Last Updated on 2023-09-16
The city of Mêda, located in the transition between the Alto Douro and Planalto Beirão, is a charming destination in the district of Guarda, in the Beira Alta region of Portugal.
With a rich and fascinating history, the region is believed to have been inhabited since the Paleolithic, with evidence such as cave paintings and the imposing menhir statue at Longroiva.
Over the centuries, Mêda has seen several civilizations pass through, including Romans, Barbarians, Swabians, Visigoths and Arabs, each one leaving its mark on the local landscape and culture.
When visiting Mêda, there are a number of must-see places to explore.
In addition to the Roman ruins and the remains of the Knights Templar in Marialva, you can also explore a series of trails and pedestrian routes that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the region.
From walks through verdant valleys to challenging trails through the surrounding mountains, there are options for all levels of difficulty.
In addition, for a comfortable stay in Mêda, you can choose different types of accommodation.
So, from budget hotels to charming rural houses, you can enjoy an authentic experience in this region. Enjoy the local cuisine, with traditional dishes and regional wines that will delight you.
Embark with us on this journey through the Center of Portugal and discover the wonders of Mêda, from its rich history to the stunning natural landscape that surrounds it.
Best Things to Do in Mêda, Portugal
Here’s a curated list of must-visit places and activities that should be included in your itinerary when exploring Mêda, in the disctrict of Guarda.
Begin your exploration by marveling at the Torre do Relógio, an iconic clock tower that stands as a testament to the city’s architectural heritage. Its imposing presence offers a glimpse into the past while providing breathtaking panoramic views of Mêda and its surroundings.
Next, venture to the grandeur of Igreja Matriz, the main church of Mêda. Admire its intricate design and delve into its sacred halls, where centuries of history intertwine with religious devotion.
As you stroll through the city’s historic streets, make sure to pause at the pillory, a remarkable symbol of justice and municipal authority. This stone monument stands as a reminder of Mêda’s past and serves as a gathering place for locals and visitors alike.
Extend your journey beyond the city limits and visit the renowned Historic Village of Marialva, a captivating medieval village that exudes charm and historical significance. Lose yourself amidst its narrow streets, ancient buildings, and imposing castle ruins, and be transported back in time.
Continue your exploration to the castle of Longroiva, an imposing fortress that overlooks the breathtaking landscapes of Mêda. Uncover the secrets of its storied past and imagine the battles and triumphs that unfolded within its walls.
For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Parque do Vale do Côa is a must. Located on the outskirts of Mêda, this park offers a pristine natural environment and a chance to encounter the region’s unique flora and fauna. Take a leisurely hike along its trails, revel in the tranquility of its riverside spots, and marvel at the ancient rock art that adorns the park’s rocky outcrops.
Discovering the Magnificent Mêda Clock Tower: A Glimpse into History and Architecture
During the Middle Ages, it is presumed that there was a watchtower in this place, known locally as a castle.
However, the Clock Tower that we see today is a 19th century construction, which stands out as a unique architectural landmark.
In the 17th century, a chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Assunção also existed in this region.
Unfortunately, the original stones from the chapel were used in the construction of the Clock Tower.
Currently, only a statue of Our Lady of the Assumption remains, accompanied by a granite cross, as a reminder of this religious past.
Exploring all these sights will require you to climb several dozen steps on Morro do Castelo de Mêda.
However, I assure you that the effort will pay off.
From the top, located at an impressive 760 meters high, you can admire the landscape that surrounds the municipality.
The panoramic view is a unique visual spectacle, revealing the hills and valleys that characterize the region, with its natural elements and historical heritage.
Visiting these historic sites in Mêda is a true immersion in the city’s rich heritage and an opportunity to admire the magnificence of the surrounding landscape.
In other words, it is an invitation to delve into history, contemplate art and marvel at the wonders of nature, all in one place.
Cultural Diversity: The Jewish Presence in the Mother Church of Mêda
The Igreja Matriz de Mêda, also known as Igreja de São Bento, is an important landmark in the city.
