Viana do Castelo: Sacre-Coeur of Portugal
In the northern Portugal along the waterfront sits the city of Viana do Castelo. This charming destination helps define the beauty of Portugals culture, architecture, and landscape. The center holds the narrow streets that are expected from an old European city with its apartments towering the small shops below.
The city is relatively flat with a small incline while walking away from the water. Along the water one can find prestigious beaches and a fortress. The beaches are clean and usually never full. The clear Atlantic water might be cold but it is refreshing on a hot summer day.
Along the skyline one can see the unique Santa Luzia church on the mountain top, the focus of the cities attractions. An elevator can be taken to get to the church but a short car ride up the mountain will yield the same results and save a traveler 3 euros.
A short walk away from the cathedral is an partially excavated castro, an ancient town of the pre-Roman natives. These ancient villages line many parts of northern Spain and were the homes of the Castro people living peacefully before the Roman conquest. You can see their small round houses built commonly on hilltops or mountains.
The town reflects its charm with tile murals that can be found along the town, narrow streets lined with small stores, and lovely architecture that every Portuguese city fails to escape. If you are passing by or need a place to stop and enjoy sometime at the beach Viana do Cestelo is worth a look.