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Heritage & Culture

WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO VISIT

Due to its antiquity and cultural richness, Vila Verde is a county that has a vast material and immaterial heritage.

Throughout your stay in Vila Verde immerse yourself in the traditions of a people proud of its origins, to which are associated the ethnographic elements and the rich religious patrimony evident in the sanctuaries and churches spread throughout the county.

There are still the many festivals and pilgrimages that are nothing more than the living proof that religious and pagan manifestations can coexist and complement each other.

With so much to visit, accept our suggestions of routes through Vila Verde:

Feira de Artesanato FAIRS Monthly Handicraft Fair | Vila Verde It happens on the 1st and 2nd Sundays of each month, in Praça da República, in the center of Vila Verde. Its main goal is to promote handicrafts: valentine handkerchiefs Lenços de Namorados, embroidery, linen, wood, basketwork, ceramics, tapestries, crochet, costume bijouterie, among others.
Piscina Ribeira do Neiva SPORTS Swimming pool of Ribeira do Neiva Infrastructure located in Rio Mau, presents itself as an outdoor swimming pool of recreational character.
casa das artes ART AND CULTURE House of Arts of Vila Verde | Lage Headquartered at the Penedo school, it houses D'Arte - an association of artists dedicated to artistic creation and cultural dissemination. D'Arte boosted the International Biennial of Young Art of Vila Verde, a national reference in the young artistic panorama.
Centro de Artes e Cultura de Vila Verde ART AND CULTURE Center for Arts and Culture | Vila Verde Former House of Culture, the current Center for Arts and Culture houses the Academy of Music, which also aims to be a meeting place for different forms of art in the county.
Casa do Conhecimento ART AND CULTURE Casa do Conhecimento | Vila Verde The Casa do Conhecimento [Knowledge House] of Vila Verde is a technologically based public equipment whose main goal is the digital inclusion of the population. The house has an auditorium with an interactive 3D projection system, an area based on the concept of Education and Entertainment and an interactive exhibition area.
Adere Minho TOURISM AND HANDCRAFTS Adere-Minho | Soutelo The Association for Regional Development of the Minho has as its main mission to valorize the endogenous potential of the Minho region and promote the integrated development of the region. The association worked on the Certification of the valentine handkershiefs Lenços dos Namorados.
Espaço Namorar Portugal TOURISM AND HANDCRAFTS Namorar Portugal Space | Vila Verde Located in the Center of Artistic Promotion, this space presents itself as the first physical store of Namorar Portugal products, a point of sale, exhibition and dissemination of the products inspired by the love messages of the Minho’s tradition.
Aliança Artesanal TOURISM AND HANDCRAFTS Center of Artistic Promotion - Aliança Artesanal | Vila Verde An emblematic building of great architectural beauty, the Center of Artistic Promotion is a must-visit for anyone looking for authenticity, emotion and knowledge. A space that promotes the patrimony Lenços dos namorados and peps the traditional industries and the activities of the craftsmen.
Loja Interativa Turismo TOURISM AND HANDCRAFTS Interactive Tourism Store | Vila Verde In the center of Vila Verde it offers visitors a vast array of technological resources with a strong component of interactivity, among which are promotional videos in widescreen and a three-dimensional and interactive multi-touch table, as well as maps and local and regional tourist information, showing some of the icons of the county.
Clube Caça e Pesca SPORTS Hunting and Fishing Club of Vila Verde Ranked by the Portuguese Federation of Shooting as National Field, it is constituted by three shooting fields with modalities of Olympic Pit, Universal Pit, Trap, Doble Trap and Flight shooting. Every year the regional and national championships of Olympic and Universal Pit are held here. The Town Hall Cup of Vila Verde also takes place with 50 dishes in Universal Pit.
Clube Pesca do Faial SPORTS Faial Fishing Club Located in the Vila de Prado it develops several activities, mainly fishing sports, and participates in diverse national and international competitions. It oversees the Cávado River Fishing Track located on the right bank, beginning next to the Nautical Club of Prado and ending next to the weir of Ruães, with an extension of about 2000 meters.
