Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) Barcelos 26 kms
As this journey is not very hard, you can leave Vilarinho at 8.00 a.m. Take the N306 road and leave it after a while. Half an hour later, you will reach the wonderful medieval bridge over the river Ave. Take again the above road, walking between the walls of large properties, arriving to Junqueira, after going along the fences of S. Simão Monastery woods. When arriving to a place named Boavista, ask the location of the ancient Estalagem das Pulgas (The Flee Inn), used to changing the horses and offering accommodation to travellers as well as to Pilgrims who, obviously, used this route. We hope that with the renovation of its ruins, it will become again the first hostel of the Portuguese Way from Oporto to Santiago.
Let us come back to the reality! After Junqueira, the track is charming as it runs between fields and woods to Arcos, where you cross another medieval roman bridge over the river Este. Then, you will reach Rates in about half an hour. There, you can have your lunch while admiring the beautiful church of a long ago defunct convent, one of the most representative landmarks of Portuguese Romanesque architecture.
With the landscape unaltered and a predominance of woods, you pass the parishes of Courel and Pedra Furada and you should take again the old N306. As you have just entered the suburbs of Barcelos, you will notice houses on both sides of the road.
If you choose the primitive route of the Way, leave N306 in Pereira and cross two parishes, Pereira and Carvalhal, at the foot of mountain Franqueira that witnessed the patriotic legend of Faria Castle’s Governor. However, if you keep on N306 road, do take the variant built after the construction of Barcelos Bridge in 1325, passing by the ancient scaffold where the famous miracle of the Barcelos cock took place. Owing to the dense traffic, we suggest the primitive route, which will quietly take you to Barcelinhos, where you have to cross the river Cávado to enter Barcelos. The primitive boat taking you to the old peer Cais Velho is not in use any more as you can cross the medieval bridge. You have plenty of time to visit the most important monuments in Barcelos.
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