In addition to its architectural beauty, the church holds a historic treasure – a Sabbath lamp that demonstrates the presence of a Jewish community in Mêda.
Through this artifact, we can glimpse the roots and cultural diversity of the region.
In other words, visiting the Igreja Matriz provides an enriching experience, allowing visitors to explore the religious heritage and admire the unique characteristics of this historic church.
What to do in Mêda: Explore Pelourinho, Park easily and immerse yourself in the authenticity of the city
Pelourinho de Mêda is one of the main points of interest in the city and has been classified as a Public Interest Property since 1933.
Located in Largo da Igreja, next to the Igreja Matriz de Mêda, this historic monument enchants visitors with its beauty and meaning.
In addition to being a cultural and architectural landmark, next to Pelourinho is where visitors usually stop their cars.
So, when visiting Mêda by car, Largo da Igreja is a good place to park, allowing you to start your city tour comfortably.
Another parking option is next to the stairs that lead to the imposing Clock Tower.
When parking in this area, you will have the opportunity to admire the tower as you prepare to explore the nearby attractions.
Besides Pelourinho and the Clock Tower, there is much more to do in Mêda. The city has a rich historical heritage, charming medieval corners and a welcoming atmosphere.
Explore the streets of the center, discover the ancient churches and enjoy the authenticity of this jewel in the Beira Alta region of Portugal.
Discover the Charm of the Historic Village of Marialva in Mêda, Portugal
The Historic Village of Marialva, located in the municipality of Mêda, is a true treasure that deserves to be highlighted.
Marialva is a parish rich in history and natural beauty, whose stone streets and castle preserve the charm of times gone by.
Strolling through the alleys of Marialva is like diving into a medieval fairy tale, where every corner reveals new surprises!
Also, if you are a hiker and nature trail enthusiast, this is the perfect place to explore.
See below some suggestions for trails that will take you on a stunning walk between Mêda and Marialva.
So get ready to be captivated by the landscape and mountain scenery that will accompany you along the way.
Discover the Castle and Thermal Baths of Longroiva
Longroiva is a parish located just 9 kilometers from Mêda.
When exploring this region, you will have the opportunity to discover two notable attractions that should be on your list of things to do in Mêda: the Castle of Longroiva and the Thermal Baths of Longroiva.
Longroiva Castle, with its ancient walls and towers, transports visitors back to medieval times. That is, when visiting the castle, you will have a fascinating insight into history.
In addition to the castle, the Thermal Baths of Longroiva are another highlight not to be missed.
With a construction that dates back to Roman times, these spas provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Enjoy the healing hot springs while admiring the historic architecture that surrounds them.
When visiting Longroiva, be sure to explore the alleys and enjoy the tranquility of the village.
The Côa Valley Archaeological Park
The Côa Valley Archaeological Park: Discover the Fascinating Tourist Attractions in Mêda
So don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Fariseu rock art nucleus in the municipality of Mêda, Portugal, which was discovered in April 2020 and is believed to be the largest open-air in the world.
The Côa Valley Archaeological Park is a cultural treasure that covers several locations in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Pinhel and Mêda.
Among the unmissable tourist attractions in Mêda, the Fariseu rock art nucleus stands out, discovered in April 2020 and considered the largest in the world in the open.
With more than 80 archaeological sites, the Fariseu rock art center, located in the municipality of Mêda, provides a unique experience for visitors.
It is possible to explore the prehistoric engravings, which portray everyday scenes of the ancient inhabitants of the region. With astonishing details, the figures carved into the rocks are silent witnesses of a distant past.
In addition to the Fariseu centre, the Côa Valley Archaeological Park reserves many other archaeological discoveries for lovers of history and art. In other words, it is an incredible opportunity to delve into prehistory and learn about the traces left by our ancestors.
Therefore, be sure to include the Côa Valley Archaeological Park in your itinerary! Explore the rock art nucleus of Fariseu and let yourself be enveloped by the magic and mystery of prehistoric representations. A journey through history and art that will certainly leave good memories.