Clube Náutico de Prado SPORTS Nautical Club of Prado Located in the Faial river beach, this infrastructure takes advantage of the potential of the river Cávado to practice water sports, namely canoeing. Highlight for the organization of international competitions: European Championship of Marathon in Canoeing in 2014, World Cup of Marathon in 2016 and World Championship in 2018.
Academia Equestre SPORTS Equestrian academy Arte Lusitana The Equestrian Academy Arte Lusitana preserves the vast Portuguese history and tradition in the art of riding with saddle. Integrated in a rural area of great natural beauty it offers riding lessons, horse riding and hippotherapy.
Piscina Municipal de Prado SPORTS Swimming pool of Vila de Prado Sports infrastructure designed for swimming and water aerobics, with professionals who provide you with the well-being and motivation necessary for the practice of sports: swimming, swimming for babies, water aerobics and hydrotherapy.
Complexo de Lazer Vila Verde SPORTS Leisure complex of Vila Verde This sports infrastructure offers the possibility of practicing various modalities of physical activity. You’ll find swimming lessons, hydrotherapy and water aerobics, group classes of various intensities, strength training, resistance and flexibility, bodybuilding and cardiofitness, futsal and tennis, and the pleasure of relaxation in the sauna, Turkish bath or massages.
Zona Ribeirinha do Gaião LEISURE AREAS Riverside area of Gaião Located in Cabanelas, along the banks of the river Cávado, one can enjoy the landscape and wildlife. Here you will also find conditions for picnics as well as children's equipment.
Zona Ribeirinha do Mirante LEISURE AREAS Riverside area of Mirante Located in Soutelo, this is a great choice to enjoy the tranquility of nature and refresh yourself in the waters of the river Homem.
Zona Ribeirinha da Ponte Nova LEISURE AREAS Riverside area of Ponte Nova Located in Loureira, near the river Homem, it is a place that offers good conditions to relax, rest or simply have fun with family or friends.
Zona Ribeirinha da Malheira LEISURE AREAS Riverside area of Malheira Located in Sabariz, very close to the center of Vila Verde, this is one of the places that offers the unique opportunity to observe the beauty of the waters of the river Homem.
Praia Fluvial do Faial LEISURE AREAS Faial river beach Located on the bank of the river Cávado, in the village of Prado, with green spaces and great conditions for moments of conviviality and leisure. Here is also located the Nautical Club of Prado, with a multi-sport field (football, tennis and basketball), a beach volleyball court, a playground and other facilities for visitors.
Trilho da Nóbrega RAILS AND PATHS Nóbrega trail Beginning next to the Camping of Aboim da Nóbrega it is a short route with a landscape and cultural scope that runs through the ancient paths of Aboim da Nóbrega. Along 14 km (about 4h30m) one can enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.
Trilho do Vade RAILS AND PATHS Vade trail The equestrian trail of 12 km (approximately 4 hours), with a cultural and landscape scope, crosses the ancestor paths of Aboim da Nóbrega. Along the way one can spot forms and structures used by shepherds for shelter, as well as native breeds (garranos and cachenas). The starting point is located next to the Camping of Aboim da Nóbrega.
Trilho do Fojo do Lobo RAILS AND PATHS Fojo do Lobo trail Starting next to the Campsite of Aboim da Nóbrega, it is a small pedestrian route of landscape and cultural scope. Along 9.7 km (about 3 hours) you can walk the old roads of Aboim da Nóbrega, Gondomar, Valdreu, Passô, Gomide and Barros.
Via Romana XIX RAILS AND PATHS Roman via XIX Originally known as "Antonino Itinerary", it was linked to the capitals of the Gallaecia Juridical Convents: Bracara Augusta (Braga) and Astúrica Augusta (Astorga), passing through Lucus Augusti (Lugo). Along the Via in the county of Vila Verde remains of the Roman Empire endure: milestones, bridges and small sections of the original route.
