Where to see Almond trees in bloom in Portugal?
From Alfandega da Fé to Mogadouro, passing through Vila Flor, Torre de Moncorvo, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Mêda, Trancoso, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo and Freixo de Espada à Cinta, there are nine dream places to enjoy this spectacle of nature!
I prepared a complete itinerary with the best places to see the almond trees in bloom, including the dates of the Almond Tree Festivals and what to see beyond the almond trees.
Remember that almond blossom has a very short window, about 15 days, with a peak of just 2 or 3 days. Therefore, it is important that you know where the almond trees are located, as well as when the almond trees are in bloom.
Otherwise, you risk taking a trip and not seeing the famous almond blossoms.
By the way, did you know that the flowering of almond trees depends on the morphology of the terrain, altitude and atmospheric conditions, that is, in the same municipality, almond blossoms can be in different stages.
Continue reading this article and learn more about this incredible phenomenon that happens every year in Portugal.
Where to see almond blossom in Portugal?
In the Douro and Northeast Trás-os-Montes, the almond culture is important for the local economy. So, to see the almond trees in bloom, these regions are usually the right choice.
Below are suggestions for places to see flowering almond trees, including the exact location of the main almond trees by region, as well as the dates of almond tree festivals and other travel tips to make your itinerary as complete as possible.
And as this list is extensive, I even include suggestions of where to stay overnight in each of the towns/cities.
In total there are about 260 km between Alfandega da Fé and Mogadouro, passing through the most emblematic places with regard to almond blossom. You can do this itinerary in a weekend or extend it for more days.
Alfandega da Fé
The Cherry Festival in Alfandega da Fé is an important event in the region, so in early spring, the cherry orchards are filled with flowers and scents that later become the characteristic Trás-os-Montes fruit.
But what you may not know is that the region has a lot of almond trees, which rival the best known cherry blossoms.
Thus, the best places to see the almond blossom in Alfandega da Fé is Cerejais (7 km on the N315), more specifically next to the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Cerejais, and also in the Lagos do Sabor area.
As dates for the 2024 Flor da Amendoeira Market in Alfândega da Fé are not yet available, but last year it took place between March 4th and 12th at the Municipal Garden.
Where to stay in Alfandega da Fé: The Hotel & Spa Alfandega da Fé (4 stars) has panoramic views over the Serra de Bornes and the Douro River and guests can use the SPA free of charge, including the indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath and jacuzzi, that is, only massages and treatments have an extra cost.
If you prefer a more rural experience, sleeping in a silo can be fun! Take a look at Bela Vista Silo Housing and decide if it’s for you!
Did you know that it was Dom Dinis who gave the name to Vila Flor? It is said that in 1286 King Poet was not indifferent to the beauty of the land and decided to call it Flower.
The olive oil capital, located in the heart of Terra Quente Transmontana, is the scene of this wonderful event of nature every year: almond blossom!
The almond tree fields can be seen from the IC5, but the most beautiful route is on Estrada Nacional 215.
By the way, an extra tip: in Vale da Vilariça the pink flowers of the peach trees are a spectacle worthy of a visit!
The 2024 Almond Blossom Festival in Vila Flor does not have a set date yet. However, last year it took place from February 25th to March 12th at the Municipal Fair and Exhibition Park. The program included almond workshops, concerts, entertainment, workshops, food stalls, and around 50 exhibitors
Where to stay in Vila Flor: my suggestion is the Hotel Rural Villa Julia (3 stars) an old house in the parish of Samões. It has the charm of family homes in the interior, restaurant and swimming pool.
Torre de Moncorvo
Almond trees are spread across different areas in Torre de Moncorvo, however, to see the largest plantations, it is best to go to the village of Açoreira.
The festivals dedicated to almond blossoms in Torre de Moncorvo city center are anticipated to take place on multiple weekends, although the dates for 2024 are not yet available.
Last year, the festivities occurred from February 13th to March 29th, offering activities over several weekends
The Mercadinho da Amendoeira em Flor and the gastronomic weekends are the highlights of the event.
Where to stay in Torre de Moncorvo: Quinta da Terrincha has villas with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, which is suitable for both large families and small groups.
Vila Nova de Foz Côa
Vila Nova de Foz Côa is the capital of almond blossom and it is said that more than 100,000 almond trees are planted in the municipality. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that it is on the list of places to see almond blossom in Portugal.
The almond trees in bloom are the motto for the Almond Blossom festival. In 2024, the Almond Blossom Festival in Vila Nova de Foz Côa will take place from February 16th to March 3rd.
The areas with the greatest number of almond trees in Vila Nova de Foz Côa are in Freixo de Numão and Touça, that is, outside the centre.
The section of Estrada Nacional 222 is especially beautiful to see the flowers, in fact, the end of the EN222 is in Almendra, which is part of Vila Nova de Foz Côa.
Where to stay overnight: Casa do Rio Wine Hotel – Vallado is a Rural Tourism in Castelo Melhor, between vineyards and the Douro River, you can hardly find a more incredible location.
It has free bicycles to use, wine tasting and the views of the vineyards and Douro River are really incredible!
Although Mêda is not known for its almond blossom landscapes, it is certainly an excellent place to see them.
