The gardens are magnificent!!! Sculpted bushes, flowered plants, well taken care off trees, … so many things to see and say!! Ponds, birds, clean paths, … The most famous part of the gardens is the tunnel that is composed of bushes – the bushes have grown so big that there is a huge (and dark) path underneath. Seen from the outside it is so well...more
We didn’t have the chance to visit the house inside as we didn’t book in advance and that day some pupils from local schools were visiting. So they didn’t allow more visitors inside as there is a limited number of visitors. The house nowadays is inhabited by the descendents of its first owner, so only a part of it is “visitable”. Although we...more
This is a beautiful palace situated about 3km off Vila Real. It is considered as one of the best examples of civilian Baroque architecture in Portugal. It was built in the 18th century. It is possible to visit the house and/or the magnificent gardens. To visit the gardens the entrance fee is 3.5 euros per person (May 2004) and to visit both the...more
The Church of São Domingos is a beautiful and interesting cathedral to visit. It was originally the church of the Dominican convent with the same name. Over the years it went through refurbishment and some new constructions, as was the case of the belfry added in the 18th century. In 1837 it burnt in a severe fire but it was rebuilt afterwards; in...more
Also on this same square we came across a beautiful manor house that seems to host some public service, although I didn’t find much info about it. As we visited on a Sunday it was closed and we could freely walk around and go up and down its main stairs. On top of the main stairs there is a white marble piece on the wall, which is a tribute to the...more
Legend says that the Portuguese sailor who “discovered” the mouth of Zaire in the 15th century, and also explored the West coast of Africa, was born in this medieval granite house. His name was Diogo Cão and the house is nowadays, obviously, named after him. The North of Portugal and this particular area was the birthplace of prominent figures in...more
Great foodGreat Portuguese, Spanish and Swiss dishes at affordable prices in friendly environment. The salad is great, as well as the soup and deserts. The place is run by a family from Northern Spain and Portugal who worked in Switzerland and pride themselves on high standards of hygiene. The location is on the left side of the road from the...more
Restaurant at the Hotel Quality Inn Casa da Campeã is very good. There you may enjoy some traditional food from the North Portugal and also the good wines from the Douro region (Ocotber 2004). Restaurant is not too big so you may reserve ahead as we did – at the reception desk you may choose from the varied menu what you want and order it to a...more
We had dinner twice in the Inn where we stayed – Quinta do Paço (May 2004). Their restaurant is very pleasant; it has a kind of selected ambiance but with traditional Portuguese food. Food is very good and so is service. We got the idea that the restaurant was very popular among locals, as the restaurant always had more costumers than the Inn. The...more
The best way to go to Vila Real from Porto is by bus.The address of the bus station, at least for Rodonorte, is: Rua D. Pedro de Castro, very close to the very city centre.From Porto, there are at least two companies that link both cities.* Rodonorte:- Bus station: Travessa Passos Manuel/Ateneu Comercial do Porto (in front of Restaurant Abadia do...more
Accesses to Vila Real are good and fast by those traveling by car – coming from Lisbon or Porto there are highways – and exits are well signalized. But don’t drive too fast as the landscape is gorgeous!! You will be driving across Serra do Marão, a beautiful mountain. Once in Vila Real I’d advise everyone to park in city centre and walk, as...more
Casa de Mateus has a shop that sells local products.
I highly recommend buying fruit jams and wine. There are several makes of jam, which vary from diet to one that looks like homemade. I bought some jars of the homemade variety and it was fabulous!! Both the one I bought for us – pumpkin and nuts – and the ones I bought to offer – berries – we so good, … yummy.
Wine is also very good there, and they have a large selection from red to white, and from different harvests.
When I was wandering about, I happened to find this church, and I even couldn't find the name until I was about to leave the city. Wonder how? Thanks to a postcard!The last pic shows the statues of S. Francisco D. Assis e S. Domingos that are outside the church.more
Alvão is a mountain near Vila Real. Apart from visiting the mountain – which is beautiful – there is also a protected national park that includes some small villages “lost” on the slopes of the mountain. One of these villages is Ermelo where there are a series of houses build in stone and where time seems to have stopped. Near Ermelo there is a...more
This main street (Avenida Carvalho Araújo), with a garden dividing both lanes, is ideal for a stroll on a sunny afternoon.On both sides of the street you may admire some interesting houses and manor houses. Some of them have details which characterize the Portuguese architectural Manueline style. This style shows a lot of details which come from...more