Traditional Portuguese Carnivals
This program of Traditional Portuguese Carnivals aims to promote traditional festivals of great ethno-cultural richness unknown to most visitors. HappyPortugal through TravelTailors proposes the best itinerary and suggests complementary activities such as donkey rides and wine tastings.
DAY 1: (SATURDAY): PORTO - BRAGANÇA
Arrival in Porto.
Porto is a charming city, situated on the slopes of the Douro River and close to its mouth. Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO thanks to its beautiful monuments and historic buildings, such as the imposing Cathedral or the Clérigos Tower, Porto is Portugal's second largest city and boasts superb views over the river and the world-famous Port Wine Cellars , On the opposite bank, in Vila Nova de Gaia.
The city offers a harmonious synthesis of ancient and contemporary attractions. Perched on top of hills and clinging to cliffs, Porto's attractive buildings, bridges and lamps keep the Douro River for centuries. Fiercely proud of their heritage, the citizens of this merchant city invested their blood and sweat in trade and wine. Porto is a city ready to work and fun.
Nightclubs and restaurants mingle with cathedrals, churches and museums in narrow alleys and wide avenues. There are many cafes scattered throughout the city, where you can relax after climbing the numerous hills of Porto. On the roofs there are red tile and on the facades, often tiles. The city of Porto is very compact, which is great for making explorations on foot, as long as you do not mind making an effort on the climbs.
Until 18h30: Visits and tests in the Port Wine Cellars.
Port wine is a world-famous liqueur wine, produced exclusively from grapes from the Douro region, about 100 km east of Porto. The wine took its name from the port, but it is on the opposite bank of the Douro, in Gaia, that the fifteen cellars, larger temples of this nectar, are installed. The visit includes proofs of different varieties.
Trip to Bragança.
Bragança is the capital of the region of Trás-os-Montes, in the northeast of Portugal. Little explored by tourism, this remote and mountainous region offers unique scenery, historic villages, natural landscapes and a rich gastronomy. Bragança is situated at the end of the Natural Park of Montesinho, one of the wildest forest areas in Europe, with a huge diversity of fauna and flora.
The town was born in the 12th century and the medieval town remains in the citadel worthily represented by the imposing Castle Tower, by Pelourinho based on a curious Lusitanian berrão, the Church of Santa Maria and Domus Municipalis, unique example of civil architecture. After D. Manuel had given New Foral in 1514, the development of the city was due to the presence of the bishops who resided here during half of the year.
The real and episcopal action memorized these times in the Church of Saint Vincent, in the Abbot Basque Museum, in the Chapel of Mercy, in the Church of Santa Clara and finally in the Cathedral. The history of the city is not complete without the visit of the nearby Castro de Avelãs Church, or with a walk to the Montesinho Natural Park, where there are still small community villages that are part of the regional heritage.
From 20h30: Suggestion to dine at a traditional Portuguese restaurant in Bragança.
Situated in the historic center of Bragança, this restaurant, opened almost 30 years ago, is a symbol of the gastronomy of the region. Do not forget to taste the pig bones to the transmontana, winners of two international competitions!
Accommodation in the hotel of the selected category.
DAY 2: (SUNDAY): BRAGANÇA - PODENCE - BEHIND THE MONTES OR DOURO
In this area you can marvel at the spectacle of the Almond blossom, Through the northeastern part of the Transmontano and to the Douro. In shades of white and pink, these trees give the landscape an unforgettable charm.
Suggestion: Visit to a reservation of mirandeses burros and donkey ride.
O Donkey of Miranda Has unique characteristics: dark chestnut color with lighter gradations on the sides and lower face of the trunk; Long and thick hair; big ears; Bulky head; Height higher than 1,20 m; Docile temperament. It is an endangered species and local associations struggle to preserve it by promoting activity as the walks, which are very pleasant to experience.
From 12h30: Suggestion of lunch in restaurant of traditional Portuguese food, in Macedo de Cavaleiros.
Housed in a well-restored old building, here we find a restaurant with a large and pleasant room, decorated in a rustic style with remarkable taste. The delicacies of the Trasmontana cuisine abound and are made with a sure hand.
Trip to Podence.
Podence is next to Azibo's Albufeira. This is a place of Birdwatchers, because they can see a great diversity of species, that finds here the ideal habitat for a season or for the whole year. Go through the Azibo rails, a network of pedestrian paths and marked bicycle paths, where there are plenty of reading and interpretation tables to help you identify fauna and flora. Also enjoy the archaeological remains from prehistory to Roman times, and admire the color of folklore and handicrafts, whose exponent is the Caretos, Curious disguises with which the inhabitants of Podence celebrate the Carnival.
From 15h00: Traditional Podence Carnival (Carthesians of Podence).
