A trip through the Alto Minho
Visitors can reach the mountains of the Serra de Soajo via the national road EN 203 that runs parallel to the left bank of the River Lima. The route is signposted from the city of Viana do Castelo to the frontier with Galicia. In the town of Ponte da Barca, you may choose whether to continue along the same road, or cross the river in direction towards Arcos de Valdevez and then follow your journey along EN 202. Both routes penetrate the mountains and lead to the village of Soajo - a natural starting point in order to discover the local culture, heritage and varied and spectacular natural beauty of this mountainous region.
In the 13th century the King, D. Dinis granted special privileges to the local inhabitants, establishing that no nobleman could stay in the village, except in the presence of the King himself, "for any longer than it takes for bread to cool on the point of a lance". Today, the privileges accessible to visitors include archaeology and art, green terraced slopes overlooking crystal clear waters, a rich and varied gastronomy complemented by the local vinho verde wine, and of course the local population which is harmoniously integrated within its surroundings.
In order to sense this unique experience more intensely, spend the night in one of the village houses, where you'll find full modern comforts allied to respect for tradition.
Take the chance to discover the abundance of life found in the Peneda Gerês National Park, and contact the Park Services, who organise pedestrian walks, and may help you discover the riches and variety of animal and plant life and the singular forms of habitat that have originated a natural architecture which is adapted to the needs of a mountain economy, based on indigenous breeds, in small-scale pastoral systems and community practices of management of the local area.
If you travel during the spring or summer, don't forget to bring your swimming costume. The wide variety of fresh water streams in the area form beautiful natural lagoons that invite us to take a dip.