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Ponte de Lima: one of the most historic villages in Portugal
Did you know that Ponte de Lima is one of the oldest villages in Portugal?
It is located in the Viana do Castelo district and is bordered by the Lima River.
It has become known worldwide for its rich agricultural land, the famous Vinho Verde that is produced there, and the gastronomy which gives the nation such a good name.
Ponte de Lima is famous for its natural beauty and offers excellent wine tourism.
Medieval and pure nature land bathed by the best national wines.
Come and get lost in the stone streets, explore the historic center without maps and meet this friendly people who welcome their visitors so well.
Through chapels and churches, discover tascas and peculiar grocery stores that enchant from the first hour of this tour.
Also learn about the legend of the Lima River, associated with the latin word Lethes or “forgetfulness”.
History has it that in 135 .C, the Roman legions reached the left bank of a river. The beauty of this place convinced the soldiers that they were faced with the mythical “River of Oblivion”, and that crossing would erase all of their memory.
Afraid of losing their memory, the soldiers refused to cross the river.
Decimus Lunius Brutus, the commander of the legion, crossed the river and, without hesitation, called the soldiers by their names to prove that his memory was intact.
The bridge that gives the village its name.
As it could not fail to be, could not come to Ponte de Lima without visiting the jewel of the county, the medieval bridge, also known as Ponte Velha.
Composed of a medieval section and another of Roman origin, this monument marks the landscape of Ponte de Lima like no other.
This bridge is also a mandatory crossing point for thousands of pilgrims who are destined for our neighbour Spain on the well-known Camino Portuguese de Santiago de Compostela.
When Minho sits at your table.
In a region where green wine is king, on the land that saw the birth of the Loureiro grape variety – the queen of green wines – this tour takes us to one of the main farms of the region, Quinta do Ameal.
Here, you will learn the secrets of production and, of course, be able to testify that you made the right choice when you decided to book this tour. Minho’s gastronomy is very rich in flavours.
For the same reason, do not miss the opportunity to taste one of the typical dishes of the region. From sarrabulho rice to minhota naco, from lamprey to fried onion cod. Try all of this with the indispensable accompaniment of a green wine, Loureiro or Vinhão.
To end this beautiful getaway, discover why this village is also known as the “land of gardens”.
Among poplars, willows and beautiful wildflowers, become a part of this natural picture, painted in shades of yellow and white, and exuding tranquillity.
A unique visit filled with natural beauty and fantastic legends.
Come with us on an intimate visit to a land of ancestral customs, where you will learn why the culture of excellent wine is part of the history of Portugal.
We invite you for a personalized tour and that can last up to twelve hours. This adventure through the history of Portugal and the flavours of Minho will show you some of the main beauties of our country and is also a perfect destination for those who like to walk.
Talk to us to learn more and book your visit.
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.
Quinta do Paço de Calheiros
Get to know the winery of the Quinta do Paço de Calheiros to get to know its boutique winery and taste 3 different wines: The Paço de Calheiros, 100% Loureiro with fermentation and stage in stainless steel, the Count of Calheiros, 100% Loureiro with stage in oak barrels and a red sparkling wine also produced in The Calheiros Palace and that will be a unique experience even for those who are more accustomed to taste different styles of wine.
Green Wine Interpretation and Promotion Centre
The visit includes access to the permanent exhibition, access to the terrace with a small plantation of vineyards, preview of a promotional film about the Demarcated Region of Green Wines and the tasting of a wine.
Statue of Dona Teresa
Tribute to Queen Teresa, who granted the Ponte de Lima, the village floral in 1125.
Marquis of Ponte de Lima Palace
The Marquis Palace is a splendid 15th-century stone building, and currently houses the Centre for interpretation of military history.
Cow of the Ropes
Centuries-old tradition dating back to the 15th century, it attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country, and even from neigh boring Spain, who invade the historic centre and the sand of the Lima River.
Tradition always takes place on the eve of the religious holiday of the Body of God in the late afternoon.
The traditional race of the "Cow of the Strings" begins in the street of Arrabalde, heading towards Largo da Matriz, fulfilling the tradition of taking three turns to the church. The "race" continues through the streets of the Historic Centre, to the sand, where thousands of people try to "fake" the animal or simply watch this popular spectacle. It is a day of celebration, which shows the soul and tradition of the people.
Matriz Church of Ponte de Lima
Ordered to be built by D. João I in 1425, its conclusion is probably from 1446.
The various transformations and extensions over the centuries are very visible, due to the overlap of various styles - Romanesque, Gothic and Neoclassical, such as the Gothic portal, over by an 18th century rosacea.
Misericordia Church of Ponte de Lima
Dating back to the institution in 1530, the current church was erected in the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of a single nave, a chancel with a coffered vault (1638) and a main portico open laterally over the cemetery, which is the churchyard currently closed by a curious railing, the effect of the porch balcony that delimits this enclosure being remarkable.
Old Chain Tower and S. Paulo Tower
Classified as Properties of Public Interest, as well as the wall cloth that unites them, the Old Chain Tower and the Tower of São Paulo (which also had the Tower of Expectação and the Postigo Tower) are the most notorious of what remains of the old wall of Ponte de Lima, which, in addition to the walled structure, was composed of towers and doors, a set built on the reign of Peter I in the 14th century.
