Discover Mogadouro, Portugal: a hidden gem in Trás-os-Montes

Castelo de Mogadouro.
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Mogadouro is a border village belonging to the district of Bragança, that is, it is located in Trás-os-Montes – Portugal.

With architectural, cultural and natural heritage, the village of Mogadouro is a great tourist destination for those wishing to experience the authentic beauty of the interior of Portugal.

Therefore, in this article, I will give you some suggestions of what to see and do in Mogadouro, that is, we are going to explore the main attractions that Mogadouro has to offer visitors, from its medieval castle to its museums and stunning landscapes.

I also include suggestions on where to stay, restaurants, what to visit in the surroundings and even some curiosities, such as the origin of the name Mogadouro.

So, will you join me on this journey through the transmontana border?

Best things to See and Do in Mogadouro Portugal

Visitar Mogadouro (Trás-os-Montes).
Visit Mogadouro Portugal (Trás-os-Montes).

Below is a list of suggestions for what to visit in Mogadouro, but first, I would like to share some information that I consider relevant.

Firstly, despite the village being relatively small, there are several areas with gardens and benches. For example, my children always found a comfortable place to sit and wait for me while I was busy with my camcorder (see the video below). They even commented that the village felt like a living room, with so many nice places to sit.

Additionally, I found the locals to be very friendly and conversational. So, don’t be in a hurry to leave and take the time to enjoy every minute in Mogadouro.

Explore the Castle of Mogadouro, the Torre de Menagem and Pelourinho

Torre de Menagem.
Torre de Menagem.

These three monuments are located very close to each other, so it makes sense to visit them all at once.

The Torre de Menagem and the Castle of Mogadouro are visible from a distance, but the Pelourinho can be easily missed as it is located in the square next to the access to the tower.

Lastly, take your time to explore the area, climb the steps, and enjoy the 360º view over the village of Mogadouro.

Visit Igreja Matriz

Igreja Matriz de Mogadouro.
Igreja Matriz de Mogadouro.

The Igreja Matriz de Mogadouro is located just a few meters from the castle, but it is only open before worship hours.

Built in the 16th century, the church is well-preserved, with its main highlights being the high altar featuring the coats of arms of the Order of Christ and the Távoras.

Although it may not be easy, if you happen to be there when the church is open, don’t miss the opportunity to enter

Visit the Museum of Archeology Room (Sala Museu de Arqueologia)

Casa Museu de Arqueologia.
Casa Museu de Arqueologia.

The Mogadouro Archaeology Museum houses a collection of artifacts donated by private individuals and pieces found in archaeological excavations in the region.

Among the exhibits are some pieces dating back to the Roman period. If you are passionate about history, you will certainly spend a pleasant couple of hours exploring this space.

Road trip Lagos do Sabor

Lagos do Sabor.
Lagos do Sabor.

The Lagos do Sabor were created as a result of the construction of the Baixo Sabor Dam and span across territories in the municipalities of Alfândega da Fé, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Mogadouro, and Torre de Moncorvo.

The 70 km water mirror, winding between hills and valleys, offers breathtaking landscapes and is one of the region’s main attractions.

When in Mogadouro, be sure not to miss the opportunity to discover this small paradise in Trás-os-Montes.

Accomodation in Mogadouro

Hotel Trindade Coelho.
Hotel Trindade Coelho.

As you may have noticed, it’s a good idea to spend at least one night in the village of Mogadouro.

For a central location, Hotel Trindade Coelho is a good choice. It is located in the village center and offers amenities such as a restaurant, gym, and free private parking.

If you plan on visiting Mogadouro during the summer, you might prefer accommodations with a swimming pool. Summers in Trás-os-Montes are hot, with very high temperatures. In this case, I recommend checking out Casa das Indrineiras in the nearby village of Vila D’Ala. This guest house has four bedrooms and a swimming pool.

If neither of these suggestions appeals to you, you can check the availability and prices of other accommodations in the area below.

