Vila Praia De Ancora, Portugal is a little city located on the Atlantic Ocean and a favoured stopping point on the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago.
Nestled in a valley, the city is protected from strong winds by the Serra D’Arga hills to the north, and the Monte Santa Luzia to the south.
The city has its origins in palaeolithic times and there are many megaliths in the area, most notably the “Dólmen da Barrosa” built in the city itself (see below).
Legend has it that the origin of the name Âncora was due to the assassination of the queen D. Urraca by the king D. Ramiro II, who drowned her in the river with an anchor (Âncora in Portuguese) around her neck as punishment for adultery.
In 1924, the town was elevated to the rank of city, and received its current name of Vila Praia de Âncora which translates into “Beach City of Anchor”.
So, let´s take a look at things to see and do in 24 hours in Vila Praia de Ancora.
Without a doubt, the beaches surrounding Vila Praia de Ancora are the main pull to the area. Still relatively undiscovered in terms of mass tourism, you will be greeted by white, sandy beaches, most of which have a natural feel with plenty of space to settle down for an afternoon of sun-worshipping.
The beaches are also popular with surfers – if you are feeling energetic after your day on the Camino, you can take a lesson with one of the surf schools in the area.
Seafood is the dish of the day in most restaurants – Vila Praia de Ancora has an excellent reputation for its gastronomy, and even holds a festival of The Sea and Sardines In early July. Savour Atlantic sardines at the festival celebrating Ancora fishermen that is held every year around this time.
Dolmen da Barrosa
Also known as the “Lapa dos Mouros,” Dolmen da Barrosa is a megalithic monument of the late Neolithic. Dolmen da Barrosas, which is considered to be one of the most important megalithic monuments of its kind in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, has been classified as a national monument since 1910, and it is estimated to be over two thousand years old.
Forte da Lagarteira
Forte de Lagarteura is situated in Vila Praia de Âncora, so it is also called Forte de Âncora. The fort was built in the 17th century and is part of the set of fortresses of the Portuguese coastline, built to defend the coast against the attacks of the Spanish Armada.
Vila Praia de Ancora Church
Vila Praia de Ancora´s parish church was built in 1360 in the typical fashion of churches from this era. Located in the central square of the city, the church has three naves, and a neoclassical altar with images of Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Peter. The altar of the left nave is baroque and houses the images of Our Lady of Rosary and Madonna and Child.
If you visit Vila Praia de Ancora on the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago, I hope you enjoy your 24 hours.
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.