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Vale do Lima - Land of Treasures

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 Vale do Lima

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Visit Vale do LimaThe Lima Valley is strategically located between Porto and Galiza. With the advantage of facilities such as Porto Airport and the sea ports of Leixões and Viana do Castelo, the region provides an important access route that connects Porto with Valença and the Spanish border.
The Lima River is the backbone of this territory and the central element that has determined its destiny, from the mountains to the sea, traversing centuries of traditions and contacts with many different civilisations who have left their marks, shaping the picturesque beauty of the region and its unique culture.
The region has a rich patrimony and is endowed with unspoiled natural spaces: mountains, woodlands, streams and lagoons, river and beaches, and traditional picturesque villages.
The Lima Valley shows a pleasing harmony of its eco-systems and biodiversity: marine, fluvial and land - environmental diversity, nature conservation, heritage, architecture, culture, ethnography, handicrafts and gastronomy.
European Tourist Destination, the Lima Valley has been awarded several prizes, that distinguish the pioneering nature, hospitality, and the quality of Country Tourism. An example is the importance attributed by the European Commission in the study of rural tourist destinations – “Towards Quality Rural Tourism” – Integrated Quality Management of Rural Tourist Destination” and “Tourism for Tomorrow” – a prize awarded by British Airways.
During the last 30 years these elements have been integrated in innovative projects to pioneer a whole new concept in rural tourism and nature tourism in the Lima Valley under the banner of Turismo de Habitacão and Turismo no Espaço Rural with the initial driving force emanating from headquarters in Vale do lima.
Fine manor houses, country homes and farms have been restored and preserved along with the improvement of local amenities and natural environment to provide comfortable and safe tourist accommodation under the brand names Solares de Portugal and Aldeias de Portugal.

Travel to Vale do LimaSolares de Portugal symbolises the tradition, history and heritage of the privately owned manor houses and country homes where you are often greeted by the owner and treated like one of the family. Their charm and ambiance takes hold of the imagination in many different ways. From the moment you walk through the entrance there is a magic in the air and a tranquillity that will make the stress of everyday life seem a million miles away.
Guests at Solares de Portugal will find a range of leisure opportunities at their disposal such as golf, fishing, swimming, rambling, tennis, horse-riding, cycling and wine tasting. You are always in harmony with nature.
A timeless muse whispers from every corner and blends the nostalgia of the past with the beauty and colour of the present ... and hope in the future.
Aldeias de Portugal is an ideal way to discover picturesque villages and hamlets that take you back to the past in a journey of time such as Soajo, Sistelo, Lindoso, Germil, Cabracao.
It is also in the Lima Valley, that the expression Turismo de Aldeia (village tourism) has developed the brand Aldeias de Portugal. Here, you can stay in a traditional rustic house and enjoy an atmosphere of hospitality and comfort in permanent contact with nature. Also you can enjoy the typical gastronomy and activities such as bird-watching, horseriding or a leisurely stroll along wonderful paths.
The mountain slopes and woodlands of the Peneda-Gerês National park where eagles soar overhead and the legendary wild Garrano horses graze and shelter in the caves is a vast protected area within the Lima Valley. Some of them have been tamed and trained and there are stables in the region that offer riding lessons and trekking with a view to preserving the Garrano breed.
Also to be seen roaming these parts are local breeds that support the agricultural traditions of the region such as the long horned Barrosã oxen, Cachena cattle,and the Bísaro pig also Where the emotions run free roam this land.

Vale do Lima - Land of good wine and excellent gastronomyThe Lima Valley is the land of the vinho verde‘green’ wine, so called not because of its colour but its sparkling youth and freshness.
Vinho verde is ruby or amber in colour, slightly piquant and with low alcohol content and is a wine that leaves a finish known by the tasters as “needle point”. The white (loureiro) is the perfect accompaniment for fish dishes while the red (vinhão) goes well with hearty meat dishes.
The traditional gastronomy is the biggest attraction. The arts and skills people, inherited from the grandmothers, in which regional products are necessarily the basis. Numerous restaurants in the Valley serve the traditional dishes from each original place.
The European Leader programme has also helped small local enterprises to promote the commercialisation of local products, mostly made from recipes handed down from one generation to the next: Ermelo orange; Minhofumeiro smoked meats, pastries and bread, Valdelima jam and marmalades along with the traditional gastronomy.
The Lima Valley region is a proud land of craftsmen and artists with special manual skills in textiles, stonemasonry, goldsmithery. Costumes are regarded as one of the most representative features of the culture, expressing the clear differences between social groups and highlighting the local people’s lifestyles and working habits as well as their traditional appearance and behaviour at religious and popular festivals. Clothing has always been a cultural phenomenon with great ethnic and social significance and the typical Minho costume is an important cultural attraction and a strong symbol of the identity of the Minho people.
The district’s festivals are all the year round and the merriment, the colour, the music and the folklore make these festivals the region’s greatest attractions - the processions with girls dressed in beautifully embroidered blouses and costumes bedecked by the exquisite gold filligree jewellery, baskets of flowers on their heads, woven palm leaves and colourful paper flowers. It is an unforgettable spectacle that speaks volumes for the rich cultural heritage and tradition of the Lima Valley.

Discover Vale do LimaFrom the sea-washed beaches in the west to the mountains and valley you will find a host of itineraries to please the body and soul - beguiling riverside walks, climbs to high places to the ‘miradouros’ to view the panorama of the green landscape below and the freshwater lakes.
The Lima River provides ideal conditions for kayaking, canoeing and sailing, windsurfing and bodyboard and makes possible the organisation of national and international championships.
On mountain paths and trails, hiking and biking is to be enjoyed along with trekking and there is fishing as well as other activities linked with nature.
Horse-riding is another activity in the Lima Valley where several equestrian events are held.
Golf has also become an important new activity with an 18-hole championship standard course. In the Lima Valley those who love the outdoor life have many reasons to stay.
The Romans came to the Lima Valley on the way to Galicia in Spain and thousands of pilgrims still follow the ancient route to Santiago de Compostela to visit the holy shrine of St. James in the city’s cathedral.
Today, the pioneers and devotees of sustainable tourism and rural tourism are also creating a ‘pathway’ of pleasure for visitors to enjoy a treasury of experiences in the Lima Valley.
Discover the ancient heritage, monuments, arts, civil and religious architecture, the history, the archaeology, the ethnography - living testimonies to the mystic presence of our ancestors.
Discover, also, the identity, the emotions and the shining beauty of a land inspired by friendly people who bring to the Lima Valley the treasures of a safe and welcoming environment.