Although this nature park is actually a few kms south of the Geraz do Minho area, we decided to take the shortcut back to Lamego through it. The landscape is different here, coming into the area the slopes were either covered with man-made pine forests or looked like they had been clear-cut by logging activity. Something that I had never seen...more
Our all-morning long drive from Lamego was finally paying off as we climbed up into the Serra da Cabreira north of Cabeceiras de Basto. This quiet little road ran along the side of a valley, offering great views of the villages below. The sun had come out and there was very little traffic so we had a great time taking in the sights of this new (for...more
One final photo of a small village, near Campea, as we neared the end of our mountain drive and were only a few kms from linking up with the main highway leading back to Vila Real and then Lamego. It was very nice to get a bird's eye view of the scenery on this part of the trip!more
Lugar De Portas, Geraz Do Minho, 4830 315, pt
Good for: Couples
By 1:30 in the afternoon, we had wound our way up into the Serra da Cabreira on a pretty little highway that had virtually no traffic. Pulling off that road onto an even smaller side road, we found a beautiful little spot under the trees to have our makeshift lunch. We had not planned ahead properly on Saturday, so here it was a Sunday and we found...more
Although our menu was not too elaborate, we had the best view in the house! It was nice to sit quietly in the mountain air, enjoying the sunshine and the sounds of the birds chirping away. We got out of the car and wandered up and down the road a bit enjoying the bright yellow bushes and the green foliage all around us. A very peaceful place to...more
1 Reviews and Opinions
Our small Budget rental car, a Fiat Punto, served us well on our 10-day driving excursion around Portugal. It was just big enough to hold our two suitcases, small enough to negotiate narrow village streets and fast enough to handle the super-highways at 130 kph (80 mph) with ease. Having a standard transmission was no problem because I have one in my own Honda Accord! As far as air conditioning goes, I enjoyed driving with the window rolled down enjoying the breezes! Unlike in England, at least you do not have to contend with the extra complications of using the 'other' hand to shift and driving on the left side of the road! On the day that we toured the Minho, starting from and returning to Lamego, we put 300 km (190 miles) of often slow and twisty driving on our little car.
The Minho region is noted for producing Portugal's famous carbonated 'vinho verde' or green wines, which we occasionally enjoyed on our trek around the country. Everywhere we drove in this area, we saw vinyards growing in backyards, beside the highway and on hillsides. Here, we came across a typical arrangement at Moreira do Rei, east of Fafe,...more
On our way south from Cabeceiras de Basto, I was intrigued to see these tall Portugese-style haystacks outside of the village of Canedo de Basto! I don't know how they put them together, but it looks like a lot of work to me! A few vines growing in the foreground are probably used to help make some of the local wines!Update: VT-member 'JohntheFinn'...more
As we wound our way up and down the switchback roads to make our way through the Parque Natural do Alvao, just north and west of Vila Real, we could not help but notice how far down it was if you happened to go over the edge! These red and white stone blocks embedded in the ground were there to do 'guardrail' duties - and we saw quite a few of them that had been knocked out of the ground and were lying on their side! At one high point, we came around a turn to find the traffic stopped while a shepherd rounded up one of his wayward goats. I meant to get a photo of this fine beast as he walked down the road toward me but he suddenly bolted as he got closer. I guess that I should have had the shutter button partially depressed to prime the focus. It was too late when the camera finally decided to obey my command to SHOOT.
Once we had reached Cabaceiras de Basto, a few km east of Fafe, we decided to turn directly north into the Serra da Cabreira to have a closer look at the mountains in this area. As we began our climb out of the town, we passed by this older generation of highway bridge, gradually becoming overgrown. It spans the Rio Douro, not the one of Port wine fame, but just a small trickle flowing down off the mountain. Route 311 from here was very scenic as it wound up to the ridge at the top of the Serra which divides the Minho area from Tras os Montes.
Located in the far north of Portugal, the province of Minho holds great significance for Portugese as both the birthplace of their country, with its first capital at Guimares, and its main religious city of Braga. The region is heavily populated on its western edges, but further inland toward the mountains the area becomes very rugged.
Fondest memory: We chose to veer off easterly into the less sparsely populated areas to see some of the inland mountains. It was a good trip, but we ran out of time before we could make it all the way to the remote Parque Nacional da Peneda Geres along the Spanish border.