Spring in Mêda: Contemplate the Stunning Blossoming of the Almond Trees
The almond trees in bloom turn into a magnificent spectacle in spring, so if you are lucky enough to visit Mêda during this period, don’t miss the opportunity to witness this wonder of nature.
The landscape is colored by fields full of almond trees in full bloom, attracting thousands of visitors to Mêda. It is an unmissable seasonal event that enchants the eyes and fills the hearts of those who see it.
The delicate blossoms of the almond trees paint the scene with a vibrant color palette, creating a magical atmosphere. It is a unique opportunity to enjoy the ephemeral beauty of nature and record unforgettable moments.
To make the most of the almond blossom experience, we recommend that you read our full article on the subject.
In it, you will find valuable tips, information on the best places to enjoy the almond trees in bloom and suggestions to make the most of your visit to Mêda during this magical period.
Read the full article about Almond Blossom in Portugal.
Trails and Pedestrian Routes in Mêda
In the municipality of Mêda, Portugal, there are several options for trails and pedestrian routes that allow you to explore the region and enjoy its natural beauty.
In this article, we show two suggestions for Small Route Routes and two stages of the Great Route of the Historic Villages of Portugal.
Starting with the PR1 – Route of the Historic Village of Marialva, this route begins and ends in the historic area of Marialva.
With a length of 3.8 kilometers and an easy difficulty level, it can be covered in approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
During the journey, visitors will have the opportunity to visit emblematic places in Marialva, such as Devesa de Marialva, Torre do Monte, Porta do Monte, Castle of Marialva, Chapel of Senhora da Guia, Fonte da Corredoura and Church of Saint Peter.
The PR2 – Meeting the Castles of Mêda, Longroiva and Marialva is a slightly more challenging route, covering Mêda, Longroiva and Marialva in a distance of 24.2 kilometers.
It is recommended to reserve around 7 hours to complete this trail.
Hikers will pass by fascinating places, such as Quinta do Vale da Aldeia, Fonte da Concelha, Longroiva hot springs, Longroiva Castle, Vale de Moinhos, Quinta do Talhas, Ribeira da Centieira, Torre do Monte, Porta do Monte, the Castle of Marialva, the Church of São Pedro, the Fonte da Corredoura, the Chapel of Senhora da Guia and the footpath.
Finally, the Great Route of Historic Villages is a trail that covers a total of 565 kilometers and, in the Municipality of Mêda, it is possible to cover two stages: between Castelo Rodrigo and Marialva and between Marialva and Trancoso.
These steps provide a comprehensive experience of the region, allowing walkers to explore the historical and cultural richness of the villages.
Accommodation Options in Mêda, Portugal
During our visit to Mêda, we had the opportunity to explore other municipalities in the Guarda district.
For our comfortable stay, we opted for the charming Turpino House, located approximately 50 kilometers away from Mêda. We highly recommend this guest house for those seeking a cozy and welcoming experience.
However, if you prefer to stay closer to the city center, we suggest exploring the available hotel options in Mêda using the map below.
There are several accommodations available to suit different preferences and budgets of visitors.
Book your hotel in Mêda today for a memorable stay.
Map of Mêda and How to Get There: Exploring the Central Region of Portugal
Mêda is a charming city located in the district of Guarda, Portugal.
Situated in the center of the country, Mêda enjoys a strategic location, approximately 380 km from Lisbon and about 220 km from Porto.
Getting to Mêda is convenient, as it is well-connected by road networks. The city is easily accessible via major roads and highways that link it to other cities and regions in Portugal.
If you are traveling from Lisbon, the journey to Mêda spans approximately 380 km and can be accomplished by taking the A1 motorway and then transitioning to the A23, which will lead you directly to Mêda.
For those starting their journey from Porto, expect a trip of around 220 km. Travel along the A1 and later transition to the A25, which will guide you to the captivating city of Mêda.
Explore the central region of Portugal and discover the hidden gem that is Mêda.
Traveling to Mêda from Lisbon
Traveling to Mêda from Porto
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