Amarante

Small, agreeable Amarante may be overshadowed by its more historic neighbor Guimarães, but the town still deserves an overnight stop. Straddling the Rio Tâmega, its halves are joined by a narrow 18th-century bridge that stretches above tree-shaded banks. Although the river is polluted (which precludes swimming), it's beautiful to look at. Rowboats and paddleboats are for hire at several points along the riverside paths. The riverbank is also the site of the local market, held every Wednesday and Saturday mornings; at these times, the usually peaceful town is disturbed by manic traffic racing along the main street and over the bridge.

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