Rota Mixões da Serra RAILS AND PATHS Mixões da Serra route Starting next to the Campsite of Aboim da Nóbrega it is a cycle route with a landscape and cultural scope. Along the old paths of the parishes of Aboim da Nóbrega, Gondomar, Valdreu, Passô, Gomide and Barros, meant to be traveled by mountain bike (26.2 km in 4h30m).
Albergue de Peregrinos S. Pedro de Goães RAILS AND PATHS Pilgrims Hostel in S. Pedro de Goães The hostel is installed in a former elementary school. After several restoration and adaptation works the hostel has all the conditions to welcome the pilgrims who travel through the county of Vila Verde (about 16 km) on the way to Santiago de Compostela. A few meters away is the river Neiva where the medieval bridge served for several centuries as a passage to thousands of pilgrims.
Caminho de Santiago RAILS AND PATHS Path of Santiago The route of the path of Santiago in Vila Verde (distance of 15.5 km in 4 hours) starts at Ponte de Prado (bridge), passing through Lage, Moure, Carreiras S. Miguel, Portela das Cabras, Goães and Rio Mau. For reasons of faith or just leisure it allows you to enjoy the landscapes, the heritage and contact with the population. Walkers can rest at S. Pedro de Goães Hostel.
Caminha da de São Paio RAILS AND PATHS Path Caminhada de São Paio With about 5 km of extension and approximately 50 minutes’ duration, it crosses several areas of Vila Verde. With departure and arrival in the center of the village it also includes an alternative to the course with 2 additional kilometers. Besides the map that can be consulted in the center of the village, the route is signposted with yellow and black boards.
Caminho das Origens RAILS AND PATHS Path Origens A path of 110 km (self and audio guided) taking 5h30m, provides a memorable trip through the territory of Vila Verde with its many secrets. Along this path one will discover the monumentality of the architectural heritage and the traditions of the people, the most remote places and the ancestral flavors of the local gastronomy. More information: Vila Verde Interactive Tourism Store.
Caminho dos Lenços de Namorados RAILS AND PATHS Path of the Lenços de Namorados A path through the rails of love and the village of Vila Verde. Along this self-guided pedestrian course (3 km in 1 hour) you can make your own traditional valentine handkerchief or simply touch them and let yourself be flooded by the sensations contained in these embroideries produced, once, by girls in love. More information: Vila Verde Interactive Tourism Store.
Feira dos Vinte FAIRS Feira dos Vinte | Vila de Prado The Feira dos Vinte (Twenties market), also known as the Feira dos Burros (Donkey market) and Feira das Trocas (Exchange market), is held annually on January 20th in the village of Prado, coinciding with the festivities in honor of Saint Sebastião.
Feira de Velharias e Colecionismo FAIRS Antiques and collectibles market | Vila Verde It is held on the 3rd Sunday of each month, in Praça da República, in the center of Vila Verde. Surrounded by the garden of linden and plan trees, this initiative proves to be an economic asset for the local population and for their commercial spaces.
Feira de Produtos em 2ª Mão FAIRS FLEA MARKET | Vila Verde It takes place on the last Sunday of each month, in Praça da República, in the center of Vila Verde. Surrounded by the garden of linden and plan trees, this initiative proves to be an economic asset for the local population and for their commercial spaces.
Romaria Nossa Senhora do Alívio PILGRIMAGES Pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Alívio | Soutelo 2nd and 3rd Sundays of September | Imposing Marian temple of the 19th century and important place of pilgrimage and great tourist attraction, the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Alívio hosts one of the most important pilgrimages of the Minho bringing together thousands of faithful.
Romaria Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho PILGRIMAGES Religious festival in honor of Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho | Cervães 1st Sunday of June | Built in the 17th century, the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho features a façade typical of the Minho, but it began as a small altar between two cliffs. The saint, Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho, stands symbolically between the two rocks surrounded by an imposing gilded carving of national style.
