The wealth of Viana do Castelo’s rich trading history has left us with several notable buildings and defensive structures. Among them are the Sé Cathedral, the Castelo de Santiago da Barra, the Church of Santa Luzia (take the funicular up the hill for 3€ round trip, and enjoy an incredible view of the city), and lastly the hidden gem of a church that is theEMisericórdia of Viana do Castelo whose mixture of gold and azulejos tiling are not to be missed.
In the end of August the citizens of Viana (and many more tourists) turn of for the Feasts of Nossa Senhora da Agonia. It is a romeria of sorts and takes place over 3 days in celebration of the Virgen of Agony, the Virgen of choice for fisherman going out to sea.
Viana do Castelo, until 1848 known as Viana da Foz do Lima, was an important shipping town and critical port of entry during the Age of Discovery. Later, in the age of cod, it became Portugal’s second largest center of commerce and trading.
Leave the centro historico of Viana do Castelo from the main square. Head north from the fountain (keep the length of the square to your left) and follow the pedestrianized and tree lined street (the Passeio das Mordomas da Romaria) to the first intersection. Turn left there to follow in the same direction as traffic along the Rua Candido Dos Reis/Luis do Rego. The road ends at the Park and Garden of Dom Fernando, turn right and at the next intersection keep as straight as possible to what looks like a dead end road. Arrows here will direct you down steps and underneath a busy avenida.
At the top of the stairs on the other end keep going straight (you will have turned right just before climbing the stairs). DO NOT follow this road all the way to the busy avenida. Instead, turn left uphill and against traffic along the first street. It is signed as a dead end road. Follow it to the underpass.
As you exit the underpass you will be in a more residential neighborhood. Turn left at the first street which is directly in front of you, the Rua Dom Moisés Alves de Pinho. From here you continue straight for several kilometers to leave town.
The way passes through several narrow streets and cobbled lanes but is well marked. The Quinta da Boa Viagem is the next obvious landmark in Areosa.