Guadiana International Bridge

Guadiana International Bridge (Ponte Internacional do Guadiana)

The Guadiana International Bridge (Guadiana International Bridge) carries the A22/A49 highway linking Spain and Portugal across the River Guadiana just north of Vila Real de Santo Antonio.

It is the third-longest bridge in Portugal and is the work of Portuguese engineer, José Luis Câncio Martins.

Guadiana International Bridge (Ponte Internacional do Guadiana)
Guadiana International Bridge

The 666 meter-long, cable-stayed bridge (Puente Internacional del Guadiana in Spanish) dates from 1991. It stands 20 meters above the river allowing ships to pass underneath.

The road bridge is adjacent to an area of marsh and wetland - the Reserva Natural do Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António.

Guadiana International Bridge
The 666-meter bridge links Spain and Portugal by road

Ferry

The is also a ferry across the Guardiana from Vila Real de Santo Antonio to Ayamonte in Spain which takes 15 minutes. The ferry is a pleasant way to commute between the two towns. Remember that Spain is an hour ahead of Portuguese time.

Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry.
Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry



Vila Real de Santo Antonio - Ayamonte Ferry.
The ferry is a fun way to cross the Guadiana River between Spain and Portugal


Accommodation in Ayamonte & Vila Real Santo Antonio

Hotels in Ayamonte Spain - Booking.com

Hotels in Vila Real Santo Antonio Portugal - Booking.com

Accommodation in Portugal

Hotels in the Algarve - Booking.com

Hotels in Lisbon - Booking.com

Hotels in Porto - Booking.com

Hotels in Portugal - Booking.com

Hotels in Portugal - Agoda


© Portugal Visitor

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção Elvas

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção, Praça da Republica, Elvas

The interior of the church has Manueline elements
The interior of the church has both Manueline and Baroque elements

The fortress-like church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção lies in the main square of Praça da Republica in Elvas. It was previously a cathedral before the seat of the bishop moved to nearby Evora in 1881.

It is of interest as the building is the work of Francisco de Arruda, the main architect of the Torre de Belem in Lisbon. Construction began in 1517 and was completed in 1537. Originally Manueline in style,  Baroque and other architectural elements were added in later centuries.

Arruda also worked on the nearby Amoreira Aqueduct.

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção

Interior

The interior has some beautiful azulejos tilework and an 18th-century Italian organ in the high choir.

The nave
The nave and altar

Access - Getting There

Praça da República 7350-126 Elvas
Tel: 266 769 800

Praça da República has several pavement cafes to take in the exterior of the church over a coffee or glass of wine. The Tourist Office (turismo) is also in the square.

A recommended place to stay in Elvas is the Santa Luzia Pousada.

Praça da República, Elvas
Praça da República, Elvas
Close up of the altar
Close up of the altar

© Portugal Visitor

Cálem Port Wine Lodge

Cálem Port Wine Lodge Vila Nova de Gaia (Caves Cálem)

The Cálem Port Wine Lodge (Caves Cálem) is located in Vila Nova de Gaia across the River Douro from Ribeira in Porto.

It's the nearest wine lodge to the iconic Ponte de D. Luis I Bridge and in normal years receives around 100,000 visitors to its 19th-century cellars.

Cálem Port Wine Lodge Vila Nova de Gaia
Cálem Port Wine Lodge

Porto Cálem was founded in 1859 by Antonio Alves Cálem. He was determined to market his wine in Brazil at a time when the main market was largely Britain and the rest of Europe.

With its own fleet of ships, the venture was a success and now the company's logo is a caravel being loaded with port barrels. It is present on every bottle.

The business was continued by his son Antonio Alves Cálem Junior. Cálem's famous port wines include a White, Tawny, Rosé, and Ruby.

Visitors can once again enjoy a tour of Cálem's cellars and museum. Wall panels explain the history of the wine, the growth of the grapes in the Douro Valley, and the aging process in Vila Nova de Gaia. The tour includes an interactive fado show and free tasting of two port wines, a fine White and a 10-year-old Tawny.

Cálem
© Cálem


Access - Getting There

Avenida de Diogo Leite 344
4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia
calem.pt

Hours

Daily from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 7 pm.

Porto buses 900, 901 904, and 906 all stop close to the cellars. Jardim do Morro is the nearest Porto metro station.

More on Porto

Cemitério Prado do Repouso

Sandeman Cellars

© PortugalVisitor.com

Cor de Tangerina Guimarães

Cor de Tangerina Restaurant, Guimarães

Cor de Tangerina is a recommended lacto-ovo vegetarian restaurant with garden seating on the road to Guimarães Castle in Guimarães.

