8 Awesome Family Experiences in the North of Portugal (2024)

Experiências em Família.
Article Index

2024-01-25

Embark on an extraordinary journey filled with unforgettable family experiences in the stunning North of Portugal.

Get ready to have a blast with these exciting adventures designed for the whole family, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

The Family Experiences itinerary, curated by the Municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, offers a perfect blend of captivating destinations and engaging activities suitable for both children and adults.

For three thrilling days, we had the pleasure of joining four families of travel bloggers to put this itinerary to the test, and the experience couldn’t have been better.

With the motto “Build memories,” we set out to (re)discover the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez and documented every step of our journey to share the 8 activities we tested and wholeheartedly recommend.

From exhilarating outdoor adventures to immersive cultural encounters, the Family Experiences itinerary has something for everyone.

Explore ancient castles, hike through breathtaking landscapes, taste delicious local cuisine, and engage in interactive workshops that will captivate the entire family.

So, grab your passports and join us on this unforgettable family trip to the North of Portugal.

Let’s create incredible memories together and embark on a journey that will leave a lasting impression on each and every one of us.

Get ready for an extraordinary experience filled with laughter, joy, and quality time spent with your loved ones.

Family Experiences in Arcos de Valdevez

Are you ready for an unforgettable family adventure? Get ready to embark on a journey through Arcos de Valdevez, where we have curated eight incredible family experiences that are guaranteed to create lifelong memories.

These are just a taste of the amazing family experiences waiting for you in Arcos de Valdevez.

So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with fun, adventure, and precious moments together.

1. Discover Unlikely Combinations of Minho Gastronomy

Every Friday, “Às Sextas no Trasladário” takes place at the Espaço Vinhos e Sabores, where unlikely combinations, good wine, and a good mood come together.

We were welcomed by Vítor Correia, vice-president of the Associação dos Vinhos de Arcos de Valdevez, who presented us with cacharolete and dried fruits as a welcome gift.

The cacharolete is nothing more than a combination of drinks, or in other words, a cocktail.

As we are in the land of Vinho Verde, we tried the version with red Vinho Verde and white Vinho Verde. Both were delicious, but our favorite was the cacharolete with white wine.

Next, we enjoyed Bolo do Tacho with vegetables and Bolo do Tacho with Goat Cheese, both paired with Paço Velho wine from the Loureiro variety.

Later, the Tacho Cake with Alheira and Compote and the Tacho Cake with Sardines were served, this time accompanied by Aguilhão wine from the Vinhão variety.

To top off this delightful meal, we tried ice cream with wine, a very unlikely combination that divided opinions here at home – some liked it, while others didn’t.

2. Unleash Your Adventurous Side: Canopy Tour and Slides at Porta do Mezio

Arborismo e Slide na Porta do Mezio.
Canopy Tour and Slide in Arcos de Valdevez.

Porta do Mezio is a hidden gem that promises unforgettable family moments.

As one of the entrances to the breathtaking Peneda-Gerês National Park, it offers a range of family-friendly walks and activities to suit all ages and interests.

Our morning was filled with adrenaline as we embarked on thrilling canopy tours and zoomed down exciting slides.

But the adventure didn’t end there – we also took the time to explore the heart of Porta do Mezio.

From fascinating insect hotels to a quaint village waiting to be explored by curious kids, and the traditional granaries that provide a glimpse into local heritage, there was never a dull moment.

Don’t forget to pack a picnic or indulge in a delightful meal at the Porta do Mezio restaurant – the perfect way to recharge and savor the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Get ready to create lasting memories and embark on a truly unforgettable family adventure!

3. Trails and Pedestrian Routes: Unforgettable Family Experiences in Nature’s Playground

Experiências em Família.
Lagoas de Travanca.

Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature as you embark on exhilarating trails and pedestrian routes in the picturesque setting of Porta do Mezio.

These family-friendly adventures offer a perfect blend of excitement and tranquility, making them ideal for creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Our journey took us on a delightful trail from Porta do Mezio to Baloiço do Mezio, a short yet captivating route that captivated every member of the family.

As we strolled along dirt paths and through grassy terrain, the lush greenery and melodious songs of birds surrounded us, enhancing the enchanting atmosphere.

