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Arcos de Valdevez, where rivers converge.

Arcos de Valdevez, where rivers converge.

Where rivers meet in Arcos de Valdevez.

We visited Arcos de Valdevez. A nice drink in a river pavilion, a short walk for a first impression and onward again. Arcos de Valdevez left a good impression, so my Patrona instructed some weeks later to drive there again. We follow the rule of thumb of always going inside on the outward journey, and possibly the return journey on the autostrada - the motorway - the toll road (sometimes).

The drive takes about 40 minutes and meanders on some bits. The road is good, although you should never adopt the speed of the Portuguese. After all, almost all of them have a "sporty driving style". And Portuguese roads on shortcuts regularly have obscure bends, corners, narrows, cattle crossing, wild elderly people with bundles of wood on their heads. In short, be careful. The shortcut from Barreiros passes the small town of Ponte de Barco - certainly worthwhile - but otherwise it is all hamlets: you can also drive via Ponte de Lima. Arcos de Valdevez is above Amsterdam Level, like almost the whole of Portugal, and that leads to beautiful views. We enjoy the agriculture, but also look with suspicion at the houses atop the mountains. Those residents must have gigantic views throughout the year. What do they do it on? Who carries the groceries up there?

But you go for Arcos de Valdevez. City against the mountains. The city arose at the intersection of several rivers. Rio Lima. Rio Vez. Rio Azere. Rio Cabreiro. Multiple rivers lead to water violence. Water violence in the old days meant that people started building on higher ground. Poor families lived in risky parts, near the river. They had no money for stone. Stone houses are now found everywhere, unfortunately, as the wooden structures of those days have disappeared.

Arcos de Valdevez is [again??], bisected by the river Lima. Where the city's economic centre is now, used to be the risk area. So on the other side of the river are the historical sites: Manor House Giela the castle can be seen from afar, the old churches, historic buildings.

This relatively small town hosts the biggest carnival in northern Portugal every year! Just Google it. And the city has beautiful hiking trails of several kilometres and with moderate to considerable height differences: recreational as well as challenging for active sportsmen and nature lovers. The city has many water-related interesting places to see. Cascades, or water rapids, as well as water delays. A promenade walk takes you to the fish ladder, where you can find fish on their way up and easily visible in this clean clear water. Several bridges give opportunity to enjoy the different viewpoints on the city and the water. Oh, yes and those Arcos, which is the beautiful bridge over the Lima. Not medieval, but no less photogenic.

We ended, of course, with a Vinho Verde on the Lima shore. Nice outing. Start at the tourist centre!

Arcos de Valdevez is easily accessible via both the National Route, and the Autostrada.

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Published 17-01-2024 / Copyright © Villa Branca Barreiros Bed & Breakfast AL/98139