Pousada de Viana do Castelo
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- Number of rooms: 50
- Air conditioning
- Disabled facilities
- 24-hour reception
- Free internet (public areas)
- Outdoor pool (seasonal)
- Safe at reception
- Room service
- Tennis court
- Conference room
- Business Centre
- Airport (70km)
Pousada de Viana do Castelo – Edwardian-Style Palace Hotel
The beautiful Pousada do Monte Santa Luzia is the result of a modern restoration of a palatial hotel dating back to the early 20th century. The original hotel, Hotel de Santa Luzia, was built in 1918 by a merchant trading with Brazil. He donated it to the town and in 1979 it officially joined the Pousada network.
Since then the property has managed to maintain an aura of the grand early 20th century Belle Époque style. The interior décor blends modern design with this Edwardian elegance, resulting in an on-trend, yet classic atmosphere. This style is reflected in the public areas, many of which exude extravagance with high ceilings, chandeliers, and Edwardian-style furniture.
The bedrooms are bright with large windows and are decorated in a contemporary fashion that still manages to maintain the grandiose feel of the Pousada. Many of the rooms benefit from the incredible views the property is renowned for.
Situated atop of Monte Santa Luzia, the Viana do Castelo's Pousada boasts magnificent panoramic views over the mouth of the River Lima, the town’s picturesque port, and the Santa Luzia Church, a mountaintop Neo-Byzantine Basilica which dominates the skyline. The Pousada’s surrounding landscape views have been recognised by the international press as some of the best in the world and an expansive terrace provides guests with the optimal location to enjoy the panorama.
Set high above the town, the Pousada is the ideal location for guests to relax away from the hustle and bustle of Viana do Castelo’s town centre, and the essence of peace and tranquillity is further enhanced by the gardens and woodland surrounding it, complete with a garden, a seasonal outdoor pool and tennis courts.
There is a good-sized car park at the entrance which is sufficiently secure given the remoteness of the Pousada above the town. The Pousada has free exterior parking.
The Pousada’s restaurant, with its chandeliers and hardwood floors, further perpetuates the idea of modern-day extravagance. Leading out on to the large terrace, guests can enjoy their meals against a spectacular backdrop. The restaurant features many regional dishes, such as Fried Cod (one of Portugal’s most famous dishes), Grilled Octopus, Kid Stew, and Grilled Veal Chop, not to mention some fine local desserts.
Situated in Portugal’s North Region, 65km north of Porto and only 50km from the Spanish border, the coastal town of Viana do Castelo is popular amongst those who want to experience a Portugal quite different from the major cities.
A lively town, it has long been a key port in terms of trade with northern Europe, much of which involved the export of wines, fruit and salt, and imports of cutlery, fabrics, and glass. This trade attracted the attention of Queen Maria II of Portugal who, in 1852, granted the town the licence ‘Commercial Association of Viana do Castelo’ and it is now the fourth oldest employer in Portugal.
Located at the base of Monte Santa Luzia, Viana do Castelo enjoys both mountain and ocean views, therefore providing an ideal location for both water sports and nature enthusiasts. As with many coastal towns, Viana do Castelo’s commercial success is largely intertwined with the ocean, both in terms of trade and fishing, and much of the area’s gastronomy consists of locally sourced seafood.
In addition to the attraction of its coastal and mountainside location, Viana do Castelo’s cultural offerings are also popular among tourists. Home to a large number of 16th century buildings, the town’s plazas and streets truly transport visitors back in time. Arguably the town’s most prominent feature is the Santa Luzia Church located on the mountain itself. Typical Neo-Byzantine architecture, the red-roofed church is easily recognised by visitors to the area, and forms a key part of the view from the Pousada above it. The Municipal Museum located near to the church is also popular amongst visitors and focuses on the history and folklore of the town. Also, visit the historic hospital ship, Gil Eannes, located in the port of Viana Do Castelo. You can enjoy exploring the little nooks and crannies.
Those travelling to the town in August should keep an eye out for the Festival of Our Lady in Sorrow celebrated each year from the 18th to 20th August. The celebrations began in 1744 when fishermen prayed to the ‘Senhora da Agonia’ to keep the sea calm during their trips. Nowadays, the festival provides an opportunity for the town to come to life with processions, colourful costumes, and live music. A fireworks display concludes the celebration, which is one of the most popular and grandiose in northern Portugal.
Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Lunch is served from 3.00 to 15.00
Dinner is served from 20.00 to 22.00
- Seafood Soup
- Hake Fillets with Malandrino Tomato Rice
- Grilled Octopus Lagareiro style
- Fried Codfish with Tomato Concassé, Gratinated Mayonnaise and Mashed Potatoes
- Fried Pork stripes with Sarrabulho Rice
- Grilled Veal Chop with Baked Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetables
- Kid Stew Serra d’Arga style
- Almond and “Gila” Pie
- Viana do Castelo Typical Pie
Good room with the most amazing view to the south.
How to get there
From Viana de Castelo train station 1. Head northeast on Av. de Gen. Humberto Delgado toward R. Dr. Sousa Gomes (0.1 mi) 2. At R. Dr. Sousa Gomes, take the 3rd exit onto Estr. de Santa Luzia (0.1 mi) 3. Turn left (364 ft) 4. Sharp right toward Estr. de Santa Luzia Go through 1 roundabout (0.5 mi) 5. Sharp left onto Estr. de Santa Luzia (1.1 mi) 6. Turn right Destination will be on the left (387 ft)
Vila Nova - 35 Km
Valenca do M. - 60 Km
Guimaraes - 70 Km
Oporto Airport - 70 Km
Region & Cuisine
PORTO & THE NORTH
This for us is the most scenically spectacular of all of Portugal’s five official Regions on the mainland. Bordering the Spanish regions of Galicia to the north and Castilla y León to the east, and with the Atlantic to the west, this is essentially a mountainous region that encompasses two important river systems: the Minho in the north-west forming part of the border with Spain, and further south the Douro running roughly east-west and reaching the Atlantic at the city of Porto. With a mild climate – winter temperatures average 13/14ºC, rising to 26ºC in July and August – this is a region to visit at any time of the year.
Porto is the principal city of the region – it’s Portugal’s second city and gave the country its name. Only an hour and a half or so from the UK by air, Porto is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ‘city break’ destinations for visitors from this country, and for good reason. Most of the historic quarter can comfortably be explored on foot, and a spectacular view of the city and of Vila Nova de Gaia (Gaia for short) on the other side of the Douro can be seen from the splendid Romanesque-Gothic cathedral in the old quarter. Another, more leisurely, way of seeing both Porto and Gaia is by taking a trip on one of the river boats that run between the eastern edge of the city and the point at which the Douro enters the Atlantic.
No mention of Porto is complete without a reference to the most famous product of this region, port wine. Most of the major producers have their cellars across the river in Gaia: here the wine, produced on the estates up-river in and around the Douro Valley, is aged before being shipped to markets throughout the world, and a visit to one of these cellars followed by a tasting of a few varieties is absolutely recommended. Moored in Gaia are the original ‘Rabelo’ boats which were used to transport the wine down from the estates. Nowadays, modern cruise vessels carry passengers up into the Douro Valley, and beyond as far as Spain, for trips of one day to a week.
North of Porto is the ‘Costa Verde’, running up to the River Minho and the Spanish border. The principal town on this coast is the elegant resort of Viana do Castelo, famous throughout Portugal for its ‘Fiesta of Fiestas’ on the third weekend of August, while further north and a few miles inland, on the banks of the Minho and with glorious views across the river to Spain, is the little town of Vila Nova de Cerveira and its charming Pousada.
Other notable towns in the region are Braga, founded by the Celts in 300 BC and an important Roman administrative centre, and Guimarães, a medieval town known as the birthplace of the Portuguese nation and with a magnificently well-preserved historic centre. And in the mountainous ‘Tras-os-Montes’ in the north-west, the historic towns of Chaves and Bragança stand out.
But a major attraction of this beautiful region of Portugal has to be its outstanding scenery. To appreciate this to the full you really need a car and a touring holiday of a week or so, starting and finishing in Porto and staying at several Pousadas en route, will provide a perfect introduction to the region. We would certainly suggest staying a night or two in Porto itself and an ideal route would include the highly-recommended Pousadas at Vila Nova de Cerveira, Amares (near the exceptionally beautiful Peneda-Gerês National Park), Guimarães, Alijó and/or Mesão Frio in the Douro Valley area, the latter with quite magnificent views of the river valley itself, then back to Porto.
The cuisine of the region naturally includes fish of the highest quality along the coastal stretch (including lampreys, a speciality of Vilanova de Cerveira) and inevitably ‘bacalhau’ (codfish), for which there are either 365 or 1,001 methods of preparation – whoever you believe – throughout Portugal. A very popular local speciality is ‘caldo verde’, a green cabbage and spicy sausage soup; rich meaty stews in the mountainous north-west, and everywhere a profusion of sweet desserts, many of them almond based, cakes and pastries. This is ‘vinho verde’ territory so this light, white wine is found throughout the region, while several excellent red wines are produced in the area of the Douro. And, of course, there is always port.......
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