From Oporto to Amarante

A drive that takes to one of the most beautiful and well preserved cities in Portugal, the birthplace of poets Abbot of Jazente and Teixeira de Pascoaes, and writer Agustina Bessa-Luis.

Depart from Oporto by the highway to Vila Real. As the route through the old road is much more interesting, exit at the toll in Penafiel. Just outside this town, look for the plains of Santa Marta, where you will find a beautiful Roman bridge, which they call the 'bridge of the Moors', Ponte dos Mouros. Shortly afterwards, following on foot, you will see the Santa Marta dolmen, or 'Moorish oven", Forno dos Mouros. Return to the car and continue the journey, but in Casais Novos make another stop at the house of Bolinhos de Amor: taste this specialty of Penafiel and see, right in front, the house where the poet Antonio Nobre used to spend his vacation. The house was at the time, a roadside inn and belonged to some ladies who knew the poet since their childhood, from the times when he vacationed nearby in the Casa do Seixo. Further, the beautiful Romanesque monastery of São Salvador de Travanca, established in the tenth century and with a beautiful doorway of four archivolts, is worth of a small detour. Be sure to visit it. Return to the road and continue the journey to Amarante. On Alto da Lixa, take time to admire the scenery that surrounds it. On reaching the village of Lixa, stop again and go to the viewpoint of Alto do Ladário for further sightseeing. If you like embroideries, you can get here the fine laces and embroidered linen and cotton, sold by the roadside, where you can also see the embroiderers at work. A little further, you will begin the descent to the Tâmega, to the spot where the then village and now town of Amarante emerged. Then make a walk through the old town, and have a taste of the famous Amarante cuisine.

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