From Campo da Ataca to Caldas das Taipas

A tour through the area at the north of Guimarães with all the ingredients for a fabulous day: history, heritage, landscape. The Miradouro de São Mamede offers sightseeings that should not be missed.

The access to the Campo da Ataca is made by the road from Guimarães to S. Torcato and Póvoa de Lanhoso. After covering the first 600 meters, you will see on the left, the restaurant Florencio. Some 2 km later, turn right onto Campo da Ataca, where on July 24, 1128, was fought the São Mamede Battle, by which D. Afonso Henriques took a decisive step towards winning the County of Portugal. Passed a stone wall, you come to a threshing floor, where you will see 'Os Afonsinhos', symbolizing the fighters from eight centuries ago. Go left to Rua do Campo de Ataca (pay attention as this is a barely visible turn) and 8 km after São Torcato, go down to the left, leaving the EN 207-4, towards Póvoa de Lanhoso. Here are two deviations to the right to the Shrine of Porto d 'Ave, replica of Bom Jesus, built in the eighteenth century, thanks to the riches from Brazil. In the church there is a little museum of sacred art. Continue on the same road, go left and on the EN 207, follow the direction of Póvoa de Lanhoso. In the same direction, already on the EN 205, you will find the village of Fonte Arcada. Visit the church, a masterpiece of Romanesque in Minho, which is the only trace of the disappeared eleventh-century Benedictine monastery. People believe that the legendary Maria da Fonte would have been born in this parish. Continue your tour and visit the eleventh century Castle of Lanhoso, with its keep. This castle was almost completely destroyed in the seventeenth century to provide stone for the construction of the Shrine of Senhora do Pilar. Situated atop the massive Laje Grande, it is a privileged viewpoint over the valleys of the Cávado and the Ave rivers. Back from the castle, turn left in a visible fork. This link connects to EN 103, where you turn right and go about 5 km until you find the signs to the viewpoint of Sao Mamede or 'four rivers' - Minho, Lima, Cávado and Ave. Take a break and enjoy one of the best views of the Minho. Returning to Póvoa de Lanhoso, exit EN101 at the second junction ("Póvoa de Lanhoso / Cabeceiras'). Follow direction 'Taipas / Guimarães' and then 'Sameiro / Galegos'. In the way to Taipas you will pass through the Sanctuaries of Bom Jesus and of Sameiro and by Citânia de Briteiros. Always going down by EN 309, on your left you have an access to the Museu da Cultura Castreja, and a little farther, the crossing on the right to Caldas das Taipas, a spa dating back to Roman times, where the tour ends. Start: Campo da Ataca End: Caldas das Taipas Length: 80 km

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