Santo António Mixões da Serra - benção dos animais PILGRIMAGES Animals blessing in Santo António Mixões da Serra | Valdreu Sunday before the 13th of June | One of the most picturesque demonstrations of faith and beauty you can assist. Outside the church of Santo António Mixões da Serra animals of various races (cows, horses, dogs, cats, sheep, etc.) and their owners gather to assist the mass. At the end of the Eucharist the parish’s priest, sprinkling holy water, prays to God and Saint António for the protection of the animals.
Festa do Caldo do Pote EVENTS Soup in the Pot Festival | Sabariz September | The traditional cooking of the soup in an iron pot remains through this event. The Soup in the pot festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country every year, eager to taste tradition.
Fim de Semana Gastronómico EVENTS Gastronomic weekend “Vila Verde, Capital of the Pica no Chão” | Several restaurants of the county Last weekend of November | Who vistis Vila Verde at this time of the year is entitled to discounts and special conditions in the dozens of restaurants and accommodation units that annually join the Gastronomic Weekend "Vila Verde, Capital of the Pica no Chão". Chicken blood rice Pica no Chão, Pudding Abade de Priscos and the regional Vinho Verde are the main stars of this gastronomic event.
Mirtifrutos EVENTS Mirtifrutos – Small Fruits Fair | Vila Verde August | Inserted in the program of The Harvest Route, Mirtifrutos is packed with lots of entertainment during the three days of the fair: display of small fruits, folk festivals, musical shows and showcookings. Vila Verde is considered one of the counties in the north of the country with more farmers selling small fruits.
Na Rota das Colheitas EVENTS The Harvest Route| Several parishes in the county August to November | A marathon around the harvest and the rural traditions of Vila Verde. There are many and varied events that take place from August to November, essentially on weekends. The maximum exponent is the famous Harvest Festival that is always celebrated in the first days of October.
Bienal Internacional de Vila Verde EVENTS Biennial of Young Art| Vila Verde June/July | It happens only in even years involving the village in an environment of artistic euphoria. The event first starts in the local schools with the Biennal in School, in May.
Festas Santo António Vila Verde EVENTS Municipal festivity in honor of Saint António| Vila Verde June (high point is on the 13th of June) | June is dedicated to the patron saint of the county of Vila Verde, Saint António, celebrated with festivities throughout the month.
Feira Quinhentista EVENTS Cinquecentist fair – Sá de Miranda through the lands of Vila Verde | Vila Verde May | With a strong cultural and literary motivation, Vila Verde goes back 500 years and relives days of intense animation and popular enthusiasm. There is a great participation of the schools of the county in this event.
Fevereiro Mês do Romance EVENTS February, Month of Romance | Vila Verde February | An event with a touristic-cultural program during the whole month of February and the first days of March. The effect of romanticism and the celebration of the tradition of the valentine handkerchiefs Lenços dos Namorados are evoked in the Gala Namorar Portugal (this one held in the evening of February 14th).
Tocata tradicional IMMATERIAL HERITAGE Tocata tradicional The Tocata Tradicional de Vila Verde consists of concertina, cavaquinho (small guitar), viola braguesa and guitar, cane flute, “reque-reque”, triangle and small bass drum.
casa do brinquedo e da brincadeira MUSEUMS House of Toys and Play | Barbudo This innovative project approaches the traditional Portuguese toy in three very special angles: the toys created by the skilled hands of the children, the handmade toys made by artisans and the toys industrially produced.
Museu Terras de Regalados MUSEUMS Museum Terras de Regalados | Pico de Regalados It gathers the valuable religious assets of the old parishes that composed the extinct Land of Regalados.
MUSEUMS Linen museum | Marrancos It is the first national museum exclusively dedicated to showing all the steps of the complex cycle of the linen, from the seed (Flaxseed) to the fabric applied in the most varied functions.