Our path also led us to the breathtaking lakes of Travanca, a serene oasis that left us yearning for a refreshing swim. Note to self: don’t forget to pack your bathing suits next time!

Among the multitude of family-friendly options, the Sistelo walkway stands out as a popular choice, offering a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Lace up your hiking boots, grab your loved ones’ hands, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the heart of nature’s playground.

Prepare to be amazed as you discover the hidden treasures that await along these remarkable family trails and pedestrian routes.

4. Explore Centuries-Old Granaries (espigueiros) and Savor Delightful Sponge Cake (Pão de ló) in Soajo

Step into a world of timeless charm as you discover the enchanting Soajo granaries that have captivated generations.

The sheer excitement in the children’s eyes as they explore the threshing floor is a sight to behold, as if they were witnessing them for the first time.

Yet, Soajo offers more than just its iconic granaries, locally called espigueiros.

Take a moment to immerse yourself in the refreshing waters of Poço Negro, a tranquil natural pool located just a stone’s throw away from the village center.

Before bidding farewell to this picturesque village, make a stop at the renowned Padaria de Soajo, a bakery with a rich family history.

Indulge your taste buds in a delightful assortment of treats, including walnut cheesecake, cornbread, and delectable pebbles. However, the crown jewel of their offerings is the renowned sponge cake, or pão de ló, a beloved specialty that will leave you craving for more.

Immerse yourself in the essence of Soajo as you delve into its architectural marvels and indulge in the flavors of its culinary heritage. Let the centuries-old granaries and mouthwatering sweets transport you to a bygone era, creating cherished memories that will linger long after your visit.

5. Experience the Magic of Paço de Giela: Perfect Family Adventures Await!

Experiências em família: Taças Tibetanas no Paço de Giela.
Best Family Experiences in the North of Portugal: Tibetan Bowls at Paço de Giela.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Paço de Giela, where captivating family experiences await every 15 days.

Make the most of these special occasions designed for little ones and create unforgettable memories together.

Step inside this historic monument and embark on a journey through time at the interactive museum. Delve into fascinating historical narratives and discover intriguing artifacts that bring the past to life.

One of the highlights for our children was the captivating activity “On the Wings of Fantasy – History to the Sound of Tibetan Bowls.” It was truly mesmerizing to witness their lively spirits become still and silent, completely absorbed in the captivating storytelling.

Entry to Paço de Giela is priced at a mere 1 EUR, offering incredible value for the whole family. To ensure you don’t miss out on the upcoming activities, please refer to the provided link for dates and timings.

Prepare to be transported to a realm of wonder and imagination at Paço de Giela. With its engaging exhibits and delightful family-friendly activities, this is an experience not to be missed.

6. Canoeing on the Vez River (Rio Vez): A Thrilling Family Adventure!

Experiências em família: canoagem no Rio Vez.
Family Experiences: Canoeing on the Vez River. (c) Centro Aventura Photo.

Embark on an exhilarating family canoe trip that promises endless fun and excitement!

Before setting off, we received a brief but informative training session to ensure everyone’s safety. With our paddles in hand, we launched from Valletta’s River Beach, ready to embrace the thrills of the Vez River.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience filled with laughter and togetherness, Centro Aventura offers a range of exhilarating activities.

From exploring the Rio Lima to conquering the rapids of Rio Vez, there’s something for everyone. We recommend checking their schedules and prices here to plan your adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a first-timer, canoeing on the Vez River is an incredible way to bond with your family and create lifelong memories.

7. Visit the Enchanting Historic Center of Arcos de Valdevez

Immerse yourself in the charm of Arcos de Valdevez’s historic center, where every step reveals a story waiting to be discovered.

Leave your car behind and embark on a leisurely stroll through the winding streets, adorned with facades that whisper tales of the past.

As you explore, be sure to make a delightful stop at Doçaria Central. Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Arcos cigars, a local specialty that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

From the rich history embedded in the architecture to the flavors that define the region, the historic center of Arcos de Valdevez offers an enchanting experience for all who wander its charming streets.

Take your time, soak in the ambiance, and let the captivating stories of this remarkable place unfold before your eyes.

8. Experience the Magic of Himalaya Creativity Workshops

Oficinas de Criatividade Himalaya.
The Himalaya Creativity Workshops (Oficinas de Criatividade Himalaya).

