly created kingdom of Portugal, this castle played an important role in defending the border of the Alto Minho.
It is in this quadrangular tower that, at the moment, we can find the Museological Nucleus of the Tower of Menagem. Here you can know a little about the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of Melgaço. Circling along its three floors, one discovers the history of the county, from the prehistoric period to the Contemporary Age.
A great place to start your discovery in Melgaço where you can even request information about other monuments to visit, where to eat and where to sleep. Come and fall in love with Melgaço!
Manor of Alvarinho
It would be a serious fault to go through Melgaço and not to know the Solar do Alvarinho, a house from the 17th century, Mother House of the Alvarinho Wine Route and also nicknamed "Edifício dos Três Arcos". Inaugurated in 1997 in the building that previously housed the Town Hall and the chain, this space arose to supply the need for a place that would promote and publicize the famous Alvarinho wine.
Surely you have already tasted this famous variety from the Monção-Melgaço sub-region. Otherwise, this is the ideal place for a try!
Here it is also possible to know other typical products, which approximates those who visit us from the traditional and cultural roots of the people of Melgaço. Traversing its two floors, there is a room of evidence, where are exposed all the Alvarinho wine brands produced in the county; a meeting room to host lectures, meetings and temporary exhibitions; a support bar where you have the opportunity to comfort the stomach with several regional delicacies and find some rarities, such as Alvarinho fermented in wood, the sparkling wine and Alvarinho brandy; and also a shop where you can buy handicraft items (such as embroidery, lace and linen), ham, sausage, bread, honey and mead. An endless number of mouth-watering delicacies ... You will not resist carrying a few bottles and some smoke as a souvenir!
Mother Church of Melgaço
Among the narrow alleys of the historical centre of the village is the Mother Church, also known as the Church of Santa Maria da Porta - a name that was borrowed for being near the main door of the primitive castle.
Although its construction dates back to 1187, the configuration that we can appreciate today is the result of successive remodelling. It was greatly altered in the Baroque period, yet there remain two interesting Romanesque portals that are worth admiring.
Go through one of these portals, which is located on the main façade, taking advantage of the inside, where, in the left side chapel, a retable dating to the end of the 16th century, by António Figueiroa, stands out.
Back outside, watch out for the bell tower and the details surrounding the portal. Turning around the church, he finds, on the north side, an interesting figure in relief over the portal - according to some authors, it is a wolf, while others claim to be a lion. A peculiar detail in a building of a religious nature.
After absorbing all these details, take advantage of the proximity to some regional restaurants to take a break to comfort the stomach.
Church of Mercy
In the lively Vila de Melgaço there is a vast religious heritage of high architectural interest. Among the various churches, chapels and hermitages, stands out the mercy Church, also known as the Church of Santa Maria do Campo.
It is right in the historic centre of the village this pleasant Romanesque building, dating from the thirteenth century, next to the House of the Consistory.
When crossing the arch portal of two archivolts and entering the interior, one can admire, in the centre of the crossing arch, an emblem with the arms of Mercy. Also worth mentioning are the gilded altarpieces, Mannerist and Baroque, and the neoclassical altarpiece.
In its churchyard, do not miss the two medieval anthropomorphic graves. Then discover the narrow streets that surround it, where you can find several restaurants and cafes where to take a break before resuming the walk.
Archaeological Ruins of the Republic Square
The Archaeological Ruins of the Republic Square are an original museum nucleus located in the centre of the Village. Lying beneath the ground, you have to go down a few stairs, which lead you to an interesting medieval moat.
Here one can observe a collection of well-preserved archaeological ruins and some vestiges related to the old fortress. Passing through the moat, some remains of a breastplate in stone and several sidewalks dating from different eras are visible. To help you better understand what you see, there are some information panels that refer us to the Vila's defensive system from the 13th to the 17th century.
Also make sure to repair other exposed parts, which were discovered during the excavation of the site, such as a catapult projectile and several throwing stones.
Come visit part of the medieval history of Melgaço, taking the opportunity to stroll through this beautiful square, where there are buildings of great architectural and historical interest.
Memory And Border Space Museum
One of the most interesting museum spaces in Melgaço is the Memory and Frontier Space. Inserted in the former municipal slaughterhouse building – refurbished and expanded in 2007 – this museum has as its theme the contemporary history of the municipality, with emphasis on emigration and smuggling.
Through its rooms, those who visit him enter the world of illegal emigration of the 60s and 70s, knowing all the moments, from the causes, the preparation of the trip and the trip itself, to the arrival and experience in the host country. A perfect social portrait of the hundreds of children of the land that Melgaço saw leaving, not forgetting the reflections of this exodus in the county.
It is here also made a picture of the contraband that made living in the underground so many melgacences. Also noteworthy are the documented royal testimonies that transport to the time when one was going "to jump" abroad. A museum made of memories of real people.
The space also has, as it could not fail to be, a service office for emigrants and immigrants.
Let this modern museum lead you through the stories of history, looking a little at the two most striking social phenomena of Melgaço.