Aglomerados Rurais CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Rural settlements | Gondomar e Aboim da Nóbrega The rural settlements of the Pequenina (in Casais de Vide, Aboim da Nóbrega) and Nogueira (Gondomar) are an illustrative example of "village tourism" or "country house tourism”. This kind of accommodation offer has increased tourism in the region and was an important contribution for the recovery and appreciation of the local heritage.
Fojo do Lobo CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Fojo do Lobo | Gondomar Considered one of the best preserved and largest of the Iberian Peninsula, this Fojo do Lobo has a wall extension with about two kilometers. It is a trap created in the mountains of the parish of Gondomar to avoid the attacks of the wolves.
casa da Torre CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Casa da Torre | Soutelo Built in the 18th century, the house has three different parts: the tower, the manor and the chapel. Nowadays it’s a Center of Spirituality and Culture, property of the Company of Jesus.
Torre e Casa de Gomariz CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Torre e Casa de Gomariz | Cervães Probably built in the 16th century, the tower and house of Gomariz is a manor of rectangular plant integrated in the typology of the so-called tower house. This 16th century tower is a testimony of the civil use of military architecture from the late Middle Ages and the evolutionary process of the noble rural house of the Minho.
Igreja de Coucieiro RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Church of Coucieiro | Coucieiro The Church of Coucieiro was sacred in the time of D. Afonso Henriques, more specifically in 1164, by the archbishop of Braga, D. Paio Mendes. Its exterior is essentially Romanesque with the usual arcs involving the main portal and botanical ornaments on the capitals, but its interior was substantially changed in the reconstruction in 1888 (date on the façade) to the style and taste of that time. Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the church belonged to the Knights Templar and later to the Order of Christ.
Torre de Penegate CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Torre de Penegate | Carreiras S. Miguel Built in the 19th century for the service of Rodrigues de Vasconcelos (chief parish of the Castle of Guimarães, with special royal license from D. Dinis), this medieval tower became the noblest and clear sign of the landlord on a land. It is thought that it was built over a primitive tower from the 11th century.
Ponte da Agrela CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Ponte da Agrela | Covas Dated from the 14th and 15th centuries, this medieval bridge served the old road that linked Braga to Galicia, crossing the river Vade. A medieval route that can still be traveled today by the bridge.
Ponte de Rodas CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Ponte de Rodas | Coucieiro Over the river Homem, the Ponte de Rodas bridge links the counties of Amares, on the right bank, and Vila Verde, on the left bank. It was built in medieval times and was part of the road linking Ponte da Barca to Braga.
Ponte de Prado CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Ponte de Prado | Vila de Prado This bridge is a medieval construction with a modern reconstruction and ensures the passage over the river Cávado, connecting Vila Verde and Braga. The current architectural aspect dates from the 17th century, when it was reconstructed. It was originally constructed in the Middle Ages. There is evidence that it already existed in the time of the Romans integrating the route that linked Bracara Augusta to Astúrica Augusta.
CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Praça 5 de Outubro [5 de Outubro square] | Vila Verde Located in the center of the village, next to the Praça da República, it is also a green area with lots of shade. From there one can see the many commercial spaces around.
Praça da República CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Praça da República [Republic square] | Vila Verde Located in the center of the village, it is a pleasant place surrounded by plane trees and linden trees, where it is possible to rest on a garden bench, with a lot of shade and space despite being located on the entrance of the Village, near the National Road, in an area of some movement. It is a kind of refuge. It also has a playground for children.
Praça do Município CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Praça do Município [Town square] | Vila Verde Located at the entrance of the village, stands out for its garden in front of the Town Hall building, with access to the underground car park.
Tribunal de Vila Verde CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Court of Vila Verde | Vila Verde The building where the court of Vila Verde is inserted stands out clearly from the surrounding landscape. It is located next to the Library and Town Hall, with entrance through the Praça de Santo António, in the center of Vila Verde.