Prepare to embark on a fascinating journey into the world of Father Himalaya, where imagination knows no bounds and discovery awaits at every corner.

The Himalaya Creativity Workshops offer a unique space dedicated to the life and extraordinary work of Father Himalaya, inviting children to engage in a multitude of captivating activities.

Step into a spacious room filled with interactive games that encourage children to embark on funny experiments, while exploring the realms of science, botany, and more. Witness their curiosity come alive as they unravel the wonders of the natural world.

In the grand duomo, families can come together to indulge in a mesmerizing show that will create lasting memories for years to come.

Allow yourselves to be swept away by the enchanting performances that will captivate both young and old.

Located in the charming premises of the old school, admission to the workshops is free, offering an open invitation for families to immerse themselves in the world of creativity and exploration.

Unleash your imagination and discover the magic that awaits at the Himalaya Creativity Workshops—a haven of wonder and inspiration for the whole family.

Family-Approved Accommodations: Experience Memorable Stays in Arcos de Valdevez’s Finest Hotels

Hotel in Arcos de Valdevez: Ribeira Collection Hotel by Piamonte Hotels
Hotel for families in Arcos de Valdevez: Ribeira Collection Hotel by Piamonte Hotels

In my opinion, when it comes to family-friendly accommodations in Arcos de Valdevez, two hotels stand out as exceptional choices.

The first one is the Ribeira Collection Hotel by Piamonte Hotels, a charming four-star boutique hotel located in the heart of Arcos de Valdevez, just a stone’s throw away from the scenic River Vez.

This hotel offers a comfortable and cozy atmosphere, perfect for families looking for a memorable stay.

The well-appointed rooms provide ample space for families, ensuring a restful night’s sleep. Additionally, the hotel features an indoor swimming pool, offering a fun and refreshing activity for both children and adults.

Another fantastic option for families is the Luna Arcos Hotel Nature & Wellness, a four-star hotel situated amidst nature’s beauty.

This hotel boasts a serene environment, allowing families to unwind and connect with nature. The spacious rooms are designed with families in mind, providing a comfortable retreat after a day of exploration.

The hotel’s swimming pool is a great spot for families to enjoy some leisurely moments together.

Having personally experienced and approved both hotels as a family, I can confidently recommend them for an enjoyable stay in Arcos de Valdevez.

The warm hospitality, excellent amenities, and convenient locations make these hotels ideal choices for families seeking a memorable vacation. Whether you choose the Ribeira Collection Hotel or the Luna Arcos Hotel, you can rest assured that your family will have a wonderful time, creating lasting memories in these family-approved accommodations.

With their family-friendly features and welcoming atmospheres, these hotels ensure that your stay in Arcos de Valdevez will be both comfortable and enjoyable.

Hotels in Arcos de Valdevez

Restaurants in Arcos de Valdevez. Indulge in Memorable Family Dining Experiences

No family trip to Minho is complete without savoring the region’s delectable cuisine.

On our journey, we had the pleasure of dining at several restaurants that left a lasting impression on both adults and children. The generous portions and exceptional quality of the dishes never failed to impress.

Romanza Restaurant

Located in the heart of Arcos de Valdevez, the Romanza Restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine. From flavorful pasta dishes to mouthwatering pizzas, there’s something to please every palate.

Porta do Mezio Restaurant

At the Restaurante da Porta do Mezio, we were delighted by their succulent beef served with aromatic tarreste rice. The combination of flavors was simply exquisite.

Saber ao Borralho Restaurant

In Soajo, the Saber ao Borralho Restaurant showcased their expertise with the traditional cachena beef, perfectly cooked in the oven and served with flavorful potatoes. For dessert, we indulged in the award-winning Bolo dos Discos, a true treat for the senses.

The Forest Restaurant

Situated in the heart of Arcos de Valdevez, the A Floresta Restaurant boasts a charming terrace where we enjoyed our meal. Once again, we savored the delightful carne cachena, this time accompanied by crispy French fries and a delectable rice and bean tart.

Join us as we embark on a culinary adventure through Minho, discovering the finest restaurants that cater to the whole family. Prepare your taste buds for a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more.


*Please note that while this trip was made in collaboration with Município de Arcos de Valdevez and Turismo do Porto e Norte de Portugal, the opinions expressed in this article are our genuine reflections of the experiences we encountered.

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