So, in my opinion, the best places in Mêda to see the almond trees in bloom are in Longroiva and along the National Road 102 to Marialva.
Accept this suggestion and you will see that you will not regret it!
Where to stay in Mêda: Longroiva Hotel Rural e Termal Spa (4 stars) has an outdoor swimming pool with hot water, which is open all year round. In addition, it has family rooms and a restaurant.
I understand that the Historic Village of Trancoso doesn’t come to mind when it comes to almond blossom.
However, believe that it is worth taking a detour to Trancoso and while exploring the center and climbing the walls, take the opportunity to see in the landscape where the almond trees are in bloom.
Where to sleep in Trancoso: Hotel Turismo De Trancoso (4 stars) is located close to the historic center of Trancoso, has an indoor pool and Turkish bath, which makes it a good choice to relax at the end of the day.
Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo
The Historic Village of Castelo Rodrigo is beautiful at any time of the year, but in spring the almond blossoms give it a special setting.
Two popular places to see the almond trees in bloom in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo are in front of the castle and in Barca De Alva, about 20 km away on the N221.
By the way, the route along the National Road 221 from Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo to Barca de Alva is a very beautiful route and should be done calmly…
The Almond Blossom Festival has a tradition in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, dating back to the 1940s. In 2024, the dates are not yet available, but for reference, last year, the Almond Blossom Queen Festival took place from February 24th to March 5th.
You can count on an outdoor swimming pool, hearty breakfast and restaurant service upon reservation.
Freixo de Espada à Cinta
To see the almond trees in bloom in Freixo de Espada à Cinta, the best area is on Estrada Nacional 221, after Barca D’Alva.
Along the way, the landscape follows the curves of the Douro River and is dotted with white and pink almond blossoms.
The Almond Blossom Fair in Freixo de Espada à Cinta does not have a set date for the 2024 edition yet, but last year it took place from February 25th to March 14th.
Where to stay in Freixo de Espada à Cinta: Hotel Freixo Douro Superior has views over the village of Freixo de Espada à Cinta, swimming pool and parking to leave your car in safety.
To complete this route through the almond trees in bloom, the last route takes us to Mogadouro.
Once again, it is necessary to know where the almond trees are, since in terms of size the farms are not very large.
Estrada Nacional 221 is still a safe bet, so I suggest you do the last few kilometers following this route.
The Almond Blossom Festival in Mogadouro includes the XXXVI Fair of Local Products and Crafts, open on weekends from March 1st to 3rd, 2024.
Where to stay in Mogadouro: Hotel Trindade Coelho is simple and affordable and located in the center of the village. On the other hand, Casa das Indrinheiras is a holiday home and is located in a rural environment.
CP’s Almond Tree Route (Rota das Amendoeiras da CP – train)
Every year CP (train) offers a train program departing from Campanhã Station, in Porto, to Douro region, on Saturdays and Sundays when the almond are blossom.
The program and tickets for 2024 are not available yet; however, last year, these tickets sold out quickly. So, if it’s something you think is worth experiencing, try to purchase them in advance
The itinerary includes transport by train to Pocinho, a bus trip to the Côa Museum, a guided visit to the museum, transport by bus to the center of Vila Nova de Foz Côa, a guided tour of the almond blossom fields and return to Pocinho. to take the Inter-Regional train to Porto.
The Almond Tree Route in Torre de Moncorvo
The Almond Tree Route is a picturesque pedestrian trail located in the village of Açoreira, Torre de Moncorvo. The circular route spans 11.1 km and takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete, with a moderate level of difficulty.
While the trail is known for its stunning almond trees in bloom during the spring season, it also offers breathtaking views of the Douro River, olive groves, and the Serra do Reboredo year-round.
To fully experience the beauty of the almond trees in bloom, we recommend visiting during the spring months. However, this trail is worth exploring even outside of the blooming season.
Whether you are an experienced hiker or just looking for a peaceful stroll, the Almond Tree Route is a must-see attraction in Torre de Moncorvo.
When to see the almond trees in bloom?
As I mentioned earlier, the flowering of almond trees depends on several factors, including atmospheric conditions, the altitude at which the almond trees are planted and the morphology of the terrain.
However, as a rule, almond trees start flowering in mid-February, they reach their flowering peak at the end of February/beginning of March and the flowers remain in some places until the first days of March.
The Legend of Princess Gilda and the Almond Blossoms
There is a legend that explains the arrival of almond trees in Portugal. And it is based on a love story, as is usual in these ancestral narratives.
Thus, many years ago, during Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula, a powerful prince lived in Silves.
After a decisive battle, the prince noticed in the beauty of a young prisoner named Gilda.
Without hesitation, the prince released Gilda and asked that she be treated like a princess. The prince fell in love with Gilda and, after they got married at a big party, she started to waste away for no apparent reason.
A servant of Gilda’s father, who was in captivity, realized that the young woman missed the snow in her homeland.
Convinced that this could cure her, the servant asked the prince to bring the snow to Silves. So the prince ordered almond trees to be planted next to the castle, so that when they bloom they resemble snow.
When Gilda saw the white mantle of the almond trees in bloom, she was so happy that she recovered completely.
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