Ponte de Lima is our destination of choice for March 2020. It's a fantastic time of the year to venture to the Minho region and explore this adorable village!
Lots of history and rich cultural heritage
Ponte de Lima is the oldest village in Portugal, founded in 1125 by Dona Teresa, D. Afonso Henriques ́ mother. Due to its location near the border with Spain and north of the cities of Braga and Porto and being the only safe place to cross the river Lima, it had a strategic relevance during several years of battles. Besides the historical heritage and medieval small centre, the town also has beautiful gardens, quirky streets and interesting manor houses, which are a joy to explore on foot.
Culturally the village is also quite surprising. Despite its small size, there are fairs, local markets, museums and other initiatives showcasing the best this region has to offer.
Beautiful Natural Surroundings
Located right in the middle of Minho, in the midst of a beautiful green and rural scenery, Ponte de Lima has a fabulous location. In half an hour you have plenty of options: go for a swim in one of the gorgeous beaches of the northwestern coast, visit Viana do Castelo, explore Peneda-Gerês National Park, cross the border to Spain and try a tortilla de patatas or get to know some of the prettiest churches in Braga. It also is only within an hour drive from Porto and the airport, which makes it easily accessible.
Apart from all these highlights the natural surroundings around town are delightful and include cool hiking trails, amazing crystal clear lagoons, nice paths to cycle along the river Lima and a truly peaceful atmosphere to just rest and relax.
Warm and welcoming people
It's no news people from Minho are particularly welcoming and nice. They're also honest and assertive and they'll tell you what they think without going around in circles. For us, they're the perfect greeting card for Ponte de Lima and the region they belong to.
It's common to visit a small village from Minho for the first time, ask something to a local and end up chatting away endlessly about all sorts of things. It's a kind of special power that has to do with the simplicity and genuine posture of the minhotos, that disarms and embraces even the ones that feel slightly unsure.
Great food and Vinho Verde
It goes without saying that Portuguese love food and the Minho region is well known for its bold flavours and heavy dishes. Ponte de Lima is of course a good place to try all of the traditional dishes.
During the cold months there is a special treat, which is so tasty as it is odd looking. Did you guess? Yes, we are talking about lamprey! During this time of the year these "snaky fishes" return to the river to lay their eggs, which is when they're caught and turned into heart warming crowd pleasers.
In mid April there's even a weekend dedicated to this adored slippery creature, during which all the local restaurant focus on preparing the best dishes highlighting lamprey.
Naturally any dish should (let's say must!) be washed down with generous portions of vinho verde, the local wine.
If you're thinking of paying Minho a visit, drop us an e-mail and we'll help you plan an unforgettable trip that obviously includes Ponte de Lima! Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our news and special offers.