Outside Porto – Ponte da Barca

Explore the region near Porto with our tips! Today: Ponte da Barca.


In the North border of Portugal you can visit Ponte da Barca, a charming small town located 100 km away from Porto! Its name come from the fact that, before the construction of the bridge connecting the two margins of the Lima River in the 15th century, this connection was made through a boat – what in Portuguese we called “barca”. And this crossing was very much used by the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain!

ponte da barca

The best way of visiting this region is by car, so you’ll be able to explore some hidden places that are truly treasures in the area! After an hour-trip from Porto you’ll arrive at Ponte da Barca. Once there, explore the city by foot since everything here is pretty close. Walk through its center and discover some religious gems, like the main church – dated from the 18th century – and the Misericórdia church (16th century). Other historical points of interest are the Pombalino market, the Pelourinho and the medieval bridge:

Just 5 km away is Arcos de Valdevez, a village that had an important role in Portugal’s history! Back in the 12th century, this place was the scenario of a significant battle for Portugal’s independence against the Galician. Located in the Peneda-Gerês National Park area, take your time in Arcos de Valdevez. Enjoy the natural beauties of the region!

ponte da barca

From there, take a 20km ride to Soajo, a typical rural village that hides gorgeous secrets and views! Don’t miss a visit to the espigueiros – ancient constructions used to keep the corn safe from animals and weather conditions. Soajo has a great set of espigueiros and the oldest one date back to 1782!

ponte da barca

From Soajo you can go to Lindoso, another small village located deeper inside the Gerês Park. There  you will find an ancient castle, built in the 13th century by the King Afonso III! Near the castle you can find an amazing set of 67 espigueiros.

We hope you enjoyed our suggestions to visit Ponte da Barca and nearby beauties! And don’t forget: to truly discover Porto and ask all your questions about the North region of Portugal, join us in a tour!

Click here to discover more places you can explore near Porto :)

Photos: Doces Portugueses|TrekEarth|O Leme|Viaje Comigo|Moving Cause|Flickr|A Senhora do Monte|Vortex Magazine