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Ponte de Lima's long, low, graceful bridge is of Roman origin. It's also open only to foot traffic; drivers cross a concrete bridge at the edge of town. The main square by the old bridge has a central fountain and benches and is ringed by little cafés—the perfect places to stop for a leisurely drink. The nearby square tower still stands guard over the town, and beyond, in the narrow streets,
there are several fine 16th-century mansions and a busy market. Walking around town, you'll return again and again to the river, which is the real highlight of a visit. A wide beach usually displays lines of drying laundry, and a riverside avenue lined with plane trees leads down to the Renaissance Igreja de Santo António dos Capuchos. The twice-monthly Monday market, held on the riverbank, is the oldest in Portugal, dating from 1125. On market days and during the mid-September Feiras Novas (New Fairs) you'll see the town at its effervescent best.
Small, agreeable Amarante has been overshadowed by its more historic neighbor Guimaraes, but the town still deserves an overnight stop. Straddling...
Barcelos, a bustling market town on the banks of the Rio Cávado with a population of some 18,000, is the center of a flourishing handicrafts...