Best Things To Do in Soajo Village: a guide to visiting Gerês

O que fazer na vila do Soajo: descobrir o centro a pé.
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Here’s everything you need to know about the beautiful village of Soajo: what to do, see, and visit in this corner of Northern Portugal!

Soajo Village is a parish in the municipality of Arcos de Valdevez, whose cultural and heritage value has been growing in recent times.

Almost everyone is familiar with the famous Soajo espigueiros, or granaries, communal structures from ancient times when grains like corn and rye were stored in these ancestral granite barns.

However, the village of Soajo offers more than just its granaries.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about in this article! I’ll tell you about the Soajo granaries, of course, but also about a pillory, waterfalls, and lagoons known only to the locals.

I’ll also share the controversial story of the Soajo Mountain Range’s Sabujo dog. So, are you ready to join us on this journey through Minho?

What to do and visit in Soajo Village

Cão Sabujo da Serra do Soajo.
Cão Sabujo from Soajo Mountain.
Vila do Soajo.
Soajo Village.

Despite Soajo village being small, it actually has several tourist attractions to see, such as the granaries, waterfalls, and lagoons.

It also has a very beautiful center with granite houses and a pillory. In fact, these are some of the most visited places in the Peneda-Gerês Natural Park.

Exploring the center of Soajo Village

O que fazer na vila do Soajo: descobrir o centro a pé.
What to do in Soajo village: explore the center on foot.
Posto de turismo no centro do Soajo.
Tourist office in the center of Soajo.
Padaria do Soajo.
Soajo Bakery.

The center of Soajo is full of charm, so it’s well worth taking a leisurely stroll through these streets.

Make sure to include in your Soajo itinerary a visit to the São Martinho de Soajo Church, the pillory, as well as the sculpture representing the Serra do Soajo’s Sabujo Dog.

By the way, if you need, this small village has an ATM, a minimarket, a bakery, and even a restaurant.

A highly sought-after spot is the Soajo Bakery, renowned for its sweets, especially the Pão de Ló, which is famous beyond borders.

Exploring Soajo’s Espigueiros (granaries)

Soajo: espigueiros de granito centenários.
Soajo: Old Granite Corn Storage Buildings.

The Soajo Espigueiros are the most famous place in the village. It’s a set of 24 communal granite corn cribs arranged in a large threshing floor.

We recommend checking out our article on the Soajo Espigueiros to access all the information about this unique place.

Seeing the Waterfalls in Soajo

The waterfalls in Soajo are located 1.5 km from the center, but you’ll need to take a short walk.

If you’re using GPS, search for “Cascatas do Soajo” or “Cascatas Poço das Canejas,” and you’ll arrive right there.

It’s a series of waterfalls that form pleasant pools (or lagoons) in the summer, as the water is cold.

However, be especially careful as the rocks can be slippery and accidents can happen.

Taking a Dip in the Lagoons of Soajo

Soajo: Poço Negro (lagoa).
Soajo: Poço Negro (lagoon).
Poço Negro, no Soajo.
Poço Negro, in Soajo village.
Poço das Mantas na vila do Soajo.
Poço das Mantas (Soajo lagoon)

The Peneda-Gerês National Park is rich in watercourses, and the good news is that near the village of Soajo, you’ll find two wonderful and easily accessible spots.

We’re talking about Poço das Mantas and Poço Negro in Soajo village.

These two lagoons, or “poços” as they’re called here, are located in opposite directions from the center of Soajo, but don’t miss visiting both places.

Poço das Mantas is situated 1.2 km from Soajo, along the Caminho da Costa Velha towards the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda.

On the other hand, Poço Negro do Soajo is located 1 km from Soajo on EM530 road.

Visit Arcos de Valdevez

Arcos de Valdevez o que visitar
Arcos de Valdevez.
Paço de Giela
Paço de Giela, in Arcos de Valdevez.

Since you’re in Soajo, don’t miss the opportunity to include a visit to the town of Arcos de Valdevez in your itinerary.

Indeed, Arcos de Valdevez is only 20 km away from Soajo and has several interesting places to visit.

To learn more, I recommend reading the post What to Do and See in Arcos de Valdevez with care.

Exploring the Village of Sistelo and walking along the boardwalks

Passadiços do Sistelo
Passadiços do Sistelo (boardwalks).
Ver os socalcos de Sistelo: Miradouro dos Socalcos.
Socalcos viewpoint.
Castelo do Visconde de Sistelo.
Visconde de Sistelo castle.
Igreja Paroquial de Sistelo.
Sistelo Church.
Espigueiros em Sistelo.
Espigueiros in Sistelo.
Passadiços de madeira ao longo da Ecovia do Vez.
Ecovia do Vez.

Sistelo is another must-visit village in the Peneda-Gerês National Park. If you enjoyed Soajo, you’ll certainly love Sistelo too.

The village is beautiful, with stunning viewpoints and fabulous hiking trails. In fact, the Sistelo boardwalks played a significant role in promoting the region.

Cão Sabujo from Serra do Soajo

Cão Sabujo da Serra do Soajo.
Cão Sabujo from Serra do Soajo.

In 2016, the Soajo Village honored the Serra do Soajo Hound with a granite statue at the Soajo Fairgrounds.

The history of these animals dates back to the monarchy centuries and is undoubtedly a source of pride for the village.

Accommodation in Soajo Village (where to sleep)

Quarto do Ribeira Collection Hotel by Piamonte Hotels, em Arcos de Valdevez.
Ribeira Collection Hotel room by Piamonte Hotels, in Arcos de Valdevez.
Quarto do Luna Arcos Hotel Nature & Wellness.
Room at Luna Arcos Hotel Nature & Wellness.

In the village of Soajo and its surroundings, you’ll find a variety of accommodations ranging from vacation homes to local guesthouses and rural tourism options.

Typically, I stay in Arcos de Valdevez, which is 20 km away, alternating between the Ribeira Collection Hotel by Piamonte Hotels (4 stars) and the Luna Arcos Hotel Nature & Wellness (4 stars), both of which are excellent choices.

The rooms are very comfortable, equipped with a pool, and the breakfast at both hotels is diverse and of high quality. It’s truly a delight!

However, if you prefer to stay closer to Soajo, I recommend exploring other lodging alternatives.

Hotels in Soajo

Everything you need to know before visiting the village of Soajo

How many inhabitants does the village of Soajo have?

According to the latest census from 2021, the village of Soajo has 670 inhabitants.

Are there restaurants in the village of Soajo?

Restaurane Saber ao Borralho.
Restaurant Saber ao Borralho.
Restaurante Videira.
Restaurant Videira.

Yes, there are some restaurants in the village of Soajo, and I can only recommend the ones I know personally.

So, for lunch or dinner in the center of Soajo, you can choose the Videira Restaurant, and about 600 meters away, there’s the Saber ao Borralho restaurant.

Map and how to get to Soajo village

Soajo is 118 km away from Porto and 427 km from Lisbon.

However, the distance between Braga and Soajo is 74 km, while from Arcos de Valdevez to Soajo is only 20 km.

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