There is no Costume without problems. In Podence, a village in the municipality of Macedo de Cavaleiros, nothing, or almost nothing, holds the bands of Caretos who each year go out into the streets in rampant raids, chasing the Rattling. On the big days of the party, Fat Sunday and Carnival Tuesday, the Caretos only stop to enjoy themselves or to combine another onslaught on Largo da Capela, the small square of the village where locals and a handful of curious strangers Gather to watch the ritual.
The Caretos represent diabolical and mysterious images, that every year, from times lost in time, they go out to the street in the carnival festivities. Stopping the long silences of each winter, as if coming out secret and unpredictable from the nooks and crannies of Podence, [b] come hissing the Caretos and their frenzied rattles well crossed in the colorful fringes of thick blankets.
From 20h30: Suggestion to dine in an author's restaurant in Mirandela.
This TravelTailors proposal is located near the Tua River and is distinguished by the particularly attractive environment and décor. It serves an author's cuisine, where the regional products are highlighted and has an original menu of tasting of olive oils and Port wine.
Accommodation in the hotel of the selected category, in the Trás os Montes or Douro area.
DAY 3: (MONDAY) BACK THE MONTES OR DOURO
OPTION A: VISIT TO THE NATURAL PARK OF MONTESINHO.
Trip to Vinhais or Bragança.
Montesinho, in the northeast, is a fantastic mix of natural riches and ancient cultures. Dominance of shales and limestone stains in the plateaus and granite constitute the geological diversity of this space that, together with the climatic variants, originate a very varied flora, ideal habitat for animals such as the wolf, the boar, the deer, and the fence Of 240 other species. Montesinho, Rio de Onor, Pitões das Júnias and Guadramil are community villages that live in peace with nature and preserve the memory of rural life; Share the common good for all: the wood-fired oven, the threshing floor, the mill, the pasture, and the farmer's ox.
Before the Romans came to this territory, it was already so. Rio de Onor is the best preserved village of the Montesinho Natural Park; Curiously, is shared with Spain. One half is called Rihonor de Castilla and the other half is Rio de Onor, in Portugal. It divides after the bridge over the river, by an international tree and a plate that indicates the border. The inhabitants speak a very old dialect. It's Portuguese and it's Spanish. We also recommend a visit to the Biological Park of Vinhais, Which includes the interpretation center of native breeds (such as the lovely Mirandese donkeys, deer and wild boars, among other species) and the mountain biking or hiking trails.
From 12h30: Lunch suggestion at a traditional Portuguese food restaurant in Gimonde.
In the Natural Park of Montesinho, restaurant in typical house transmontana composed by two rooms. It is a cozy, friendly space in a typically Transmontano, rustic and cozy atmosphere, with a fireplace and wooden ceiling. Dishes well made and consistent, North fashion, of course. It also has a tavern and shop. From here you can bring some more liquor, cheese or ham.
OPTION B: VISIT TO FOZ CÔA'S ENGRAVINGS.
Trip to Foz Côa.
The region of the Côa Valley is internationally recognized for the importance of its Rock Art, which in 1998 was evaluated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This distinctive classification was the origin of the creation of the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley and the Côa Museum.
Suggestion: Visit to the Museum of the Côa and the engravings of Foz Côa.
The preliminary visit to the Museum helps us understand the engravings we will see below. Millennia after millennium, the shale rocks that delimit the bed of the Côa River have been transformed into panels of art, with thousands of engravings bequeathed by the creative impulse of our ancestors. Going back to the Upper Paleolithic, these outdoor panels and the identified habitats are testimonies of the settlement, of a vitality and of a mastery of conception and traits that have brought us 25.000 years of time.
This long art gallery gives us records of the Neolithic and Iron Age periods, transposing after a single breath two thousand years of history to establish religious representations, names and dates until a few decades ago. The three sites available for visit are located in the middle of the Côa river valley, accessible only by dirt roads (jeep). Visits depart from different sites: from the Côa Museum to Canada do Inferno, from the Reception Center of the village of Castelo Melhor to the Penascosa and from the Reception Center of the village of Muxagata to Ribeira de Piscos. Find out and book well in advance!
From 12h30: Lunch suggestion at a traditional Portuguese food restaurant in Foz Côa.
Everything is easily forgotten when we sit at the table in this house and we begin to eat rye bread and olives, accompanying some fried river fish or eels to the house. If the hunger is greater, choose the game that is very well made. All washed down with a red of the region, very good, in pitcher.
OPTION C: VISIT TO THE DOURO REGION.
Trip to Vila Real.
Vila Real is a beautiful and pleasant city, where the look is lost by the mountains that surround it. Whoever visits Vila Real will not fail to be surprised by the numerous stones of arms that ennoble the facades of many buildings. The city's coat of arms, engraved with a sword and a cane, sums up the story of his first earl. The first foral of Vila Real was granted by D. Dinis, in 1289.
