Cities and Markets
We are located in the small village of Vale between the towns of Arcos de Valdevez, and Ponte da Barca. Both of these towns are about 7km from us. Both have supermarkets for general shopping and they take it in turns to host a weekly Wednesday market. At the market you can find everything you need from locally produced fruit, vegetables, olive oil and honey, to clothing and pottery. We aim to get most of our supplies from the weekly markets. They are also a great place to buy souvenirs of your stay.
Further afield you will find larger cities and towns. Just 20km from us is the town of Ponte de Lima. Situated on the banks of the Rio Lima, this ancient town is said to be the oldest in Portugal. It has an beautiful medieval bridge over the river and hosts a huge market every other week. The market takes place right on the bank of the river. In the town itself you can explore the twisting lanes and beautiful old buildings.
Braga and Guimarães are very close together and are very close to us. You can get there by car in as little as half an hour on the motorway although the twisty national road is a much more enjoyable route. Braga has many attractions including the sanctuary of Bom Jesus. It also has a wonderful historic centre which you can explore by foot. During holy week Braga is a hive of activity with many religious festivals and processions. This city is also home to Portugal’s oldest cathedral. Guimarães is definitely worth a visit as well. You can spend many hours exploring this Unesco World Heritage city, said to be the birthplace of Portugal.
Barcelos, about an hour away from Vale is not only a beautiful place to visit, but every Thursday it plays host to Europe’s largest open air market. The hustle and bustle is quite something with all sorts of things for sale. Huge market stalls to little old women selling a couple of kilos of beans from their garden. The drive to Barcelos is also spectacular.