The restaurant also serves vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free meals on request.

Cor de Tangerina Restaurant, Guimarães
© Cor de Tangerina Restaurant, Guimarães

The restaurant garden is a great place to enjoy al fresco dining and the space also hosts small events.

Access - Getting There

Cor de Tangerina
Largo Martins Sarmento, n.º 89 - 1.º andar
4800-432 Guimarães
Tel: 966 876 165
www: cordetangerina.pt

From the station, the restaurant is a 20-minute walk (1.2 km).

The Palace Duques de Bragança is also very close by. Reservations are recommended.

Cor de Tangerina Restaurant, Guimarães
Garden seating

Accommodation in Guimarães

Accommodation options in Guimarães include the EMAJ Guimarães Boutique Hotel, the four star Hotel Toural, the Stay Hotel Guimarães Centro, also four stars and the two star Hotel Mestre de Avis.

The Hotel de Guimarães in the south of the city is four stars and has a swimming pool and spa.
Budget hotels in the city include the one star Hotel São Mamede and the two star Hotel ibis Guimaraes Centro.

See here for a full listing of hotels, hostels and apartments in Guimarães.

Guimarães Related

Guimarães Buses

© PortugalVisitor.com

Cascata dos Anjos Madeira

 Cascata dos Anjos Madeira

Cascata dos Anjos Madeira
Cascata dos Anjos Madeira

The Cascata dos Anjos ("Waterfall of Angels") falls down a sheer rock face onto the E.R.101 road and in to the sea. It is one of the most picturesque and photographed falls on Madeira.

The beautiful waterfall can be reached easily in a hire car from Funchal. A natural car wash, the Cascata dos Anjos waterfall is about 30 minutes drive west of Madeira's capital.

The flow of water comes from a levada - one of the many irrigation channels that funnel and transport water on the island for agriculture.

Cascata dos Anjos Madeira
Cascata dos Anjos Madeira

Access - Getting There

From Ponta do Sol take the old road up from the pebble beach through the tunnel (*the road may not always be open). Ponta do Sol in west-central Madeira is a pretty village with great sunsets. Some recommended places to stay here include Estalagem da Ponta do Sol and Enotel Baia do Sol with a heated pool and restaurant. 1905 Zino's Palace offers an outdoor pool, restaurant, and pretty garden.

More on Madeira

Capela de Santa Catarina

© PortugalVisitor.com

Palheiros Houses in Madeira

Palheiros Houses in Madeira

Palheiros houses are a feature of the countryside in Madeira and can be found in many villages. They are most concentrated in Santana, a pretty village on the northern coast, however.

Simple A-frame structures with a thatched roof, the style came with the early settlers to Madeira.

Palheiros House
Palheiros house in Madeira

The walls are white-washed with the window frames, shutters and doors then painted in bright colors or pastel shades for a pleasing contrast.

Wheat was an important crop for the early 16th-century settlers on Madeira. Any surplus was exported to continental Portugal which had long endured a deficit of the grain. The leftover straw was then used as thatch. Nowadays, wheat is no longer much grown on the island so maintaining the cottages has become expensive as the thatch must be placed every five years on average.

In days gone by corn was often left to dry on the steeply-angled roofs.

Inside the top floor was usually used for drying and storing agricultural products (such as seeds) while the ground floor was the living space. The upper floor is accessed via an internal trap door or by a ladder on the outside. Kitchens were normally located in separate buildings.

Palheiros House
Often brightly-colored, thatched palheiros are a feature of the Madeiran landscape

The local municipality in Santana has attempted to preserve its palheiros houses by offering an annual prize for the best-maintained properties.

Several of the houses are now open to the public, though only a few are still permanently inhabited. The local Tourist Office in the village of 4,000 people is even housed in a palheiros.

Palheiros House
Palheiros are white-washed with the window frames and doors painted in bright colors or pastel shades

Madeira Related

Blandy's

Capela de Santa Catalina

Carro de Cesto

Levadas

Madeira Wine Museums

© PortugalVisitor.com

Mateus Rosé

Mateus Rosé

Mateus Rosé
The Mateus Rosé label features the Mateus Palace in Vila Real

Mateus Rosé was once synonymous with Portugal back in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. The brand began in the 1940s and quickly became popular among wine drinkers in the USA and northern Europe especially the UK.

A medium-sweet, fizzy rosé Mateus accountable for 40% of Portuguese table wine exports by the 1980s and no Christmas, wedding, or birthday in the UK seemed to lack it.