Suggestion: Visit to the House of Mateus and gardens, in Vila Real.
The Casa de Mateus, built in the first half of the 17th century, is a baroque Composed of two lateral bodies connected by two perpendicular wings. According to some authors, Nicolau Nasoni will have had some intervention in the palace. The architectural complex is completed by the Chapel of the House, by the New Cellar (currently converted to temporary exhibition hall), Barrão (former barn) and, mainly, by magnificent French-style boxwood gardens.
The leafy garden that surrounds the site, besides its water mirror and boxwood areas, also has an area of intense agricultural exploitation and orchards, whose products (wines, jams and sweets) can be purchased by visitors.
From 12h30: Suggestion of lunch in an author's restaurant in Folgosa do Douro.
In what is one of the most beautiful scenic routes in the country, the restaurant chosen by TravelTailors is based on stakes, which extends along an elegant nationwide Over the river. It is a place of great beauty, which mixes the magnificence of the shale-covered vineyards with the stillness of the river Douro and the tranquility of the riverside villages, only awakens by the regular passage of the train. The creative matrix of Head Focuses on the use of genuine products of the Portuguese culinary tradition, using modern techniques and conceptions.
Suggestion: Sailing or boat ride rabelo in the Douro.
The Douro region has an astonishing landscape, largely thanks to the incessant and hard work of the people. The result is an extensive area of carefully crafted vineyards that meanders along the Douro River. By boat, the enjoyment is even greater.
Suggestion: Train travel along the Douro.
In this reunion with the past, the stars of the routes are carriages and steam and diesel locomotives that, on a trip to 30 km / h, are the memory of the time in which they ensured the connection between the localities and helped to make the flow of the famous Port wine. Accompany the river by the Douro Line, in a great engineering work that beats natural accidents through 26 tunnels and 30 bridges. The result is an unforgettable journey through scenarios of stunning natural beauty and tranquility.
Be aware of the older stations. Régua Station, which was the most important in the region, and Pinhão. It is one of the most beautiful in the country, with decorated façades of tiles, depicting works in the vineyard and landscapes.
From 20h30: Suggestion to dine in an author's restaurant in Peso da Régua.
Simultaneously restaurant, Winebar e lounge, Located in the warehouse of the railways, in the heart of the Douro region. The cuisine is modern and creative, based on the flavors of Douro. You can taste wines accompanied by products gourmet.
Accommodation in the hotel of the selected category, in the Douro area.
DAY 4: (TUESDAY): DOURO-LAZARIM
Visit to Quinta do Douro and wine tasting.
It is in the crib region of some of the most famous wines of the world that this farm is located, one of the most beautiful local properties, which translates the character of the landscape and the true spirit of the valley. Here, memory is on earth, in the aromas and knowledge that men have kept through generations. Try one Winetour With several wine tastings.
From 12h30: Suggestion of lunch in an author's restaurant in Peso da Régua.
This is a modern and sophisticated space, fronting the river Douro, which includes a restaurant and Winebar, in an exquisite environment. The cuisine combines traditional flavors with national and international trends, not to mention the strong connection to the wines of the oldest demarcated region in the world. The various suggestions can be accompanied by wine by the Douro Region.
Trip to Lazarim.
From 15h00: Traditional Carnival of Lazarim.
The Carnival of Lazarim, in the municipality of Lamego, is undoubtedly the most genuine Portuguese carnivals, keeping well alive ancestral traditions that have lasted through the ages. Shaggy wooden masks, sculpted by village craftsmen, are at this festive time used by young men and women, the Caretos and The. The reading of Comadre and Compadre's Testaments is one of the highlights of the celebrations. The girl begins to read Compadre's Testament and immediately cries out to the boys in the village. Next to him, the young man, well drab and well-mannered, with steady sideburns and a Sunday hat. Soon in the first block it is noticed that the toada of answer will be to the level of the one practiced by his colleague. The chase causes successive laughter in the crowd watching and having fun with the Shrewd social criticism.
Trip to Porto.
From 20h30: Suggestion to dine in an author's restaurant in Porto.
Opened in February 2003, the restaurant chosen by TravelTailors is located in the old town of Foz do Douro. It intends to differentiate itself not only by the richness of the menu, whose base is based on modern cuisine, although with strong influences of traditional Portuguese cuisine, but also for the environment and decoration. The gastronomic offer translates into several tasting menus.
Porto by night: Suggestion of nocturnal exit in High Low.
The night almost always begins in a centenary café and ready-restaurant with terrace, in a university enclave. Around it, there are several inviting spaces to have a coffee, drink a glass, snack, talk. If it is later, you can also go up to the dance floor.
Accommodation in the hotel of the selected category.
Day 5: (WEDNESDAY): PORTO-CITY OF DESTINATION
Travel to the destination city.