Melgaço

Where is it?

Melgaço is the northern municipality (“concelho”) of Portugal. It’s located on the portuguese bank of the Minho River which acts as a natural border separating Portugal from Galicia – Spain. Check it on Google Maps

How to get there?

The closest international airports are Oporto (Portugal) (approximately 150km/99,4miles away by car) and Vigo (Spain) (approximately 70Km/44,5miles by car).

From Oporto:

By Car – renting a car is probably the best option. It’s the fastest way to travel (should take less than 2 hours) and it will also provide you with your own transportation to explore Melgaço. There are 2 motorways towards the north, taking the A3 from Oporto to Valença is the shortest and more comfortable way but requires a payment of 7.85€ (cheaper for motorcycles, more expensive for vans, trucks, etc…). Helpful links: Oporto-Melgaço Google Maps; Avis Rent-a-Car

By Bus – Buses to Melgaço leave from near the Trindade Metro Station – Oporto but the trip takes usually more than 3hours, honestly it’s boring! Helpful Links: AV Minho Bus (timetable in portuguese – first one Melgaço->Porto; second one Porto->Melgaço)

By train – Train is a bit faster than the bus but it will only take you to Valença, from there you’ll have to get some other transportation to travel the remaining 40Km/25miles to Melgaço. Helpful link: CP

Reasons to visit:

I hope I’ll show you myself countless reasons but here are some interesting ones:

  • The landscape – The wide area of Melgaço has a large number of different environments: the mountain cutting Minho River with rapids and small islands; the Alvarinho Wine fields; the wind electric generators on the top of the mountains; the boulder covered peaks near Castro Laboreiro; part of the Peneda-Gerês National Park …
  • The gastronomy – the traditional dishes you should try include the various kinds of “Chouriço”, the “Presunto”, the “Caldo Verde”, the Minho River Trout, Roasted lamb (usually requires booking because the recipe involves hours of preparation) or if you’re interested on something uncommon you could try one of the many Lamprey recipes (“Arroz de Lampreia” or “Lampreia Seca” for example).
  • The wine – Melgaço is included in the  Alvarinho (also known as Albariño) production zone and has a  museum-like building  dedicated to all the brands in the municipality, a wine tasting tourist route and an annual party dedicated to its tasting.
  • A calm and relaxing place with much to offer but usually unknown to tourists.
  • Adventure and nature – explore trails either walking (example) or in a mountain bike; Rafting; Paintball and others activities (contact geral@draftzone.pt for more info)
  • The sports center – especially for football teams (soccer). It was one of the official Euro 2004 training centers. LINK

Gallery:

Interesting links: Visit Portugal.com

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8 Responses to “Melgaço”

  1. croquecamille Says:

    Cool blog idea! You’re really making me want to visit Portugal. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. Genevive Says:

    Looks charming! Can you tell us more about Alvarhino wine? Is it possible to visit vineyards there?

    • thelocalguide Says:

      I’m still organizing the photos and material for more posts about melgaço. Should post about alvarinho pretty soon.

      Alvarinho is the wine made with the same name variety of white grape. It is considered by many the best and most noble “vinho verde” – light fresh wines produced to be consumed without a maturation (getting old in a woden container usually) process.

      Yes it is possible to visit wineyards, in fact there is a tourist route designed to allow visiting multiple brands, and micro-producers will most probably open you their doors without a problem. It shouldnt even be hard working one day collecting the grapes in the harvest season (September) hehe.

      There’s also a building in town that acts like a museum, information and tasting center for tourists – “Solar do Alvarinho”. And a weekend dedicated to tasting and evaluating the multiple brands, usually in April (around the 25th).

      Hope it helped 🙂

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