Valenca do Minho Tourist Attractions
The ancient little town of Valença do Minho lies on commanding heights above the left bank of the River Minho, Miño in Spanish, which here forms the frontier between Spain and Portugal (frontier crossing). Nowadays there is hardly any sense of the past rivalry between the two states and there is a lively crossborder traffic between Valença do Minho and Tui on the other side of the river.
The Spaniards come to Valença do Minho chiefly to purchase cloth goods, especially terry towelling.Valença is busy on market day (Wed.); Thursday is market day in Tui.TownscapeThe old core of Valença do Minho is enclosed by the ramparts of its massive walls. Although the town was always strongly fortified, the present Fortaleza, or fort, is 17th C., in the Vauban style. From various points on the walls there are superb views over the "new" town, some way below, the Minho valley and the mountains of Galicia.Narrow alleys between whitewashed house crisscross the old town, and this is where the textile shops can be found. Buildings worth seeing are the Capela de Sao Sebastiao, the late 13th C. Igreja de Santa Maria dos Anjos, and the Igreja Matriz, which was founded as a collegiate church by Joao I in about 1400.
Monte do Faro
The Monte do Faro (566m/1,857ft; chapel) is about 7km/4.5mi southeast of the town, on the left bank of the Minho. From the top there are views far into the Minho valley, as well as eastward to the Peneda-Gerês National Park and westward to the Atlantic.
The old fortified frontier town of Monçao, situated on the left bank of the River Minho (Spanish Miño) opposite the Spanish town of Salvatierra de Miño, is now a spa, with hot springs used for the treatment of rheumatism, skin and bronchial ailments. The local delicacies are salmon trout and lampretes (lampreys).TownscapeThe centerpoint of the town, still surrounded by its 17th C. walls, is the flower bedecked Praça Deu la Deu. The square is named after the local hero, Deu la Deu Martins, who distinguished himself in 1368 in the battle against the Castilians and whose monument graces the square. Around the square and the adjoining Largo do Loreto there are many attractive balconied houses. The northern end of the Largo do Loreta has a broad view over the river landscape of the Rio Minho. Above the town are the ruins of a medieval castle.
The original Romanesque parish church of Santa Maria dos Anjos (Holy Mary of the Angels), remodeled in the 16th C., has a fine Manueline main doorway. Inside is the tomb of Deu la Deu Martins among others, as well as rich talha dourada decoration, and azulejos in the choir. A Manueline side chapel dating from 1521 is also worth seeing.
Palácio de Brejoeira
Peso de Melgaço
About 24km/15mi east of Monçao is the health resort of Peso de Melgaço (alt. 180m/590ft), with mineral springs used in treating digestive and metabolic ailments.
Map of Valenca do Minho Attractions