The north is famous for the richly-coloured embroidered festival dresses of Viana do Castelo, finished in gold and filigree. And the ‘boyfriend’s handkerchief’ has become famous, traditionally embroidered by young women as a gift for their sweethearts.
In Barcelos, the main place for the red earthenware of the north, Thursday is market day and you’ll certainly see some fine examples. Barcelos is also home to unusual toy whistles and the clay figures made popular by Rosa Ramalho, depicting gods, devils and imaginary beings.
Tour the various handicraft workshops in the 13 councils of the Alto Minho and appreciate the range of work on offer - from ceramics, weaving, basketwork and embroidery to lacework, wood carving and toys.
Learn from the artisans as they tell you the secrets of a trade that has made an art form out of people’s pasts. See examples of surviving medieval skills and visit workshops with the master overseeing the work of his assistants and apprentices as they seek to learn his art.
And in these same workshops, buy some examples of this craftsmanship (all are certified by a Seal of Guarantee). Take home a reminder of the people of the Alto Minho.