Valenca do Minho takes its name from the Rio Minho that runs through this natural and lush region of northern Portugal. Valenca is a border town that lies on the banks of the Rio Minho opposite Tui in Spain.
As a major starting point of the last 100km of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, Valenca gives a pilgrim a little taste of Portugal before heading on wards to Santiago in Spain.
So, what is there is to see and do in 24 hours in Valenca?
The Valenca Fortaleza
Valenca played a large role in the defence of northern Portugal from Spain, its dominating neighbour. The town underwent a massive fortification called the Valenca Fortaleza to deter invasion which is still standing to this day.
The fortifications are the most impressive in northern Portugal, providing layers of battlements and bastions which surround the entire city. Many pilgrims enjoy a pleasant walk around the Valenca Fortaleza to enjoy the spectacular views of the Rio Minho and Spain beyond.
The Historial Centre
Inside the fort, the small medieval town is a pleasure to wander around and explore. With a history of trading in brightly coloured linen and cloth items, there are plenty of small shops and market stalls selling beautifully woven-cloth items.
The historical centre has many restaurants to sample and enjoy Portuguese cuisine. As Valenca is so close to the Atlantic Ocean, fresh fish and seafood are available in most restaurants.
Crossing The Ponte Internacional Bridge
A pilgrim walking the Portuguese Camino de Santiago will need to cross the International Bridge over the Rio Minho that marks the open-border with Spain.
Igreja de Santo Estevao
While the Igreja de Santo Estevao has a common Portuguese baroque exterior, the interior has an extremely rare piece of Portuguese religious art of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus.
If you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.
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