Soalheiro Wine Farm
Soalheiro, a pioneer in the creation of Alvarinho wine in Melgaço, is an international benchmark for the wines of this grape variety, blending perfectly into the distinctive Minho landscape surrounding it. In the nineteen seventies (1974), a passion for winemaking led João António Cerdeira, with the support of his father, António Esteves Ferreira, to plant the first Alvarinho vine and to create the first brand of Alvarinho in Melgaço in 1982, and one of the first Alvarinho brands in the sub-region of Monção and Melgaço.
Reguengo wine farm (Opcional)
The lovers of Alvarinho wine cannot miss; along with a visit to the Solar do Alvarinho, Reguengo wine farm. This production farm of this famous caste, framed by vineyards and bathed by the Minho River, offers superb views over the mountains of Peneda-Gerês.
This old manor house dating from the seventeenth century belonged to the Castros family, the mca-mores of Melgaço and Castro Laboreiro. The architectural beauty of the mother house, the chapel and the fountain, being a splendid example of Romanesque architecture, deserve a close look.
Integrated in the Wine Route Alvarinho, this farm has a specialized wine cellar, where we can taste the palate of this famous wine from the Melgaço and Monção sub-region, highlighting the house brand - Reguengo de Melgaço, already awarded in several national competitions and international organizations.
Come and taste this unique variety, which only grows in the Iberian Peninsula, with its light and fresh palate, its citrine color and its delicate aroma.
It was built in neoclassical style from the beginning of the 19th century. It is located in Pinheiros, and has been classified as a National Monument since 1910. Inside, we can be dazzled by figurative tiles, silverware, and oriental dishes, black. The exterior offers inspiring walks through the gardens and plantations of Alvarinho.
Located in the Curro house, it provides a trip around the world of Alvarinho wine, providing interactive information about the origin, evolution and companies dedicated to the production of this true ex. libris of the municipality of Monção.
Statue of the Danaide / Coat of Arms Deu-la-Deu Martins
Built by the Town Hall in 1837, it is a circular tank fountain with a prism-shaped base that supports the statue of the Greek mythological figure Danaide, wearing a tunic and a sieve. From 1869 the coat of Monção was placed with the figure of Deu-la-Deu Martins, heroine of the earth, placed in the center of the base.
Sculpture at Deu-la-Deu Martins
It is a contemporary work by João Cutileiro, who represents the legendary figure of Deu-la-Deu Martins, a local heroine, leaning over the Rio Minho protecting his people.
Monção Fortress Walls
The Monção Walls, a national monument by decree dated June 16, 1910, provide a tranquil and inspiring "walk" in the company of a breath-taking "look" over the Minho River, the Galician Riviera and the Caldas Park.
Romanesque temple dating from the 13th century that "knew" some changes and restorations over the centuries. Here are chapels in memory of Deu-la-Deu Martins, local heroine, and of Vasco Marinho, secretary and confessor of Pope Leo X.
Panel of tiles of João Verde
A poet of the monastic letters, João Verde describes in the poem "A Galiza mai`lo Minho" the "courtship" between the people of the ray and the difficulty of "marriage" due to the political system in force in the two countries. In front, lies the bust of the writer.
In Gothic style and located under a granite outcrop, on the bank the Lapela Tower, considered in the nineteenth century as the Tower of Belém do Minho, provides a fabulous panoramic view of the river Minho, the Galician bank and the Lapela village.
Sanctuary of the Lord of Bonfim (Opcional)
Located in the deepest part of the parish, it is of simple construction with three altars: The high altar, the one of the heart of Jesus and the one of our lady of Fatima. The Chapel of Senhor do Bonfim was built in 1868 and its tower in 1958.
???? - Private tour.
✅ - Free Pick-up and Drop-off.
???? - Optional sight-seeing stops along the way.
????️ - Certified Tourist Driver.
????♂️ - English; French; Spanish or Portuguese Speaking drivers with local knowledge.
???? – Chauffer style with code dress.
ℹ️ - Local tips and information - Our friendly drivers are locals and are happy to share their insights or give tips on what to do at your destination.
???? - Free water bottles.
???? - Extra amenities.
???? - Free internet
???? – Tips - Gratuity isn’t included or required, but if you really enjoyed your trip, you can show your driver your appreciation with an optional tip.
???? - Admissions to venues and attractions along the route.
⛈️ - Weather
Exact destinations and itineraries may be changed due to weather, road conditions and the guide’s discretion. If cancelled due to poor weather, a different date or a full refund will be offered. Please check our Terms and Conditions.
???? - Wineries
Included wineries are subject to change based on their availability, private events, and holidays.
???? – Valid ID
It is mandatory to present a valid photo ID for drinking alcohol in wineries. Be aware that the legal drinking age in Portugal is 18 years.
???? - Smoke free.
???? - Personal accident and liability insurance included.
???? - Luggage - Each passenger is allowed to have one checked bag and one carry on. If you’re traveling with more bags or oversized luggage, please inform us.
???? - Big luggage - 29x21x11 inches / 74x54x28 cm
???? - Small luggage - 22x14x9 inches / 56x36x23 cm
Operated by Endless Weekend Tours ®
What do I need to bring?
????️???? - Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and sunscreen if it’s sunny or a raincoat and an umbrella if it’s raining.
???? - Don’t forget your camera!