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A weekend in Melgaço

Melgaço is in Viana do Castelo district and known for being the most northern Portuguese town.

This is the land of alvarinho wine and deers.

Moreover, it includes the Castro Laboreiro little town.

In this article, you will find a list of the main interesting points in Melgaço.


Travessa da Lage Melgaço


Melgaço Castel – Donjon

This old fortification was built between the 12th and 13th centuries, under the order of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal.

So this is one of the oldest Portuguese monuments.

Today, only the donjon of this castle remains and it has a museum centre, where you can find an exhibition dedicated to the historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural heritage of Melgaço, from Prehistory to the Contemporary Era.

When going up the donjon, the views are breathtaking!




Archaeological Ruins of Praça da República

In the ruins, you can discover the medieval moat and several sidewalks. It is right in the middle of Praça da República.

Archaeological Ruins Praca da Republica Melgaco

Archaeological Ruins Praca da Republica Melgaco


Igreja Matriz de Melgaço (Mother Church)

The mother church was built in 1187 and is located in the historic centre of Melgaço. It has been rebuilt countless times to this day! It stands out its altarpiece, in the left side chapel, dated to the end of the 16th century, by António Figueiroa.



Solar do Alvarinho

Solar do Alvarinho was founded in 1997, with focus of promoting and defend Alvarinho wine. It had an important role in the development of the rural environment dynamism, as well as the production and commercialization of this wine.

Espaço Museológico Memória e Fronteira (Memory and Frontier Museum Space)

This museum focuses on the county's most recent history related to emigration and smuggling. In this space, it is possible to imagine the clandestine and dangerous life of many Melgacenses, in the decades of 1960 and 1970.

Film Museum Jean Loup Passek

This is a very interesting tourist spot for movie lovers. In this museum you will find gadgets, objects and even machines of the days before the cinema, as well as original posters on canvas, photographs and several documents.

The collection was donated by Jean Loup Passek and illustrates the course of cinema over time.

Film Museum Jean Loup Passek

Termas de Melgaço (SPA)

This SPA is located about 10 minutes by car from the centre and it was founded in the 19th century. With the slogan Vida em Pleno (Life in Plenary), it’s open all year and offers various health treatments. Moreover, it is surrounded by a beautiful park.

Núcleo Museológico de Castro Laboreiro (Castro Laboreiro Museum)

This museum is far away from the centre.

It is in Castro Laboreiro, in the Peneda Gerês National Park. You will take about 30 minutos from the centre, by car.

To arrive there, you can use the national road N202, or M501, followed by M 1140 and M1138.

The best path is the last one, in my opinion.

In this museum, you will have contact with the morphology of the territory, like the plateau, the soft and the inverneiras. Inverneiras are seasonal houses located in deep valleys and protected from storms, used in the winter season.

In addition, you will know the Castro Laboreiro culture.

Centro de Estágios (Training Centre)

If you like sport, take a look at the Training Centre. It receives athletes of diverse modalities and of all the levels of competition, reinforcing the sports tourism.

In addition to the sports arena, there is also a leisure area, with the Youth Hostel (Pousada da Juventude), a picnic area, mini golf, a children's playground, a swimming pool and an artificial lake.


More about Melgaço


Alvarinho Wine

The vineyards enjoy a special microclimate, with Atlantic exposure and high rainfall, atmospheric humidity, mild temperature and small thermal amplitudes.

The Alvarinho Wine is consumed still young, to emphasize the freshness of the caste. In addition, it must be consumed fresh, between 10º and 12ºC.

It is great for appetizers or accompanied by clams and fish or kid.

Melgaço Museums Network

This network was created to ease the knowledge and the visit of the museum spaces of Melgaço.

It includes the Museum Centre of the Castle, the Archaeological Ruins of Praça da República, the Museum of Castro Laboreiro, the Memory and Frontier Museum Space.

For those who want to visit all the museums, it is possible to purchase a single ticket that allows the visit to all spaces.

The price is quite attractive and cheaper than buying a ticket for each museum. Moreover, it is valid for 6 months!

Click here to know more about Melgaço Museums Network.

Alvarinho and Fumeiro Party

This gastronomic show takes place in April, with the goal of promoting the Alvarinho wine, as well as the smoke meat (fumeiro) and other local products.

Alvarinho route

The Alvarinho route is a territory with a vast natural and scenic heritage.

It includes the counties of Melgaço and Monção, going through the cellars that produce Alvarinho wine.

Melgaço em Festa

This celebration takes place in August and aims to celebrate not only the culture, but also to celebrate the return of many emigrants.

Castro Laboreiro Dog

The Dog of Castro Laboreiro usually keeps the herds and is one of the oldest breeds of the Iberian Peninsula.


The lamprey of Rio Minho is a delicacy of the region, so it can be found in several restaurants.

I am Nádia and I live in Oporto.
Since I was a little girl, I started traveling with my parents and the rest of the family when we did not have digital cameras or computers. We went mainly through the North of Continental Portugal, with the food already ready to have lunch in parks and with the intention of spending a good time together. Hence, my passion for this beautiful country grew.

Why not visit my blog Portuguese Landscape Blog

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