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    Best Hidden Gems 2021

    This year, more than ever, you are seeking something different, away from the usual overrated destinations.

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Barcelos

Hotels in Barcelos

Lisboa European Best Destination

Barcelos is the cradle of Portugal's symbol in the world, the Galo de Barcelos (Barcelos Rooster). A happy, creative, safe and sunny city, located on the north coast of Portugal, between Braga and Porto.  The city evokes a garden amid the sea and the mountains, bathed by the River Cávado and crossed by the Portuguese Way of Santiago.

 

Visit Barcelos, discover its hospitality, taste unique experiences in a living and dynamic territory, stay in excellent accommodation, savour the exquisite gastronomy and wines, enjoy tailored experiences and a tourism of excellency.

 

Barcelos is a remarkable territory of crafts and folk arts, street markets, cuisine, tourism of experiences and creative tourism. It is a Craft and Folk Arts UNESCO Creative City, since 2017, a territory that built around creativity an argument for sustainable development, that led the city to win the 2019 European Prize - Best Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destination, promoted by the European Cultural Tourism Network. The city is also member of the Creative Tourism Network as a Creative Friendly Destination. A lively and intense territory of creative emotions.

 

Hence, we invite you to visit Barcelos, a monument city with more than 850 years of documented history, where many pages of Portugal's history were written, uncover one of the best-known legends of the European Way of Santiago and take part in experiences that you will cherish for life!

 

The 7 Pleasures of Gastronomy Program is in itself a prominent reason to visit Barcelos, but this experience is always completed by the extensive historical and cultural heritage, nature and ecotourism, traditions, folklore, festivals, fairs and pilgrimages.

 

An experience with tradition, history, flavours and knowledge that our people share with those who feel at the same table! An encounter with stories of our history.

 

Crafts and folk arts are attractions that spread throughout the county, with handicraft routes opening the doors of the creative community in the fields of Pottery, Imagery, Crivo Embroidery, Basketwork, Iron, Timber and Contemporary Craftsmanship, a true calling to experience tradition.

 

From the skilled hands of local craftsmen, emerges an entire world inhabited by the Rooster of Barcelos and many more enigmatic figurines such as owls, devils, saints or giants, in the Wonderful World of Barcelos Craftsmanship. From here you can take a Rooster, but also many other authentic and certified crafts and folk arts creations.

 

Much more than a destination! A world of creativity to discover!

 


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Barcelos

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Top things to do

in Barcelos

Barcelos Cuisine and (Vinho Verde) Wine Route

For travellers in search of genuine gastronomic experiences, Barcelos is the destination!

It's hospitable people like to share their unique delicacies, prepared with love and served in pottery tableware. The 7 Pleasures of Gastronomy Program is based in the: Roasted Rooster; Lamprey; Cod; Titbits; farm-raised chicken with rice, traditional sweet pastries and the memorable Rojões (seasoned pork loin) and Papas de Sarrabulho (porridge with pork meat and blood), of which the Literature Nobel Prize, José Saramago stated “never another better meal has eaten nor ever expects to eat” (1990).

 

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Gastronomy in Barcelos
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Walking tour with local guide - Art and Culture

Walk to discover Barcelos historical paths, in an artistic environment where monuments styles evoke Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque, a visit enriched with the most symbolical legends, such as one of the Galo de Barcelos. The heritage is vast, from the Medieval Bridge, Palace of the Counts, Medieval Tower, streets and squares where giant sculptures of the Wonderful World of Barcelos Imagery emerge, such as the She-Devil, the Roosters or the Giant-head. A singular journey through history and the fantastic imagery of the master craftsmen like Rosa Ramalho, in a tour that opens our imagination.

 

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Walking tour in Barcelos
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Creative experience

Barcelos emerges in the distant 12th century, founded by charter attesting more than 850 years of history. One century later became the first Portuguese Earldom. This noble land is famous for its monuments guardians of this people's souls. A pottery territory, home of only Pottery Museum in Portugal. Thus, we propose you to become artist for a day by painting your own ceramic Rooster!

Get involved in this imaginary world that has been inspirational to respectful art projects like Joana Vasconcelos's “Pop Galo”, which has been exhibited in different parts of the globe such as Lisbon, Beijing or Bilbao.

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Creative experience in Barcelos
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Buy in Barcelos: Weekly Street Market and Christmas Market

Thursdays in Barcelos are fascinating days because of the city street market, site surrounded by monuments, gardens, terraces and restaurants. This market dates back to 1412 and is considered one of the most authentic ethnographic events in Portugal where the rural world shows itself on the local farmers' produce, sale of local handicrafts, clothing and others, all this in a unique atmosphere of traditions and modernity. The magical spirit of Christmas time covers the city with lights and warmth making it a true nativity scene with a Christmas Market rich in handicrafts, gastronomy and wines.

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Shopping in Barcelos
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Ecotourism; Portuguese Way of Santiago; Way of St. Benedict

Territory of panoramic hills, religious and cultural heritage, festivals and pilgrimages, with emphasis on the Festival of the Crosses (3rd May), craftsmanship workshops, cuisine, agricultural goods, and a unique ecotourism on the path to Sustainability.

 

A spiritual and religious land, crossed by the Portuguese Way of Santiago, with its famous miracle of the rooster, and by the Way of Saint Benedict, Patron of Europe. Finally, the emblematic Convent of São Salvador of Vilar de Frades, motherhouse of the Order of Lóios in Portugal, monument with the artistic signature of João de Castilho.

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Ecotourism in Barcelos
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