Vale do Lima - Land of Treasures


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Descubra o vale do Lima

 Ponte da Barca

 Passion for Nature…

Visit Vale do LimaPonte da Barca is located on the left bank of the Lima River. It owes its name to the barge (barca) that crossed the river until the end of the 15th century when the bridge was built. Besides carrying cargo the barges ferried pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The bridge (ponte) substituted the Medieval barges and the name of the town therefore honours both.

The town presents a picture of granite houses and aristocratic buildings surrounded by a green environment and the historic centre has a number of manor houses some of which have been preserved as special places to stay for visitors and tourists seeking peace and tranquillity.

The patrimonial wealth and conservation of the Lima Valley owes much to Ponte da Barca as the town is located at the ‘gateway´of the Peneda- Geres National Park offering the chance to experience its natural wonders and activities including the “Mata do Cabril” and the vast Alto do Lindoso hydro-electric dam, one of the biggest infrastructures of the region.

Canoeing on the river is a popular pastime and the river banks and pathways are perfect for a leisurely stroll to admire the scenery and wildlife.

Know more: www.cmpb.pt

Fernão de MagalhãesPortuguese navigator that became well known as the commandant of the fleet with 11 voyages around the world. His birth date is unknown. There are also doubts concerning his birthplace. To some it was probably in Entre Douro e Minho, in Ponte da Barca, to others in Trás-os-Montes and to others in Oporto.

His voyages started in 1505. First he travelled to India, where he took part in the “Runes Battle” (1598), in the Conquests of Goa (1510) and Malaca (1511), and according to some authors, in the António Abreu expedition to Molucas (hodierna archipelago in Indonesia). After 8 years of military activity , he returned to Portugal and immediately set sail in the fleet commanded by D. Jaime, Duque of Bragança and that conquered Azamor (1513). Disagreements with King Manuel, led him to Spain, where together with the cartographer Rui Faleiro got political and financial support to carry out his projects: reach the Molucas, the celebrated “spices’ islands”, through a maritime passage, that in south America would link Atlantic to Pacific, finding evidence at the same time that these islands on the other side of the world were situated within the Spanish territories according to the Tordesilhas Treaty (1494). Therefore, on the 2oth of September 1519, he left S. Lucar de Barrameda, with a fleet of five ships and 250 men crew (30 Portuguese). After a difficult voyage – mutinies, shipwrecks, illnesses and death – he found the passage between the two oceans, in November 1520, through the Estreito de Magalhães. . He died in a fight with natives a few months after he had entered the Pacific, on 27th April 1521, in Cebu (Philippines). Sebastião de Elcano finished his mission. Unable to return by the same route he sailed to Indico and after that through the well-known route of Cape of Good Hope, and arrived in Spain, at s. Lucar de Barrameda, on 6th September 1522, only with one ship and a 18 men crew. And the voyage started by Fernão Magalhães that sailed around the world and proved that the Earth was round, was concluded this way three years later.

Maria Augusta Lima da Cruz

Ponte da Barca and Fernão Magalhães (1480 to 1521)

Visita o Vale do LimaI had only heard of one of these men before being invited to follow the route. Fernão Magalhães is known to English speakers as Ferdinand Magellan, the man who proved the Earth is round by circumnavigating the globe. Son of a local noble family, he grew up in Ponte da Barca at a time when the surrounding area was controlled by three separate monasteries and a castle.

Only the faintest trace of Castelo da Nóbrega remains but the panoramic views are timeless, stretching from the ocean across the mountains and valleys and into Spain. I visited two of the three monasteries nearby. Crasto monastery retains some traces of its Romanesque origins but has changed a lot since the 16th century and not always for the better. Bravães monastery, on the other hand, is a wonderful example of 12th and 13th century stonemasonry and Romanesque architecture.

Ponte da Barca itself is a pretty riverside village with a 15th century bridge over the River Lima and a small Roman bridge over the River Vaz as well as a Roman road. The riverside Ecovia runs all the way from here to Viana do Castelo via Ponte de Lima, the next stop on the route, so you can walk or cycle there or even canoe.

Julie Dawn Fox



Visit the Lima ValleyCentro Histórico (Historical Center):
Igreja da Misericórdia (old hospital)
Ponte Medieval sobre o rio Lima

Ponte Romana sobre o Vade

Terras de Magalhães (Paço Vedro)

Castelo da Nóbrega ou do Livramento

Mosteiro de Vila Nova de Muía

Mosteiro de São Martinho de Castro

Mosteiro de Bravães


Posta Barrosã
Os Magalhães (traditional pastry from Pastelaria Liz)
Vinho verde Vinhão e Loureiro Adega Cooperativa de Ponte da Barca

Centro de Artesanato e Solar do Vinhão

Castelo do Lindoso

Visit the Lima Valley Aldeias de Portugal – Lindoso, Ermida e Germil


Parque Nacional Peneda Gerês (10 trilhos)

Trilho de Bravães

Trilhos de Vila Nova e de Ermida

Ecovia Ponte da Barca – Bravães



For accomodation and Route bookings, please contact:
CENTER – Central Nacional do Turismo no Espaço Rural
Tel: +351 258 931750 ou info@center.pt
www.center.pt I www.solaresdeportugal.pt
www.casasnocampo.net I www.aldeiasdeportugal.pt

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