Viana de Castelo can be found on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and on the bank of Lima River. This city is one of the central city in Northern-Portugal. There is an amazing view of the Lima River from the top of the city.
The legend of Lima River
In the first century the Roman legions arrived at the falls of the Lima River. They thought that they were at the gate of paradise and the river is the river of forgetting. Nobody had courage to put his feet into the river. Finally the Councillor step into the river. Then he had to convince the others that he did not forget anything. He called the name of each and every man. This way he could purport that Lima River is not the river of forgetting.
You can explore the city on foot, by bicycle, by car or by bus. The main sights are in the city centre, so you can reach them easily on foot. But if you want to see the coast and the outskirts of the city, you can do that by car (you can hire easily one). Traffic is light and roads are clearly marked.
Basilica of Santa Luzia has an excellent location. It is on top of a hill. Thanks for this, when you reach the top point of the Basilica, you will be amazed by the view. In addition, the Basilica was inspired by the Sacré Coeur de Montmartre in Paris.
Praça da República with a great fountain is one of the most beautiful squares in Portugal. This place is a good starting point to explore the historical centre of Viana do Castelo.
Santiago da Barra castle war a fort. It was built to protect the city from the attacks of the pirates.
If you do not like spend more days with sightseeing, you can visit the beaches. Most beaches along the coast have Blue Flag classification and they are not far from the city centre by car, it is only 10 minute drive. You can easily rent a car there.
Special dishes must be tasted. Local dish are bacalhau a margarida da praça (cod), pescada Vianense (local fish) and caldo verde (green soup).