Itinerary for a day in the village of Mogadouro

Centro da vila de Mogadouro.
Mogadouro village centre, with the São Sebastião Oratory in the foreground.

If you only have one day to visit the village of Mogadouro, I suggest you park your car next to the Castle and start your tour in that area.

See the Pelourinho, the Igreja da Misericórdia and then go up the stairs towards the Torre de Menagem and Castle.

You can walk through what remains of the old walls and have a 360º perspective on the town and neighboring villages. The Miradouro do Castelo de Mogadouro is a good place to spend a few minutes.

Then, go to the center of the village, passing through Rua João de Freitas, which is part of the original path of the Camino de Santiago and where there is (at least) a Manueline window.

If you are interested in the history of the region, don’t forget to visit the Archeology Museum Room. Also, right next door you can admire the façade of the Church and Convent of São Francisco.

Parque da Vila is the ideal place to sit down, but in Praça Eng Duarte Pacheco there are also benches if it’s time to take a break.

What are the points of interest in the village of Mogadouro Portugal?

Igreja e Convento de São Francisco.
Church and Convent of São Francisco, next to the Town Hall of Mogadouro.

In summary, here are the main points of interest in the village of Mogadouro: the castle, the keep (Torre de Menagem), the pillory, the center of the village, Church and Convent of São Francisco, Praça Eng Duarte Pacheco, the municipal library, the São Sebastião Oratory, Largo Trindade Coelho and the Archeology Museum Room.

Food and restaurants in Mogadouro

In Trás-os-Montes meat is king, so in the village’s restaurants you will find different dishes that celebrate this local product.

From ham and chorizo to the well-known steak and veal cutlet, there are plenty of restaurants to taste the best the region has to offer.

We chose the A Tasquinha restaurant and we were very well served. The cheese, ham and olives were a good introduction to the meat board accompanied by mushrooms and potatoes, as well as the picanha from animals in the region.

What to visit near Mogadouro

Miradouro de Penedo Durão.
Viewpoint of Penedo Durão.

There are several very interesting places to visit within a few km of Mogadouro.

Pena Róias Castle (11 km) is an ancient fortification of the Knights Templar, which was built by Dom Afonso Henriques in 1166. Despite not being well preserved, the truth is that it is still a beautiful place to visit.

On the other hand, and about 14 km from Mogadouro, the Monóptero de São Gonçalo is a rare monument in Portugal, hence its relevance in terms of tourism. It is a baroque-style structure that would serve to accommodate the image of São Gonçalo de Amarante and was built by the Távora family.

In addition to these two places, and if you have two or three days to spend in the region, I take the liberty of suggesting that you include in your tour of Trás-os-Montes the viewpoints of the International Douro Natural Park, as well as the most Manueline village in Portugal : Freixo de Espada à Cinta.

What is the origin of the name Mogadouro?

Pelourinho, visto a partir do Castelo de Mogadouro.
Pelourinho, seen from Mogadouro Castle.

It is believed that the name “Mogadouro” originates from the Arabic “Mugathur”, which means “elevated” or “fort”, in reference to the elevated position of the city and the ancient castle that stood on top of the hill.

During the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, Mogadouro was an important defensive fortification, controlling access to the Trás-os-Montes plateau. However, with the Christian Reconquista, the city was conquered by the Portuguese in the 12th century, and its castle was later rebuilt and expanded.

Over the centuries, the region has become an important commercial and administrative center, thanks to its strategic location on the trade routes between the interior of Portugal and neighboring Spain. Incidentally, the name Mogadouro remains today as a testament to the rich history of the city and its importance in the region.

Where is and how to get to Mogadouro

The village of Mogadouro is located in the district of Bragança, that is, in the North of Portugal, and about 217 km from the city of Porto.

To get to Mogadouro and taking the city of Porto as a reference, you can take the A4 towards Vila Real, continue along the IC5 and then the N221 to Mogadouro.

In total, you can count on a trip of around 2h30.

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