Visit Ponte de Lima
If you can bear to leave the pretty garden surrounding your pool, go to Ponte de Lima and enjoy the café society. Have a coffee on the terrace in the central square from where you can admire the view across the river, which is spanned by the ancient medieval bridge from which the town takes its name.
Take a picnic down to the river in Ponte de Lima
and have a leasurely lunch under the shady vines on the north bank. Here you can picnic, swim from the river beach and hire a canoe for a lazy paddle.
Mingle with the locals on market day
and browse the colourful stalls that fill the sandy river banks every other Monday in Ponte de Lima.
Stroll along the riverbank in Ponte de Lima.
For those who like to keep their feet dry there are paths stretching up and down the riverbank for about 3kms, past old restored gardens. Walk from the old Roman bridge down to the new crossing, cross and walk back into Ponte de Lima along the other river bank. Stop for tea before re-crossing the ancient bridge back to the car and home again.
Sample the local wine
and then stock up with supplies at the wine co-operative in Ponte de Lima. The Adega Cooperativa is in Rua Conde Bertiandos (near the hospital).
on the challenging 18 hole course in Ponte de Lima.
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.
Join in the local festivities!
at the 'Ferias Novas', Ponte de Lima's main festival which takes place over the third weekend of September. Among the many attractions are a funfair, a local market and a religious procession.
Head to the coast for the day
and discover the beautifully unspoilt beaches that stretch north and south of Viana do Castelo, just a 30 minute drive from the house.
at the beach of Afife, and spend a day in the water in what is a much sought after spot for keen surfers.
Laze on the sands
on the beach of the chic coastal village of Moledo. When you feel the need for some refreshment, a number a smart snack bars lie just behind the beach and form the ideal setting for having a drink whilst looking out to sea and watching the world go by.
For fantastic views across the ancient 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. Then head into the town and wander around the fascinating embroidery shops for which the town is famous.
Nothing but nature in the National Park of Peneda-Geres.
Drive for miles through the largely undiscovered beautiful mountain scenery of this stunning area of natural beauty. Whilst you are unlikely to meet a car, watch out for the mountain goats, who have right of way!
See another country - Spain!
Drive up the coast to the pretty waterside town of Caminha, from where a car ferry makes frequent trips across the small stretch of water that separates the north of Portugal from Galicia. This is a fun way to reach this beautiful corner of Spain, which boasts some superb beaches and is renowned for the quality of its seafood
Set aside a day to visit the World Heritage city of Porto
Will a day be enough time to fit in visits to the Planetarium to plot some of those stars you have been watching, to walk down the steep higgledy piggledy tiny streets that tumble down to the River Douro, to walk across the iron bridge built by Monsieur Gustav Eiffel, to visit the port caves and try that famous drink and to 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
Shop for ceramics
in the colourful Thursday market that is held in Barcelos. This is the largest market in Portugal, and is held every Thursday in a vast open square in the centre of the town. The town is the birthplace of the 'Galo de Barcelos', the small cockeral, which is widely represented in traditional ceramic throughout the country and will no doubt be found on one of the stalls.
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.
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 penitents climb up the steps on their knees.
Have you visited Quinta Souto Chão?
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