Barcelos Ponte de Lima 30 kms
Crossing Neiva River
Follow our advice and leave Collegiate Church Santa Maria Maior at 7.00 a.m. Be aware there are signs that divert you from the track we suggest. Pass by the Donjon of Porta Nova (New Gate) and the Church of Senhor Bom Jesus da Cruz, cross the Campo da Feira (Market Square) and take N103 to Viana, crossing over the Ring Road. Before arriving to Abade de Neiva, turn right to Ponte de Lima and leave the main road as the present itinerary consists of rural paths. In Espírito Santo, parish of Vila Boa, you must make a small diversion in order to cross the Minho railway. After returning to the original route you will enter the Neiva Valley through S. Fins do Tamel pass. Although perfectly known, it is here at the Neiva Valley that the Way shows some spotted obstacles that require alternative routes. One of them is precisely after the Chapel of Senhora da Portela. Therefore, you must take N204 for less than half a mile and then turn left to the new church of Aborim.
On your way down, you will arrive at the River Neiva. After crossing Tábuas Bridge, go straight to Balugães village, at the foot of Senhora da Aparecida, a site for a famous religious festival in Minho. It is too early for lunch but you can have a little rest and make provisions for a light meal, as there won’t be any available shops for the rest of the day.
From Balugães, you must walk 4 miles to the Facha pass to enter the Lima Valley, on and off the main road several times, trying to find alternatives to the spoilt routes. Covering a beautiful stretch, you will pass Facha, Seara and Correlhã and will be amazed when entering Ponte de Lima, at sunset, by the riverside Plátanos Avenue.
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