Caminha is a beautiful town and one of my favourite places on the Portuguese Coastal Camino De Santiago. It has a little of everything; white, sandy beaches, a quaint medieval town surrounded by a backdrop of lush, green hills, not forgetting the Minho Estuary that begins at Caminha.
Caminha played a historical role in the defence of northern Portugal against their neighbours, Spain. It is a fortified town with many of the historical walls and building still remaining, today. Thankfully, Caminha is on good terms with Spain and the town is a popular destination for weekend breaks.
So, let´s take a look at the things to see and do in 24 hours in Caminha.
Town Square & Praca do Conselheiro Silva Torres
The town´s main square is set around the Praca do Conselheiro Silva Torres, a 16th-century fountain that gives the plaza a medieval feel. The town square itself is a delightful mix of cafes, restaurants and bars to enjoy a meal or drink and watch the world go by.
Other buildings of note in the square are the Palace of Pitas 15th-century Gothic building whose façade, covered in coats-of-arms, boasts accoladed windows. In the north of the square, stands the Clock tower (Torre do Relogio), a 14th-century relic of the fortifications of the town.
Caminha is well known as a dynamic craft centre, specialising in leather products. There are many small souvenir shops located in the square and around the town to pick up a special gift to take home with you.
Igreja Matriz de Caminha & Igreja de Misericordia (Mercy Church)
The Igreja Matriz is Caminha´s main church retaining the status of a national monument. Built in the 14th-century as part of the town´s fortifications, it is a beautiful church that was built with the riches of the Age of Discover which meant that the small town of Caminha deserved the grandest church money could buy.
The Igreja da Misericórdia (Mercy church) was built in the 16th-century and provided spiritual and physical assistance to parishioners and pilgrims en route to Santiago. This church has functioned as both hostel and hospital at various points.
Photo Credit Journal Terra E Mar
Rua Direita (Renamed Rua Ricardo Joaquim Sousa)
Locals still refer to this ancient street as “Rua Direita” which leads directly from the Clock Tower down towards the Rio Minho.
The street is the focus of the town´s nightlife with the ground floors being the homes of bars and shops. For the younger crowd, the area closest to the Clock Tower is the more lively part of the street with the Rio area enjoying a more sedate nightlife.
Train Station Azulejos
For those of you interested in the Portuguese Tiles called “Azulejos, a visit to Caminha´s train station is a must.
Azulejos are hand-painted tiles which Portugal is famous for and a visit to the train station will give you a colourful colourful glimpse into the history of Caminha.
Beaches Close To Caminha
If the beach is calling you on a visit to Caminha, you will be spoilt for choice. There is a wooden boardwalk that will take you directly to the river beach at Foz do Minho, or visit the ocean beach surrounded by the Camarido pine forest.
If you would prefer a more touristic beach with all the facilities, Moledo beach is a short walk away. In front of Moledo Beach is a small rocky island that can be visited by boat. On the island is the Ínsua Fortress, built in the 15th century as a convent before, in the 17th and 18th centuries undergoing conversion work that transformed it into a coastal defence post.
Here at Wild Camino Journeys, we offer Guided and Self-Guided Journeys along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. If you would like us to take care of the mundane leaving you to enjoy the magic of the Camino, contact us to discuss to your Portuguese Camino de Santiago requirements.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.