Biblioteca de Vila Verde CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Library Professor Machado Vilela | Vila Verde Located in an old 19th century building, the library was named after Álvaro Machado Vilela (a notable professor from the county who lectured at the Law University of Coimbra), who donated a large part of his private library. In addition to offering various types of literature, in various media, there is a collection of Braille books.
Capela São Tiago de Francelos RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Chapel of São Tiago de Francelos | Vila de Prado Mannerist chapel, probably from the 17th century, where a main altarpiece in carving stands out. The chapel has a simple architecture but has in its interior some pieces of sacred art with interest as well as a chapiter carved on the triumphal arch that helps to indicate the antiquity of this place of worship.
Largo São Sebastião RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Set of the Largo de São Sebastião | Pico de Regalados Religious and civil architecture dating from the 17th and 18th centuries which includes: 17th century chapel, Mannerist cruise, 17th century tower and Baroque fountain.
Santo António Mixões da Serra RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Church of Saint António Mixões da Serra | Valdreu The current church was inaugurated in 1952 and its construction (only possible thanks to the efforts of the local people) replaced the first chapel, dating from the 17th century. Built in honor of Saint António for the protection of the animals it has a unique granite staircase that forms a viewpoint over the valleys of the rivers Cávado and Lima.
Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Bom Despacho | Cervães Dated from the 17th century it presents a facade of simple and harmonious contours typical from the Minho region. Excellent testimony of the Baroque of national style it began by being only a small altar between two cliffs. Our Lady of Bom Despacho remains symbolically between the two rocks surrounded by an imposing gilded carving of national style.
Nossa Senhora do Alívio RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Alívio | Soutelo The sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Alívio is an imposing Marian temple from the 19th century with traces of Gothic style. The outer space is composed by two churches, the house of the dean and the house for pilgrims, and landscaped areas with facilities for the visitors. In the “House of promises” stands out the set of embalmed snakes full of stories and legends. One of the snakes was offered in 1818 by an emigrant in Brazil.
Capela de Santo António RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Chapel of Saint António | Vila Verde Dating from the 17th / 18th century, it is a small Baroque chapel with a simple facade and longitudinal plant dedicated to Saint António, one of the most popular saints in the county. The altarpiece of the main altar of polychrome carving, also in Baroque style, stands out.
Igreja Velha da Carvalhosa RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Old Church of Carvalhosa | Vila Verde Also known as Church of São Paio it was built in the 16th century over a Romanesque temple. Inside there’s one of the most beautiful and rare frescoes of Portugal that shows Christ flanked by St. Peter and St. Paul. Also noteworthy is the baroque carving of the side altars, the image of St. Paio, the baptismal font and the holy water sink, both of Romanesque origin.
Igreja Matriz de Vila Verde RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE Vila Verde’s main church | Vila Verde Vila Verde’s main church is located next to the National Road, just at the entrance of the village. It stands out for its austere facade, covered with tile which is not very common in the churches of the region.
Aldeia de Gondomar CIVIL ARCHITECTURE Village of Gondomar | Aboim da Nóbrega Located on the slopes of Mixões da Serra, this village has several archaeological remains, especially from prehistoric times, standing out a prehistoric tomb on Monte do Barrete and a medieval Christian tomb at Lugar da Igreja.
Citânia de S. Julião PRE-HISTORICAL TRENCHES Citadel of S. Julião | Ponte Archaeological station that contributed to the discovery of the human occupation in the Minho region from the first millennium B.C. There are several legends connected to this place, as the tunnel that ran from the top of Mount S. Julião to the river through where the population took refuge, leading the horses to drink without being noticed.
Castro de Barbudo PRE-HISTORICAL TRENCHES Fortress of Barbudo | Barbudo The fortress of Barbudo is a Property of Public Interest built between the 9th and 8th centuries B.C. It is a fortified settlement of the Iron Age, with subsequent occupational reuse during the Romanization of the Portuguese territory.