The Best of Mirandela: What to do, See and a One-Day Itinerary

Ponte Velha de Mirandela
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2024-05-28

Mirandela, located in the district of Bragança, is a gem of the Terra Quente Transmontana, with hot and stifling summers, alleviated by dips in the local rivers.

It is also known as the Princess of the Tua, as the city maintains an intimate relationship with this river.

Endowed with a vast historical heritage, Mirandela boasts numerous buildings of interest scattered throughout the municipality.

Moreover, one cannot talk about Mirandela without mentioning the famous alheira de Mirandela, although there are other regionally protected products of high quality, such as those with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

Want to know what to do in Mirandela? Well, from historical monuments to refreshing river beaches, to trails for all tastes, this city really has a lot to offer!

And don’t forget about the local cuisine, with tasty dishes at affordable prices. In Mirandela, the experience is complete and unforgettable.

What to do and visit in Mirandela this year!

Paço dos Távoras
Paco dos Távoras (Palácios dos Távoras). Current City Hall of Mirandela.
O que fazer em Mirandela: descobrir pequenos tesouros arquitectónicos.
What to do in Mirandela: Discovering small architectural treasures.
Ponte Velha de Mirandela. A ligação entre a zona antiga e a zona moderna.
Old bridge, or Ponte Velha de Mirandela. The link between the old and the modern area.
Monumentos a visitar em Mirandela.
Monuments to visit in Mirandela.

Exploring the historic center of Mirandela

Conhecer o centro histórico de Mirandela.
Discover the historic center of Mirandela.

The historic center of Mirandela is quite rich; in fact, more than 40 places of tourist interest are referenced.

Since there are so many, we decided to only talk about the ones we liked the most, but it’s important to note that this list doesn’t include all of Mirandela’s monuments.

So, the Roman bridge over the Tua River (also known as Ponte Velha) marks the visitor’s entrance to Mirandela’s old town.

From the center of the Tua River, just before reaching Ponte da Europa, there’s a water fountain that refreshes the hot summer days and nights in Trás-os-Montes.

If you look to the right, you’ll see Parque do Império, with a luminous fountain and an amphitheater, while on the left and behind it is Parque Dr. José Gama (and the Mirandela river beach).

The Paço dos Távoras stands out from the other buildings. It’s a grandiose monument from the 17th century that now houses the Town Hall.

The Statue of Pope John Paul II is also quite visible; however, to see the Porta de Santo António, you’ll have to make a bit of an effort (it’s hidden between two buildings).

Finally, head to Praça 5 de Outubro to see the Solar dos Condes de Vinhais and the Church of Misericórdia.

👉 Travel Tip: Did you know that the Porta de Santo António (Public Interest Property) is what remains of Mirandela Castle?

Discovering the Regional Natural Park of Vale do Tua

Parque Natural Regional do Vale do Tua.
Parque Natural Regional do Vale do Tua (Regional Natural Park of Vale do Tua).

The Regional Natural Park of Vale do Tua is a natural treasure that includes territories from the municipalities of Alijó, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Mirandela, Murça, and Vila Flor. This ecological sanctuary is an ode to biodiversity, offering a diverse landscape full of charm to those who visit.

In this natural paradise, visitors can enjoy a variety of experiences. From hiking along its trails, which reveal hidden corners, to observing the thriving fauna and flora.

History and culture have also left their mark on this idyllic scenery. Ancient ruins and villages tell stories of a rich and diverse past, where communities lived in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Moreover, strategically positioned viewpoints offer breathtaking panoramas.

Discovering the River Beaches in Mirandela

Praias fluviais em Mirandela.
River beaches in Mirandela.

Mirandela’s summers are truly scorching, with a typical climate of the Terras Quentes Transmontanas, inviting refreshing dips. In the absence of nearby ocean, river beaches become true oases, both for locals and visitors craving freshness and fun.

Therefore, in your discovery itinerary, you must include some of the region’s aquatic pearls. Start with the river beach at Parque Dr. José Gama, affectionately called Mirandela’s river beach, located in the heart of the city, providing leisure moments under its leafy shores.

Next, head to the serenity of Vale de Juncal river beach in Abambres, where nature displays all its splendor, offering an atmosphere of peace and tranquility ideal for relaxation.

Also, venture to the Maravilha river beach, near the Três Rios de Maravilha campsite, which not only offers an extensive bathing area but also a refreshing pool with admission fee.

Finally, discover the natural charms of Quintas river beach in Frechas, where the coolness of the waters invites invigorating swims and moments of relaxation in communion with nature.

Enjoy each of these river beaches in Mirandela to escape the heat and have fun with your family.

Marvel at the water mirror that the Tua River provides next to the old bridge

Espelho de água no Rio Tua.
Water mirror on the Tua River.

At the edge of the Old Bridge in Mirandela, the Tua River offers a water mirror that is itself a tourist attraction.

This is because the river reflects the beauty of the landscape, in a mix of colors mirroring the surrounding scenery, as well as the blue of the sky.

