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Amarante : A Romantic Getaway with Stunning Views

Updated: Jun 4


Amarante - São Gonçalo bridge

Introduction to Amarante


Amarante is a city north of Portugal, within the Tâmega e Sousa region. It is a city with a long history, dating back to the 10th century.


Amarante boasts a breathtaking natural landscape, with the Tâmega River running through and the surrounding mountains. The city is also rich in history and culture, with many monuments and museums.


Cultural and creative, Amarante was classified as a Creative City of Music by UNESCO in 2017.


Discover why Amarante has earned the nickname "City of Tâmega" by exploring its charming streets and picturesque surroundings.



Amarante natural beauty




The natural beauty of Amarante


The Tâmega River is one of the city's main attractions. The river is navigable and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water activities. The mountains and hills are great places for hiking, cycling, and outdoor sports.


This beautiful city is in the fertile Minho region, renowned for its Vinho Verde grapes.


What to visit in Amarante: main natural tourist attractions and landscapes


Explore the Historic Center of Amarante

  • Visit Ponte de São Gonçalo, a historic stone arch bridge over the Tâmega River.

  • São Gonçalo, the saint most closely associated with Amarante. He is buried in the Church of São Gonçalo, in a monastery named after him.

  • Check out the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Municipal Museum. It is dedicated to the famous Portuguese artist.

Enjoy the São Gonçalo Bridge

  • one of the most emblematic bridges in Portugal, built in the 15th century.

  • Offers panoramic views of the river and the historic city center

  • Popular photo spot


Visit the Church of São Gonçalo

  • It houses the tomb of São Gonçalo, patron saint of Amarante.

  • A beautiful example of baroque architecture

  • Sacred Art Museum with sacred art and artifacts


Walk the Route of the Romanesque

  • Discover bucolic landscapes

  • Admire the Romanesque architecture in centuries-old chapels and churches, such as the Church of São Pedro de Fins and the Monastery of São Gonçalo.


Visit the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum

  • Dedicated to the renowned Portuguese modernist artist Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso.

  • See paintings, drawings, and other works spanning the artist's career.

  • Located in a former monastery with charming gardens and a courtyard

  • Take a painting workshop with the artist.


Explore the riverfront

  • Walk or cycle the Ecopista do Tâmega along the river.

  • Mountain-bike through the Marão region

  • Relax on Várzea River Beach

  • See the picturesque water mills (Azenhas do Pinhão)


Take a boat or kayak trip on the river

  • Views of the city, bridge, and surrounding hills from the river

  • Guided and self-guided options are available.

  • Unique way to experience the scenic beauty of Amarante


Visit Casa da Calçada - Relais & Châteaux

  • Explore the botanical garden.

  • Appreciate the historic architecture.


Explore the landscape

  • The hills around Amarante offer hiking trails with panoramic views.

  • Visit wineries like Quinta da Lixa and Quinta de Ventozelo to sample local wines.

  • See historic monasteries like Travanca Monastery and Alpendurada Monastery.


Amarante water park (Parque Aquático)

  • A great option for those traveling with children

  • Largest park on the Iberian peninsula, with swimming pools and reamers

Play Golf

  • Golfe do Amarante was opened in 1997, and has 18 holes on the course

  • It has a restaurant with views of the countryside


Cooking class

  • Learn how to prepare traditional Portuguese dishes in a local class


Must-sees

  • Amarante Forest Park with trails for hiking, cycling, and outdoor activities. The park began to be planted in 1916 on the initiative of Antônio do Lago Cerqueira (former mayor).

  • Serra da Aboboreira: a mountain with panoramic views of the city and the region. You can even go rock climbing!


History and culture of Amarante


Amarante is a city with a rich history and culture. Founded in the 10th century, it was an important commercial and cultural center during the Middle Ages.


Some historians attribute the foundation of this transitional city, linking the provinces of Minho and Trás-os-Montes, to a Roman centurion named Amarantus.


Amarante is also the birthplace of São Gonçalo, one of the city's patron saints.


The São Gonçalo Bridge stands out: a medieval bridge that crosses the Tâmega River and the Monastery, a landmark of religious architecture.The bridge perpetuates the memory of the heroic resistance against Napoleon's troops, who invaded Portugal in the early nineteenth century.


The city preserves its Roman and medieval origins. A journey through time through historic streets and buildings.


There are also traces of the French Invasion throughout the city! The marks of cannonballs can still be seen on the façade of the convent. In the Church of São Gonçalo, it is impossible not to notice the sacristy screens pierced by bayonets. The Sao Gonçalo bridge is the memory of the heroic resistance of Portuguese troops against Napoleon Bonaparte's troops!


The city has elegant buildings with towers and trees falling into the river. It's worth taking advantage of the cafes and restaurants on the banks of the river.


Local Gastronomy: what to eat


The region's typical dishes reflect the richness of local cuisine. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation.


Try the roast lamb or the Amarante-style duck rice. Delicious! The wines produced in local vineyards perfectly complement the meal!


In fact, enjoy a tasting at a local winery and a picnic. I suggest Quinta do Covelo, 40 minutes from the city.


Conventual sweets represent local history and culture. Originally prepared by the nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara, they include:

  • Papos de Anjo: crescent-shaped sweets filled with eggs and almonds, covered with wafer and finished with sugar icing

  • Brisas do Tâmega: characterized by their boat shape, vanilla base, filled with the same mixture as Papos de Anjo and finished with sugar.


Buy at the Confeitaria Ponte, open since 1890.


Have coffee at the charming Café Moinho on the riverfront.


How to get to Amarante



Amarante is about 100 kilometers from Porto, the largest city in northern Portugal. It is easily accessible by car, bus or train.


If you are driving, the best way to get to Amarante is via the A4, the motorway that connects Porto to Braga. The journey takes about an hour.


Several bus lines connect Porto to Amarante. The journey takes about an hour and a half.


We rented a car in Porto and drove to Viana do Castelo, Braga, Guimaraes, and Amarante. This 3-day road trip is beautiful and romantic. We slept one night in Braga and one in Amarante. Highly recommend this journey to better enjoy this side of Portugal!


How to get around the city


Amarante map

Amarante is a small city, easy to get around on foot. But, a public bus service operates.

If you are visiting the city on foot, bring comfortable shoes. The streets of Amarante can be steep.


If you are renting a bike, be careful. Streets can be narrow in places.


Where to Stay in Amarante


Boutique hotels full of charm as Hotel Casa da Calçada - Relais Chateaux


Choose your accommodation here.


Rent an apartment or cottage in the picturesque countryside.


Conclusion


Ready for your Portugal Vacation? Explore Amarante! A destination with incredible landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Not to mention the gastronomy!

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