A fortress city in the north of Portugal (Valença)

I want to tell you about a well fortified city in the north from Portugal. So far north that it is exactly on the border with Spain: It’s called Valencia. I am also going to tell you what to see in Valença Portugal, the city where you can end your trip through this country if you follow this route from Lisbon designed to do in 15 days which I recommend doing.

If you followed my trip through my Instagram, you surely saw the day to day of my trip through this country that has not ceased to amaze me. Valencia is also known as Valencia do Minhoand it’s a town right in front of tui on the opposite bank of the river (the town of Galicia what a sister to this city). Since 2012, Valença and Tui make up a eurocity. The name of the city means “the brave one”, just as “do Minho” refers to the river that divides the border between Portugal and Spain.​

what to see in Valença Portugal

It is a relatively small city, and you can easily visit it in one day. However, I am going to detail everything there is to do not only in this destination, but also in its surroundings:

Get to know the historic center of Valença

Valencia It has been a defensive and fortified city since its birth, at the beginning of the last millennium. With many modifications and reinforcements to its walls over the centuries, there is something that does not change inside its walls. The old town is preserved without constructions that alter the harmony in the height of its houses. Although of course there are buildings from different periods, including more recent centuries, it is a beautiful walk.​



The ancient city is organized into two fortified enclosures that are entered through four porticos: coroada, Font da Vila, Gaviarra Y Sun. The nucleus or neighborhood that is further north has the star-shaped fortification from the 17th century (a reform on the old walls of the 12th century). The other part or neighborhood that is to the south is known as coroada, and it is somewhat smaller. Both are connected through a tunnel in the wall.



If we walk the historic center we will see its small squares with bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. There are also narrower alleys, small churches, notable civil buildings such as the town hall, or tiled facades that couldn’t be more Portuguese.

walk its walls

The old town is small, and always a few tens of meters away we will find the walls. Those that give to Minho river They have lovely views towards the opposite bank and the valley. So we could walk them and enjoy a sunset with views towards Galicia. These walls are considered the work of military type of Gothic and Baroque style most important in Portugal. In addition, the star shape can be deduced that we could only appreciate in its entirety from the air. In total, the walls are 5 kilometers long and are completely intact.


Enjoy the views towards the valley

Towards the north of the old town we will find the best views of the Minho river valley and Galicia with the people of tui and its cathedral standing out on the horizon. It is highly recommended to see the sunset from this point. We will also observe the bridge over the Minho River that joins two towns-city twinned as a Eurocity.

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Fortunately, the times of conflicts are long gone and today it is very easy to cross from one country to another, even on foot. It is a very common walk. There is even one of these tourist “trains” (on wheels) that makes an excursion between one town and another.



Cross the Tui-Valença International Bridge over the Minho River

As I said, cross the international bridge over the Minho river that connects with Tui in Galicia (Spain) is a common activity among what to see in Valença Portugal. And you can also do it on foot because the distance is not that great: it’s about 30 minutes of walking, about 2.5 kilometers. By bike it takes about 10 minutes, as well as by car. There is no type of border control on the bridge, since as we know the borders within the EU are open. Another option is to take the bus ride (looking like a little tourist train) that links the two cities. In fact, visiting Tui is one of the activities to do in this area.

In the following map you can see that the distance and route between both cities is very short:


Visit the fabric stores

The traditional fabrics of Valença are recognized for their art and quality. Walking through its old town you will find shops to appreciate them, or make purchases. Even the bedding with local fabrics are highly appreciated.


What to see in Valença Portugal nearby

I am going to name some recommended points to see near Valença, and always within the territory of Portugal. Although the distances are not very great, you will need a car to reach these points. Among the nearby attractions to see in Valença Portugal is of great interest the Brejoeira Palacethe Deer Viewpointwave Lapela Tower.

The Brejoeira Palace it is nothing less than one of the most impressive in the entire region, with beautiful gardens that you can also visit. is closer to monção and it is from the year 1834, cataloged as a national monument. You can visit it paying an entrance of about 7 euros. Towards Vila Nova de Cerveira is one of the most beautiful panoramic viewpoints in the region, famous for the sculpture of deer. It is another beautiful view of the Minho river and its valley that includes the view of Valença. In the opposite direction from Valença is the Lapela Tower, a 14th-century fortification 35 meters high, also declared a national monument. Not so far from the latter, is the Fojo waterfall and the Saint Fins Monastery.

Where to stay in ValencaPortugal

Valença is a nice place to conclude our roadtrip through Portugal. Almost perfect because as I tell you, you can visit the attractions of the city, which do not take so long, but also make a base to explore the surroundings, and cross a day to see tui. That’s why it’s nice to do at least one night.

Check prices and accommodation in Valença Portugal.

Recommended accommodation: I will name some specific accommodations that are excellent in terms of quality and price: the first is a family guest house called Villa Accommodation, . A second cheaper option but with a very good score, the Hotel MABI. I also mention this apartment excellent and very well located in the old town, although of course the cost is a little higher.


Finally, do not hesitate to consult all the posts in the guide to organize a trip to Portugalor leave a comment on the post with the question you need 🙂

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