The Nossa Senhora da Graça Sanctuary overlooks the domains of Mondim de Basto from above. A fantastic world that is conquered by hand.
Perched on the left bank of the Tâmega River, on the border between the minho and Behind-the-hills?? Mondim de Basto It is a small village and county seat of remote origins that will make you travel back in time through nature.
Stretching along the slopes of the beautiful and verdant Monte Farinha, the village is topped by the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Graça, located at over 900 meters above sea level, from where you have a breathtaking view of the various mountains to the north of the Golden River??
Incidentally, this is traditionally one of the most difficult stages of the Tour of Portugal by Bicycle, with athletes being forced to make an unreasonable effort to reach the top in first place. Climbing Senhora da Graça is now a classic and the premier race of the national cycling calendar has often taken place there.
Take a look at the itinerary we propose here to explore Mondim de Basto and start making your plans now.
An itinerary through Mondim de Basto: 3 unmissable suggestions
The municipality of Mondim de Basto, in the North of Portugal, is not only a place of immense natural beauty, but also of undeniable historical richness, where centuries-old legends rest in the hills and monuments.
Spaces such as the Romanesque Igreja Matriz, the chapels of the Lord, the manors, the manor houses and the small palaces are proof of the religious fervor of the inhabitants of Mondim de Basto and the economic importance of the region. Today, we propose an itinerary that combines historical and religious heritage, nature and adrenaline.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace
Once in Mondim de Basto, start by visiting the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Graça, located about 13 kilometers from the center of the village, at the top of Monte Farinha. It is said that the first chapel with the title of Senhora da Graça was built there in the 16th century, and the current structure, in granite from the region, dates from the 18th century.
Here, at the top of the hill with almost 1000 meters of altitude, where history and nature intertwine, the view over the region is breathtakingly beautiful. If you are looking for an experience with tradition, visit the sanctuary during the festivities in honor of Nossa Senhora da Graça, on the first Sunday of September, when one of the most popular processions in the region takes place here.
Alvão Natural Park
Located in the transition zone between Minho and Trás-os-Montes, covering territories belonging to the municipalities of Mondim de Basto and Vila Real, the Alvão Natural Park It is essentially a granite area, with some patches of schist, where various species of fauna and flora inhabit and there are several water lines embedded.
Not to be missed while in the park is, without a doubt, the Fisgas do Ermelo waterfall, which surrounds the waterfalls of the Olo river, and the beautiful 12.5 kilometer trail that passes through here.
They are one of the largest waterfalls in Europe, with a difference in level of about 400 meters, based on quartzite rocks that are approximately 480 million years old.
It was the fracturing of these hard rocks that allowed the Olo River to be “snagged” in them, giving rise to the popular name by which the most beautiful waterfall on the Portuguese mainland is known.
It is a place that has a high scientific, didactic and heritage value, associated with a remarkable tourist vocation, in the field of Nature Tourism.
The presence of fossil marks on these rocks, left by marine organisms that are now extinct, can also be seen as a kind of “illustration” of distant times, when life only existed in the sea, as a counterpoint to the exceptional biodiversity currently known in this protected area.
Aldeia de Travassos is part of the National Network of “Aldeias de Portugal”. With a privileged location, given its proximity to the Alvão Natural Park, it offers countless reasons to visit: the granite houses, the fountain, the granaries, the shrines, the public washhouse, immerse the tourist in an environment of true rurality.