Posted by: Stevie D | July 11, 2012

Vila Cha.

As usual, we set off without any clear idea of where we would end the day,but just a rough plan of an area we would like to visit. More exacting decisions are usual taken within a couple of hours of finally stopping. This is how it was with Vila Cha. Neither of us had been to North West Portugal before and the coast north of Porto appealed to us both. We saw the site at Vila Cha in our guide book. Nice and cheap and patronised mainly by the Portuguese themselves, this seemed the ideal place to draw our sojourne in Portugal to a close.When we arrived, we found a small, seaside fishing village, seemingly untouched by the pressures of international tourism. No multi-storey hotels, no tacky gift shops and bars. Very little English spoken outside the campsite. Just the way we like it.

The streets were cobbled in all the local towns.

The campsite was perfect. Clean facilities and mega cheap. Also, after many weeks camping in the heat of the south, it was great to have real grass under our feet again.

Real grass on a campsite for the first time in nearly three months.

When we ventured down to the sea, we found a fine, but, in places, rocky beach. The cooling Atlantic breeze kept temperatures down from the high 30’s we were used to having, to a palatable high 20’s.All in all, perfect.

The beach at Vila Cha.

A town of real Portuguese charm. Such a great find.

Next day, we set off up the coast to explore. First place was Vila do Conde, a bustling town with a long main street which the main through route passed along. Unfortunately, there must have been a fiesta or something going on as the dreaded ‘Desvio'(Diversion) signs were out and consequently, we got lost.

We emerged in the town of Povoa de Varzim, a mass of tiny cobbled streets and a huge beach backed by beautiful dunes. We could easily have spent the day there.

Huge empty beach with a cool Atlantic breeze.

From the same spot, looking the other way.

The sands were virtually deserted, even on this Sunday afternoon.

We pressed on though, through Esposende along a busy road filled with stalls selling freshly picked fruit and vegetables and everything from a full-on, and very busy market, to a Brass Band marching down the street. Finally, we arrived at Viana do Castelo, a lovely town at the mouth of the Rio Lima.

We spent an hour strolling by the river and marina in the warm sun before setting off back.

Entering Viana do Castelo.

A lovely place to visit on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.

Just put this in for my rain-soaked friends back home.There is sunshine in the world guys.

A couple of days later, we rode down to what has become one of Jayneys favorite cities, alongside Barcelona and Prague. More on that real soon.




  1. Awesome, maybe I should learn to ride a bike…

    • Trouble is, it gets in your blood.

  2. Looks beautiful and peaceful and warm, enjoy. Its still raining here!!

    • Thanks Ian. I hear they had floods in my home village a couple of days ago. Grim.

  3. Can’t wait to see what Jayney’s favorite city! It’s hard to imagine that you all would come across something even better than you’ve already seen. It seems like the weather’s really been cooperating with you!

    • You won’t have to wait long Shadowrun.
      As for the weather, that situation can change. 😦

  4. prada 財布 値段

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