Everyone is different about what they enjoy the most. After three days in Lisbon, we took the train north to Porto and stayed in Vila Nova de Gaia for three nights. Three nights/days was better than the two we had spent before on a previous trip but we still felt that we didn’t see everything that we wanted to. Looks like we need to return to Porto again.
We picked up our rental car in Porto and headed out to the Douro Valley for two nights. I have to admit the scenery was gorgeous and the drive from Peso da Regua to Pinhao was one with numerous stops. Our day trip to Lamego and the the Shrine of Our Lady of Remendies was one of high spot for us. Then again, it was raining much of time in the Douro Valley.
From the Douro Valley, we drove to Viana do Castelo. I had hoped to stop in Guimaraes but the rain was in a deluge kind of level and we decided to drive on to Viana do Castelo. Yes, we need to go back to Guimaraes that missing was a big issue for me as a lover of history. Our side trip to Geraz do Lima Carriage Museum was one of the high spots of the entire trip. Fabulous carriage museum and having the 96 year old wife of the creator of the museum with us every step of the viewing the collection with her grandson was over the top interesting for me.
I am SO glad that we decided to visit/spend three nights Viana do Castelo. We stayed at the Pousada and I had written them about getting a good room with a view. We had a totally awesome corner room with a view of the Santuario de Santa Luzia and the on the other side of Atlantic Ocean. Even our bathroom had a spectacular view! We loved the funicular to get down to the town and up. Yes, they have a senior discount.
We were able to experience the May 1st celebrations including a great drumming ceremony that included Portuguese bagpipes. Then there were a several groups in costume that did singing with traditional instruments playing. Just a perfect time spent. Both Hubby and I agree that we have to go back to Viana do Castelo since it is a city with the size we love, gorgeous architecture, great pastry shops, welcoming people and great walkability.
On one of the rainy days, we drove up the coast to coast to Caminha and we know we need to return to. I think our best drive was to National Park of Penda-Geres National Park and Lindoso and then back to Ponte de Lima. Definitely, we need to spend more time in this area and not be dodging rain drops.
I already have a long list of places to return to. So much more we need to explore in the Minho that we have only started to experience. Yes, another trip is definitely needed. Yes, I am already plotting my next trip. Hubby has found a jazz festival in Guimaraes in mid-November. Just might happen but not sure if it will be this year…