Maybe I should post this Tip under Briteiros, But this village has nothing else remarkable, and the "Citânia" happens to be outside it.
So, I think it may be included in Braga (or Guimarãres), as something a little more distant, but easy to include in the mandatory trip to Bom Jesus and Sameiro.
Citânia de Briteiros is an archaeological site from the iron age, with celtic and roman addings. Two original houses were rebuilt.
Signposted in the ways to the sanctuaries.
Citânia de Briteiros is an archaeological site situated about 15km outside Braga. This site consists of ruins of a Celtic settlement. The settlement was walled, with walls about 5m high and 2m thick. It is said that on the 1st century it was the political capital of the Callaeci Bracari (pre-roman people with Celtic origins that inhabited the North of Portugal), but by the 3rd century it was abandoned. The ruins show signs of roman influence (1st century BC), such as Latin inscriptions, coins, glass and terracotta pieces.
One of the interesting buildings of this settlement is a public bathroom, with 2 rooms: one for a steam bath and another for cold water bath.
These ruins were discovered in 1875 by an archaeologist, being that they are classified as National Monument since 1910. The entrance fee (August 2011) is 4 Euro per person. Ruins close about 6pm, but their visit lasts at least 45m, so plan your visit with time. Bring comfortable walking shoes as the path is unpaved and uneven.
For a virtual tour of the ruins, visit their website: http://citania.csarmento.uminho.pt/default.asp?language=1
Geres is a cosy little village that has grown due its thermal water properties; the correct name of the village is Caldas do Gerês, but it is usually referred to as Gerês. The village is situated on a valley and while walking past main street you will see green slopes around you. The village itself doesn't have monuments or places that are worth mentioning, except for the thermal properties of its waters and treatments, but Caldas do Gerês is one of the gateways to the beautiful Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês (Peneda-Gerês), a National Park that was classified in 1971 and it was Portugal's first National Park. Actually, it is the only Portuguese National Park.
The Park protected area spreads across 72.000h and is situated on the Northeastern border of the Minho region. Altogether, there are 114 small villages inside the Park, which represent about 10.000 inhabitants in this peaceful and mountainous green area. The inhabitants' major economical activities are agriculture and livestock.
The Park is a delimited area in terms of map, but actually there is no entrance to it. While visiting the park, by car or trekking, you will come across beautiful green landscapes, lovely small villages and churches, enchanted water falls, water streams and dams.
For further information see my Geres page.
Geres is situated about 40 km from Braga; although it may not be considered "near", the National Park will surely compensate the trip.
5km east of Braga is this baroque stairway and pilgrim church. It is easily reached by public transport.
It is one of Portugal’s best known images and stands in the woods high above the city. It is a glorious ornamental stairway of granite and white plaster.
It has no reason to be here. No miracles, or visions and yet on the day we visited it seemed like there had been!!
In the fascinating Mount Falperra was erected a chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalene.
Unfortunately when I was there the chapel was closed, but it seems that it is a unique work in the Baroque style. It was constructed on the eighteenth century.
You will find there an imposing hotel with covered swimming pools and other leisure facilities. It was there that the Spanish Football Selection stayed during the Euro 2004.
From the Falperra Mount you will have another terrific view over the town of Braga.
But there you will enjoy as well the fresh air, far from the town pollution and a beautiful forest to explore. Enjoy it!
The Shrine of Sameiro is one of the greatest devotion centres to of the Virgin Maria in Portugal. Its construction was begun in the 19th century and ended in the 20th Century.
In front of the church there is grand stairway, at the top of which are two high pillars surmounted by the Virgin and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I took this picture -normally, I don't add photos of friends, but I like it!- because I wanted to remember that period, as the same time Yugoslavia was bombed by USA-NATO (most of the Greeks, including me, didn't want this to be happen)...
Not far away from the city, somewhere in northern Portugal (who knows exactly where...), there are such places, without tourists, even locals! At the picture, Andreas thinks that it is still... carnival.
Catch the suburban train from Sao Bento Train Station in Porto. Braga is about 2 hours by suburban train vs a 45min bus ride to/from Porto. I recommend taking the train in the morning also a slower, it's definitely worth the relaxing experience of having a closer look at the country-side, cute country houses, vineyards and all.
We came across another monasterio driving on the way down from Bom Jesus which is quite lovely, but I forgot the name...!
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte is located in a forested hill about 6km east from the Town of Braga.
You will find an impressive baroque stairway and on the top stands the beautiful church.
No no, this view over Braga Town is not the same as from Bom Jesus, it is from another angle but astounding as well.
So go to Sameiro sanctuary and take a good look :-)
Well, I think my photo says all; it is a great view over Braga.
It is a perfect place to see how Braga has grown.
Don’t miss, the view is amazing.
At the nearby villages, you can still see such old houses, almost forgotten by everybody... But how can memories die? Is it possible?