Want to explore the beauty of Portugal without being surrounded by tourists? BraganÃ§a is one of the countryâ€™s most underrated â€“ and therefore blissfully quiet â€“ destinations. Since it is a traditional, untouched area of Portugal, not only does it have some beautiful scenery but also a rich history, a fascinating culture and landmarks that are a must-see.
What to Look Out For
There is plenty to see and do at the village of BraganÃ§a, so itâ€™s a great place for a day trip during your holiday in Portugal. Here are some of the places you should take the time to look out for while youâ€™re there:
BraganÃ§a Castle dates back to the twelfth century, but it is thought to have been built on the site of an Iron Age fort. Discover the several watchtowers, the 33m keep and the beautiful castle gardens. The whole structure has aged remarkably well, and remains an interesting piece of Portuguese history.
Located deep within the keep of the castle, Museu Militar is the place to go if you want to learn more about the countryâ€™s history. Its exhibits include medieval armour, some army weaponry, and incredible artwork from soldiers in the colonies. Certainly worth a visit during your holiday in Portugal â€“ especially since there wonâ€™t be any crowds!
â€¢The Natural Park
This expanse of natural beauty is home to wild animals such as otters, boars and wolves. The park is not only the perfect place for walkers but birdwatchers too, as eagles often fly across the nearby mountains. While walking through the park you will also spot some picturesque, medieval-looking villages.
Arte-fact: Still standing, and a popular attraction for visitors, is the Domus Municipalis. The building is Portugalâ€™s last remaining example of Roman Civic Architecture and is an unusual, pentagonal shape. Definitely worth finding if youâ€™re into ancient buildings!
Legends of BraganÃ§a
Like many other Portuguese towns, BraganÃ§a has its legends. These captivating stories that have been retold through the centuries are truly one of a kind. One of the most famous is that of Dom Perdo I, who is said to have married his forbidden love, InÃªs de Castro, in the church of SÃ£o Vicente, which is still accessible today.
There is also the well-known legend of the Duke of BraganÃ§a, who apparently held his wife, Queen Leonor, captive in a tower for being too beautiful for the public gaze (I bet she was a sight for sore eyes when she finally got out!).
How to Get There
Getting to BraganÃ§a is very straightforward, as flights into Porto airport are frequent and relatively cheap. A flight from the UK will take about two and a half hours, but the town is only 35 minutes from there. It is easier to pre-book a shuttle service to take you from the airport to your destination, as you will avoid the inevitable queues at Porto for taxis and public transport services. Start your holiday in Portugal sooner by sorting your shuttle before you fly.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're heading off on a relaxing holiday in Portugal, pre-book a direct transfer to your hotel or meeting venue. Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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