Things to Do in Torre Das Vargens Portugal

things to do in Torre das Vargens Portugal

Serra da Estrela is home to mainland Portugal’s highest mountain peaks. Here, icy lakes sit beside wooded valleys and charming villages. Book a small-group adventure with Culture Trip to explore this stunning natural landscape on hiking trails like the Ponta de Sao Lourenco and Vereda do Larano.

Picture Portugal, and you’ll likely conjure up images of azulejos—the intricate blue and white ceramic tiles that decorate churches, houses, streets, bars, and more throughout the country.

1. Visit the Clerigos Church and Tower

The Clerigos Church and Tower is one of the main attractions in Porto. This 18th-century complex was commissioned by the Brotherhood of Clerigos in the old town, on the “Mount of Slain Men,” where executed prisoners were buried.

Climb 225 steps to the top of this baroque tower, designed by Nicolau Nasoni, and enjoy panoramic views over Porto’s rooftops from this iconic landmark. You can also visit the adjacent church and admire its intricate facade.

If you want to learn more about the history of the tower and church, visit the museum at the entrance. You can also see Spiritus, an audiovisual experience pairing light and music with the church architecture. It is an immersive and spiritual journey that carries you through the past, exploring spaces formerly used by the Brotherhood of Clerics. This experience takes place during night times at the tower. It costs extra to attend this event. The price is €9.50 per person.

2. Explore the Douro Wine Region Valley

As one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world, it’s no surprise that the Douro Valley is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wine tourism is a big deal here, and a visit to some of the traditional wine estates and ‘Quintas’ is a must-do.

The most famous production of this region is Port Wine, but there are some other wines that stand out, such as the sweet Moscatel de Favaios. Some of the larger Quintas now offer a wide range of experiences that showcase not just a traditional wine production, but also the history of the wine-making region and its unique culture.

A great way to experience the Douro Valley is by boat. Many full day tours depart from Porto and include a scenic river cruise, a tour of the ‘Quintas’ and lunch, allowing you to get a good overview of this wonderful region. Another option is the hike from Trilho do Castro e do Contrabando, which offers some stunning views of the landscape and is home to several bird species.

3. Go on a Climbing Tour

Swap sightseeing for height-seeing on a rock climbing tour that provides a different perspective on the landscape. Your guide will provide safety gear, including a helmet and harness, so that you can focus on fun and adventure. You’ll have a chance to try routes of varying difficulty, as well as experience abseiling.

Before starting your climb, prepare by hydrating and eating well. Then, meet your guides at the climbing trailhead and begin what climbers call “the approach hike.” During this time, you’ll be hiking through a mix of established trails and more informal climbing trails.

Jump into water pools and admire mountain scenery on this canyoning excursion. A minimum of two professional guides accompany your small group to ensure a safe and fun experience, even for first-time canyoners. The activity also includes a light lunch. You’ll leave this tour feeling exhilarated and refreshed!

4. Visit azulejos

Visiting Portugal is incomplete without seeking out—and finding—the country’s famous tile art. From traditional seafaring scenes to compositions inspired by Oriental designs, azulejo (pronounced ah-zoo-lee-joh) takes many forms. Even more recently, artists like Portuguese graffiti artist Diogo Machado (who goes by Add Fuel) have been pixelating images into azulejos that blend modern expression with the tradition of Portuguese tilework.

One of the best places to see azulejos is at the National Azulejo Museum. It contains more than 20,000 tiles that tell the story of Portuguese history from the 12th to the 19th centuries.

Another place to find azulejos is the Capela das Almas. It is located in one of the city’s main streets and sits next to Bolhao subway station. The chapel is adorned with azulejo panels that depict religious figures. The building was once a convent and is one of the city’s oldest. The cloisters display the largest collection of 18th-century azulejos. They also feature fables from French poet Jean de la Fontaine.

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