For this reason, it is common for both locals and visitors to stop and admire the Old Bridge and the historic buildings of Mirandela reflected in the water.

In fact, during the summer, it is common to see families and friends enjoying this spot for picnics and swims in the water. Additionally, at night, the city lights are reflected in the water, creating a romantic atmosphere.

In other words, the simplicity of this water mirror is a hidden treasure in Mirandela, worth discovering and appreciating in all seasons of the year.

Try the famous Mirandela alheira and Butelo

Alheira de Mirandela.
Alheira de Mirandela.

In Mirandela, you mustn’t miss trying the famous alheira and butelo, two traditional and delicious delicacies.

For those who don’t know, alheira is a typical sausage from the region, made with meat, bread, and spices. It’s tasty and versatile, being able to be grilled, fried, or roasted. As for butelo, it’s a dish made of pork meat, stuffed with bones and fat, slowly cooked until tender and juicy.

Both dishes have a unique flavor and are a true delight for lovers of Portuguese gastronomy. You can enjoy them in local restaurants, where they are served with typical accompaniments such as turnip greens or potatoes.

Don’t forget to pair them with a good wine from the region for a complete gastronomic experience.

Visiting nearby villages like Abreiro or Frechas

Pelourinho de Abreiro.
Pillory of Abreiro.
Igreja de Abreiro.
Church of Abreiro.
Abreiro: Aldeias de Portugal.
Abreiro: Villages of Portugal.

In your list of what to do and visit in Mirandela, I recommend including some villages in the surroundings, such as Abreiro or Frechas.

This is because in these corners, time seems to slow down and simplicity comes to life.

So, in Abreiro, walk along the old medieval cobblestone path to the bridge, and see the pillory that is unlike any I’ve seen before.

In Frechas, tranquility reigns. The fields invite for walks, so put on your sneakers and set out to discover the simple beauty of country life.

Trails and Hiking Routes in Mirandela

Trilhos em Mirandela.
Trails in Mirandela.

Nothing beats walking to get to know a region.

So, if you’re a fan of walking, you’ll be glad to know that Mirandela has 5 marked hiking trails.

To learn more about these hiking trails, we suggest clicking on each of the following trails, which will direct you to the information provided by the municipality.

PR1 Trilho do Tua | PR2 Trilho de Vale de Lobo | PR3 Trilho Entre Rios | PR4 Trilho do Vale do TUA | PR5 Trilho de Santa Catarina.

Gastronomy and Typical Products of Mirandela

This region of Trás-os-Montes is rich in olive oil, almonds, and figs, as well as products with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

Thus, Alheira de Mirandela was recognized as one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal, but don’t miss the opportunity to also try Alheira de Vinhais (PGI), which uses meat from bísaro pigs, as well as Butelo de Vinhais (PGI).

On the other hand, for cheese fans, there are options of Transmontano goat cheese (PDO) and Terrincho cheese (PDO).

Itinerary for a day in Mirandela, North of Portugal

Solar dos Condes de Vinhais.
Solar dos Condes de Vinhais.

If you only have one day to explore Mirandela, it’s understandable that you’ll have to make tough choices about which places to visit. Unfortunately, among the points you’ll have to leave out is the Regional Natural Park of Vale do Tua.

This is because the distance to this location is significant, requiring a detour that will consume a large part of your precious time. In our opinion, this trip doesn’t justify in a one-day itinerary.

So, we suggest that you concentrate all your efforts and time on the historic center of the city.

This nucleus, full of history and culture, offers a wealth of experiences that will surely make your day memorable. To facilitate your visit, we suggest following the route we indicated earlier, ensuring that you don’t miss any of the most remarkable points of interest.

However, don’t be discouraged! Save this article for when you have the opportunity to return to Mirandela with more available time.

This way, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the natural wonders of the Regional Natural Park of Vale do Tua and calmly explore everything this region has to offer.

Accommodation in Mirandela

Hotel Dom Dinis, em Mirandela.
Hotel Dom Dinis, in Mirandela.
Piscina do Hotel Dom Dinis, em Mirandela.
Pool of Hotel Dom Dinis in Mirandela.

If you can stay in Mirandela for a few days, believe me, you won’t regret it.

As you’ve seen in this article, there’s plenty to see and do in the region. To help you choose where to stay, here are our suggestions:

Hotels in Mirandela

Map and how to get to Mirandela

For those departing from the city of Porto, the journey to Mirandela covers a distance of approximately 150 km.

This route offers an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Transmontana landscapes along the way.

Departing from Vila Real, a city located just 60 km away via the A4, the arrival in Mirandela promises to be quick.

On the other hand, for travelers coming from Lisbon, the journey to Mirandela requires a longer trip, covering about 430 km. Despite the distance, this is an opportunity for a journey passing through different regions of Portugal and witnessing the country’s diversity.

Regardless of the starting point, travelers will find below a detailed map with the necessary directions to reach Mirandela. This resource will be useful for navigation and ensuring a smooth arrival in the Transmontana city.

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