Galicia and Portugal route: Europe’s oldest border
Welcome to the Baixo Miño, the frontier area between Galicia and Portugal, and the oldest border in Europe. On this route, we will visit villages and defensive fortresses in both sides of the river Miño.
Our first stop will be the historic village of Tui, with its picturesque medieval cobbled streets. There, we will visit one of Galicia’s most famous cathedrals. Once an important urban nucleus of the Miño area, Tui was the first village on the Portuguese Way. Nowadays, it is the starting point for those who want to walk the last 100 km of this Camino variant. In Tui, we will get to try traditional sweets, handmade in the Convento de las Clarisas (Monastery of St. Clare).
After this, we will walk across the border through the international bridge, and arrive in Valença do Minho. Valença is Tui’s mirror city, and its gigantic defensive fortress was erected to defended Portugal from Spain. Once there, we will walk around the old town and visit its shops, where we can buy, amongst other things, a bottle of Port wine. Right after, we will leave Valença do Minho and head towards Vilanova da Cerveira. On the way, we will stop to walk alongside the ecopista on the banks of the Miño. The ecopista links these two villages and is one of Europe’s best Greenways.
Once there, we will visit Vilanova da Cerveira’s historic district, and get on the ferry to cross the border once again to visit A Guarda, on the Galician side.
There, we will go to the Hill fort and Village of Santa Trega, one of the Iron Age most populous settlements, with more than 3,000 inhabitants. From its top, we will have outstanding views of the rías, the border, the south of Galicia and the north of Portugal.
As the afternoon ends, we will head home after this visit through the history of both sides of the river Miño, and the border that has separated them for the last 890 years.