Visiting Vilar de Mouros is like resting and relaxing in the heart of Minho. The festival put the village on the map, but there is so much more to see.
It’s true, it was a music festival that put Vilar de Mouros on the national map. Despite the village’s bucolic atmosphere or the fantastic natural surroundings, it was the guitar chords that got everyone talking about the place.
However, there is much to see there, and in the immediate vicinity, which goes far beyond the event created by doctor António Barge and which was held for the first time in 1971, still during the dictatorship, constituting a kind of Portuguese Woodstock.
Names such as Elton John, the still incipient U2, The Stranglers or, more recently, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Waterboys or Iggy Pop passed through there. But this uproar only lasts for a week, now always at the end of August.
So, if you want peace and quiet during your holidays (or long weekend), don’t hesitate to head to the heart of Minho and don’t miss a relaxed visit to Vilar de Mouros.
What awaits you in Vilar de Mouros
With just over 10,000 km2 of area and a very small number of inhabitants, Vilar de Mouros is the ideal place for a few days of rest, with your family and in nature.
Discover the northern part of the village and find the chapel of Senhor dos Passos, also known as Igreja Nova, dating from the 18th century.
As you head towards the center, take advantage of the walk to enjoy the typical village cafes along the cobbled streets. It is precisely there that you will find the postcard of Vilar de Mouros: the Medieval bridge over the river Coura.
This crossing has been a national monument since 1910 and is thought to have been built between the 14th and 15th centuries. Flanked by the calm and transparent waters of the Coura river, it is an excellent place to rest and enjoy the silence of the village.
Still in this area you will find a third point of interest: the Chapel of Santo Amaro, an architectural work that crosses Manueline, Baroque and Renaissance styles, the work of Master Francisco Lourenço. Admission is free and well worth the visit.
Going for a swim in the Coura River
Vilar de Mouros is an excellent destination for those looking to slow down to the taste of the river waters of the river Coura. For this, the river beach of Azenhas is a must, an absolutely idyllic setting.
A recovered mill surrounded by crystalline waters, which flow down the Serra do Corno de Bico, make up this natural landscape and delight visitors.
In addition, the river beach of Azenhas has a vast sandy area, and is equipped with various support facilities, such as a snack bar and bathrooms. It is the perfect place for children and is adapted for people with reduced mobility.
Even for lovers of crystalline waters, the Lagoas de São João are unique and seem to have come out of a true paradise. Located about 8 kilometers from Vilar de Mouros, these lagoons with blue and emerald green waters are for the most skilled tourists.
The path that leads to the water is difficult, and therefore requires some experience and preparation. So, if you like adrenaline and are used to this type of route, then Lagoas de São João is for you.
This is a place that does not have any support infrastructure, so if you risk a visit, be prepared with a snack and water.
Vilar de Mouros: what to see nearby
Vilar de Mouros is in the heart of Minho, and therefore a drive through the surroundings is a must.
A few kilometers away, Vila Nova de Cerveira (about 10 kilometres) and Serra d’Arga (just over 20 kilometres), are two absolutely fascinating places that deserve to be explored. The first for its history and connection to the arts and the second for its virgin landscapes deserve long walks.
To jump into the sea, just over 10 kilometers away, we have soft It is walk. The ideal destination to enjoy the tranquility of the beaches of the North. But you already know, always count on the famous north winds, which give a certain drama to the maritime landscapes in these parts.
Of course, walking around these parts is synonymous with eating and drinking well. Therefore, add to the script the papas de sarrabulho and rojões à moda do Minho.
To accompany, a good nectar from the Vinho Verde region and complete the rest days with a golden key.
In Vilar de Mouros, the Vilar restaurant is always a good option, but the truth is that eating without a destination in Minho will certainly be one of the best surprises of your holiday.