Browse the stalls on market day in Barcelos
You are ideally located for an early morning trip to Barcelos market. This is the largest market in Portugal, and is held every Thursday. The town is the birthplace of the 'Galo de Barcelos', the small cockerel, which is widely represented in traditional ceramic throughout the country and will no doubt be found on one of the stalls.
Lie back in a hammock and listen to the peace and tranquility.
Have dinner cooked for you at home one evening. The owners of Casa da Sequiade are happy to arrange this service for you (payable locally).
Visit historic Braga
.....The city that will get to heaven first. The cathedral is the seat of the Primate of all Portugal and his magnificent palace is at the heart of the town. Only a short drive from the house by car, the city has a beautiful centre and is an appealing venue for meals and days out.
Walk in the footsteps of the pilgrims
up the steps of Bom Jesus do Monte, 3kms east of Braga. Set in the woods high above the city, this glorious ornamental stairway of granite is a monumental homage and is the object of devoted pilgrimage, where pentitents climb up the steps on their knees.
Spend a day lazing on the beach
on the long white sands of Ofir, said to be the best beach between Porto and Viana do Castelo. Forests of pine trees form the backdrop to the spectacular dune backed beach.
Have a drink on the terrace of a beachfront cafe in Esposende
a chaming seaside town, popular with the Portuguese and blessed with a lovely dune-backed beach of fine white sand.
Head a little further north up the coast and hire surboards
at the beach of Afife, a favourite haunt for keen surfers.
Visit the old shops in Barcelos
in Rua Antonio Barroso. It is pedestrianised so you can take your time to wander along it and find some old stores that haven't changed in appearance since they were first opened!
Spend a day in Ponte de Lima, one of Portugal's oldest towns
Spreading lazily along the tree-line banks of the river Lima, this is a beautiful town, with fine buildings and pretty cobbled squares. Visit on a Monday morning and you may be fortunate enough to witness the local market, which is held on the sandy river beach every other week.
The birthplace of the first king of Portugal. With its impressive medieval monuments, a charming labyrinth of narrow streets and general sense of grandeur, it is not hard to imagine that the attractive town of Guimaraes was once home to royalty. Guimaraes is a half hour drive from Casa de Sequiade.
Go to the opera
in July, when the Ponte de Lima Summer Festival of Opera and Classical Music is held, something that is fast becoming one of Europe's top cultural events. Performances take place in several venues including historic manor houses, local churches and the Teatro Diogo Bernardes, a 19th century theatre in Ponte de Lima.
at the challenging 18 hole course Ponte de Lima.
Set aside a day to visit the World heritage City of Oporto
Visit the Planetarium to plot some of those stars you have been watching. Walk down the steep higgledy-piggledy, tiny streets that tumble down to the river Douro. Cross the iron bridge built by Monsieur Eiffel. Visit the port caves to try that famous drink. Then rest your feet and take the Open Top Tour bus for a fabulous view of all the best landmarks.
Visit the port wine lodges
at Vila Nova de Gaia, just the other side of the Douro river from Porto. There are numerous lodges here, including Taylors, Sandeman's and Grahams.
For fantastic views over the historic port of Viana do Castelo
take the funicular to the church of Santa Luzia. If you do not suffer from vertigo, climb the dome and look out from the very very top.
Visit the charming fortress town of Valenca
on the border. Drive through the ancient archway that leads the way through the impressive town walls to discover cobbled streets and a delightful range of local shops selling the beautifully embroidered linen and towels for which the town is famous.
Hop on a ferry and visit Spain
Crossings from the pretty riverside town of Caminha to the Spanish town of la Guardia are every hour and the short journey across the water is a fun way to reach this lovely corner of Spain, which boasts some superb beaches and wonderful seafood restaurants.
Citania de Briteiros
One of the most impressive archeological sites in the country lies between Braga and Guimaraes, at Briteiros. It consists of more than 150 foundations for huts, two of which have been rebuilt in the style of the Celtic settlers. There is a network of paved streets, two rows of town walls, a bathhouse and even a public fountain all of which can be easily identified. Built on a hilltop, the site has great views over the surrounding area.
Witness a miracle!
The little town of Moure just 2kms west of Casa de Sequiade has witnessed two miracles. Every May 18th since 1996, the shadow of the top half of Christ appears in the church. On another occasion the head of Christ wearing thorns appeared on a communion wafer. It may be a trick of the light, but the church has become a minor pilgrimage centre ever since.
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