The Old Jail Tower or Porta Nova is the result of the great improvement works done on the tower, which already existed here as part of the walled structure of the village (14th century), ordered by King Manuel to install the Prison District and completed in 1511.
Ponte de Lima Noble Fountain
The Noble Fountain in Largo de Camões was completed in 1603, after a 1580 fake tax was levied on some consumer goods, namely the precious salt, whose revenue served to erect what we now enjoy as a monument.
It was built in the current Largo Dr. António Magalhães, at the time one of the main entrance doors in the wall of the village, from where it was transferred to Largo de Camões in 1929. Its Renaissance risk and execution are currently attributed to the famous Limiano Master João Lopes, the guy.
Pelourinhos de Ponte de Lima
The primitive pillory is attributed to the 16th century and was erected on the beach, roughly in front of the S. Paulo tower.
At the beginning of the 19th century, arms from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarve were added. Compulsively demolished at the end of the liberal struggles, it was rebuilt in the Estado Novo in front of the Paços do Concelho using some identified fragments of the primitive monument.
Roman Bridge and Medieval Bridge
The former libris of Ponte de Lima, which along with the river that bathes the village, gave the name to the locality, is its bridge. In fact, it is a set formed by two bridges: a medieval section, of greater dimension, that begins in the left margin and extends until the Church of Santo António of the Old Tower and it passes even in two arcs. Then the section of the Roman bridge. They are only five arches from the great arch that is in dry bed.
Church of St. Anthony of the Old Tower
It was for centuries dedicated to Our Lady of Hope and only in 1803 the brotherhood of St. Anthony decided to do large works. It will date from this century the tile panel.
Chapel of the Guard
Classified as a National Monument (such as the bridge) will possibly date from the century XIII. The Chapel of the Angel of the Guard, or Standard of St. Michael, is built next to the River Lima and the old bridge. It may belong to the late-Romanesque or early Gothic.
Monastery and Church Paroquial de Refoios
The building of the Monastery of Refoios, founded in the 12th century by D. Afonso Ansemondes, for Canons of the Rule of St. Augustine, currently houses the installations of the Superior School of Agrarian of Ponte de Lima, being next to the imposing Parish Church of the parish that gives the name of the group - Refoios de Lima.
Tower of Refoios e Paço do Curutelo (Freixo)
It was erected in the 14th century, integrating the walled defence structure of the village, and its name owes to the existence of an image of S. Paulo, placed in a small building on the door of the wicket that was adjacent to it. This quadrangular tower crowned by merlons, preserves the supports of the floors in the interior walls.
Basilica of Santa Luzia (20th century)
The temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus built on the western spur of the Santa Luzia mountain, from where the city of Viana do Castelo dominates and “blesses”, is undoubtedly one of the best known and most emblematic monuments in the country.
It is an excellent example of revivalist architecture bringing together monumental yet harmonious neo-Romanesque, neo-Byzantine and neo-gothic elements, by one of the architects of greater national and international projection at the time, the architect Miguel Ventura Terra (1866-1919), author, by example, the remodelling of the São Bento Palace, currently the Assembly of the Republic.
Although the project dates back to 1898, the work only started in the early years of the 20th century, and the temple was opened for worship on August 22, 1926, after the death of its author, and was only completed in 1943, almost half a decade after.
Quinta do Ameal & Provas (Optional)
Guided tour of the winery + wine tasting
Meet the cellar of Quinta do Ameal! On this guided tour by specialized hosts, you will be able to enjoy the explanation of the winemaking process, stage, bottling and labelling and explanation of the process of producing organic grapes. At the end of their guided exploration of the property, each guest receives a commented tasting of two wines, Ameal Clássico + Ameal Escolha, considered among the 5 best Portuguese white wines, with light appetizers in a tasting room overlooking the entire vineyard or in the garden (pergola) if the weather helps.
International Garden Festival – May to October (Optional)
The International Garden Festival of Ponte de Lima is located on the right bank of the river Lima. It has an area of about 2,5 ha and is organized into four areas: the parking area, the pool and bar area, the recreation and contemplation zone and the area defined as the International Garden Festival - with 12 distinct spaces in shape and area. A metal pergola, covered with clinging plants, extends throughout this space and separates the zone of 12 flowerbeds of leisure and pools.
Fruit plants, clinging plants and vines that existed were kept, offering visitors more shade, making this space even more welcoming to those who visit.
Natário Berlim balls (Optional)
Berlin balls there are many, but for many these are the best in the world.
Every day this Vianense pastry produces about a thousand Berlin balls sprinkled with cinnamon and spilling from a delicious cream. With long lines at the door, these are reason enough to go in pilgrimage to Viana do Castelo, just to eat them.
???? - Private tour.
✅ - Free Pick-up and Drop-off.
???? - Optional sightseeing stops along the way.
????️ - Certified Tour Driver.
????♂️ - English; French; Spanish or Portuguese Speaking drivers with local knowledge.
???? – Chauffer style with dress code.
ℹ️ - Local tips and information - Our friendly drivers are locals and happy to share their insights or give tips on what to do at your destination.
???? - Free water bottles.
???? - Extra amenities.
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???? – 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
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!