From Braga Churches, Churches, Everywhere
Home to more than thirty churches, Braga has been the religious capital of Portugal since the 12th century. Thanks to wealthy archbishops, an architectural overhaul beginning in the 16th century transformed the city from a medieval town to a baroque wonderland, earning it the nickname “the Rome of Portugal.” Speaking of Rome, the city’s last remaining Roman relic is the Fountain of the Idol, a Celtic rune covered shrine from the 1st century that was once part of an ancient temple complex. Perhaps most iconic is the hilltop Bom Jesus do Monte. Completed in 1811, the baroque basilica is accessed by a winding staircase lined with grottoes, fountains and gardens known as the Sacred Way. From the cathedral’s hilltop, visitors are rewarded with a sprawling view of Braga. Nearby is Braga’s other hilltop church, the 19th century Santuário do Sameiro, a neoclassical monument with wide, open grounds.
To Aveiro The “Venice” of Portugal
Established during Roman times, Aveiro served as a major port until a storm raised a sandbar along its coast in the 16th century. The sandbar not only blocked the port, but the resulting stagnant water brought disease and the population was reduced by half within two decades. Today, Aveiro upholds an ancient fishing tradition as well as boasting thriving salt and seaweed industries. Visitors may wander along the canals, making their way to the fish market to enjoy a view of colorful tiled cottages facing each other across the canal. The gonda-like boats to be found there, known as “barcos moliceiros”, are traditional flat-bottomed boats used for fishing and collecting seaweed from the lagoons. It is also worth stepping into the Convento de Jesus to admire its renaissance cloisters and 17th century gilded carvings. Though not exactly Venice, this Portuguese fishing town certainly has a unique charm of its own.
Private transfer from Braga to Aveiro with a local, English-speaking driver.
Door-to-Door service. Convenient, affordable, and faster than train.
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Private door-to-door transfers between cities with local drivers. Door-to-Door service.
Convenient, affordable, and faster than a train. Custom sightseeing itineraries available.