Road Trip

Ilha dos Amores: a deserted and paradisiacal island in the heart of Douro

Certainly já deve ter ouvido falar da Ilha dos Amores, but always related to Camões and to his poem Os Lusíadas. But the truth is that there is an Ilha dos Amores, not Douro, a land of mysteries and legends, which is still little known. A small island, more charming and with an untouched landscape.

I think that the semelhança do nome com Ilha dos Amores de Camões is a mere coincidence. Or that it is true that the local is equally wonderful and it seems that it has been created from the imagination of a poet!

The island was formed thanks to the rise of the water level, hundreds of years ago. This portion of the land is about 29 meters high and 1400mtwo. Also known as Ilha do Castelo, or place with a privileged view for the crossing of the Douro and Paiva rivers, bringing together the districts of Porto, Viseu and Aveiro. There are no local ruins of an old military structure of the Middle Ages, or that could make it possible that this island was important in the defense of this region.

Ilha dos Amores

These would be ruins of a castle, built in the XII century. Alías, it is thought that it is said that the official name of Ilha dos Amores is “Ilha do Castelo” and it also had that origin as the name of the council where the island is: Castelo de Paiva. There are still remains of a hermitage dedicated to São Pedro.

On the north bank of the Douro River, on the outskirts of Ilha dos Amores, facing the Bitetos fluvial beach, in Frame of Canaveses. Na margem sul do rio, ainda more perto, fica também a praia fluvial do Castelo. Both are excellent alternatives to be able to enjoy some baths in Douro and, at the same time, venture by boat to Ilha dos Amores. (It is not recommended that you swim because of the depth of the river in this region).

In both fluvial beaches there are small cais for boats that can be used to visit the island (which also posses a cais). And I can take the opportunity to take with me to snack and make a snack from all the tables spread across the island. No end, I know to trace with everything or what I produced!

A landa da Ilha dos Amores

There are several legends associated with this island, as it could not fail to be. A more popular story of a love story between a fidalga and the son of a farmer. This romance was not good, thanks to the difference in social classes, but just as you two managed to meet, until the day that the father gives you the youth, being promised to another fidalgo. O filho do lavrador decided to take extreme measures: he killed or pai da amada e atirou-o ao rio, para no haver provas do crime.

Ilha dos Amores
Ilha dos Amores

The young man hides on Ilha dos Amores, where he lived for several years, until he decided to go look for his beloved, because, there, you two could live in peace, long with two reproachful eyes from the world. E assim fez.

No entanto, when the two of you were heading from the boat to the island, a great storm arose that engulfed the boat where the house was. I know that the storm was caused by the spirit of the pai da fidalga, who assim vingou to his death. Truth or nothing, the story does not leave its charm.

How to visit Ilha dos Amores?

He decides to visit the island, knowing that it is a small island, where he can catch a boat. On the island, you will be able to find a great natural diversity, from creeping plants to tall and imposing trees, which show a Nature in a genuine jungle state.

Among other species, you can find carvalhos, pinheiros-mansos and pinheiros-bravos, oliveiras, reeds, freixos, amieiros and carvalhos. Enjoy this unique landscape by taking a short walk along the island, also taking advantage of the crystal clear and calm waters that bathe this little island.

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