Indeed, Queen Elizabeth II was a fan as were Saddam Hussein and Elton John.

As other Portuguese wines have become more well-known, the company's percentage of total exports has fallen but the wine remains popular. The owners have introduced other varieties including a Tempranillo, a Sparkling Brut Rosé, a Sparkling Dry White, and Sparkling Demi Sec.

The Mateus Rosé label features the Mateus Palace in Vila Real. Its distinctive round bottle was once a favorite candle holder accessory among garret-dwelling students.

Mateus Rosé
The distinctive bottle of Mateus Rosé

Details

Rua 5 de Outubro, 4527
4430-809 Avintes
Portugal
Tel: 351 227 838 104
www: mateusrose.com

© PortugalVisitor.com

Vasco da Gama Tower Lisbon

Vasco da Gama Tower Lisbon

The Vasco da Gama Tower is the centerpiece of the Parque das Nações (Nations Park) district of Lisbon.

Vasco da Gama Tower Lisbon
Vasco da Gama Tower Lisbon

The 145 meter-tall, steel Vasco da Gama Tower (Torre Vasco da Gama) symbolizes the sail of a caravel and references the history of Portuguese exploration and the Age of Discoveries.

The structure was built for Expo 98 and is one of the tallest structures in Portugal. In 2012 the five-star Myriad Hotel opened next to the tower.

The structure is illuminated at night
The structure is illuminated at night

The structure is illuminated at night and makes for a beautiful sight. The viewing platform at the top is no longer open but there are plans to reopen it.

Nearby is the 17 km long Vasco da Gama Bridge, the longest bridge in western Europe.

Access - Getting There

Take the Linha Oriente Line (color-coded red) to Gare do Oriente Station.

There are also suburban line trains to Oriente and several bus routes including the #208, #210, #708, #725, #728, #744, #750, #759, #782, and #794.

A cable car connects the Oceanarium to Vasco da Gama Tower.

The total height of the structure is 145 meters
The total height of the structure is 145 meters

© PortugalVisitor.com

Os Caretos de Podence

Os Caretos de Podence, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Trás-os-Montes

Os Caretos de Podence
Os Caretos de Podence

One of Portugal's most traditional and bizarre carnival celebrations takes place in the village of Podence in the Trás-os-Montes region of northeastern Portugal.

Men of the area dress in colorful, home-made, woolen, hooded costumes predominately red, green, and yellow with red masks made from wood or leather. Around their waists on leather belts, they wear an assortment of metal rattles and bells. A tail protrudes from the hood and also carries a sexual connotation. The caretos usually carry a wooden staff as well.

The caretos circulate around the village in search of women to shake their rattles and bells at. The act symbolizes spring, fertilization, and regrowth after the barren months of winter.

The festival in the villages of Podence and nearby Macedo de Cavaleiros has been designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Historians believe the festival has its roots in ancient Celtic fertility cults.

Access - Getting There

Podence and Macedo de Cavaleiros are around 40 km south of Bragança and 80 km northeast of Vila Real.

© PortugalVisitor.com

Via Algarviana

Via Algarviana

The Via Algarviana is a long-distance walking route in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. It connects Cabo de São Vicente (Cape of Saint Vincent) in the southwest with Alcoutim in the northeast of the region. The Via Algarviana is suitable for both walking or cycling.

There are also trails branching off the main route such as the one shown on the map below from Aljezur to Marmelete.

Via Algarviana
Via Algarviana Map

Route

The Via Algarviana passes through Vila do Bispo, Bensafrim, Marmelete, Monchique, Silves, Messines, Alte, Salir, Barranco do Velho, Parises, Cachopo, Vaqueiros, Furnazinhos, Balurcos before arriving in Alcoutim. There are spurs to Lagos, Loule and São Bras do Alportel.

Altogether the entire route is around 300 km in length. The route became fully accredited in 2006.

All the main towns and villages on the route have adequate accommodation and restaurants for tired and hungry hikers. August, due to the heat, is probably best avoided but not impossible.

Route Map
Detailed route maps are available along the way


Rota Vicentina

The trail also connects with the roughly north-south Rota Vicentina at Cabo de São Vicente and Aljezur.

Further Information

Further information can be found at viaalgarviana.org

If you are thinking of a walking holiday in southern Portugal Walking in the Algarve by Cicerone is an invaluable resource.

Detailed information is available on signboards along the route
Detailed information in both Portuguese and English is available on signboards along the route

© PortugalVisitor.com