Top Places to Visit in Penedono: What to Do, See and Best Hotels

Visitar o Castelo de Penedono.
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2024-03-04

Here is a list of the best things to do and visit in Penedono, including information on the best time to visit, gastronomy, how to get there, and accommodation suggestions.

Penedono is a village in the Viseu district, a place rich in history and with a wide range of interesting activities to do.

A territory of Beira people who are proud of the role they played in the history of Portugal.

After all, it was in this village that Álvaro Gonçalves Coutinho, known as the “Magriço” from the famous portuguese book “Os Lusíadas,” was born.

The Town Hall operates in the former Solar dos Coutinhos, the Counts of Marialva, locally known as Solar dos Freixos, because of the centuries-old trees in the garden of this mansion. Take the opportunity to visit the Calvary Chapel, which is right in front.

Although the most well-known monument is undoubtedly the castle, I will tell you about other places to visit in the region, as well as suggestions on what to do in Penedono.

So, are you joining us on this journey through history and great views in Portugal?

Best Things To Do and Visit in Penedono

Visitar o Castelo de Penedono.
Penedono castle.
Painel informatico em Penedono.
Information panel about medieval weapons and torture devices.

Exploring Penedono Castle

The earliest reference to Penedono Castle dates back to the year 960 when it was donated to Dona Flámula, but its origins are believed to be even older. In other words, it predates the Portuguese nationality.

The history of the castle is not always easy to trace, however, it is known to have served as a lordly residence and defensive outpost.

Within its walls, the cistern and the patrol path are still present, but the best thing you can do in the castle is undoubtedly to climb to one of the windows and peek at the village below.

This Romanesque-Gothic construction has been classified as a National Heritage site since 1910.

Furthermore, at the foot of the castle stands the pillory, which has been a Property of Public Interest since 1933, as well as examples of medieval weapons and torture devices.

Visiting the Main Church (Igreja Matriz)

The Main Church, or Church of São Pedro, is located very close to the castle, so you have no excuse not to include it in your itinerary.

The granite exterior may not be particularly eye-catching, but inside, you can admire a set of very beautiful paintings.

We’re talking about 35 panels on the church ceiling depicting various saints that you really shouldn’t miss.

Exploring the Clock Tower (Torre do Relógio)

Torre do Relógio em Penedono.
Clock Tower.

The construction date of the Clock Tower is uncertain, but this structure definitely marks the skyline of the town.

This is because the tower, with its clock and bell, is quite tall and stands out, situated on a small hill.

Exploring the parish of Belsega

Belsega is located just 8 km from Penedono, so we suggest including it in your itinerary.

In this parish, you can see the Romanesque Bridge and the Chapel of Senhor dos Passos, as well as buy typical handicrafts, such as rush handicrafts.

Additionally, on the first Sunday of September, the village hosts the festival of Divino Senhor dos Passos.

Explore the Antas/Ourozinho Ecopista

If you enjoy walking or cycling, then don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Antas/Ourozinho Ecopista.

Visit The Magriço Market (Mercado Magriço)

The Magriço Market in Penedono is an excellent opportunity to get to know the region. After all, at this event, you can discover and taste the best of Penedono.

I’m referring to excellent local products such as chestnuts, olive oil, sausages, bread, sweets, and also handicrafts. In terms of craftsmanship, don’t miss the Beselga rushwork (Junça de Belsega) and crochet dolls.

Furthermore, also get to know the Chestnut Brotherhood, watch the chestnut contest or the sheep and goat contest, and participate in the olive oil route hike.

As you can see, there are plenty of activities throughout the three days of the Magriço Market in Penedono.

It usually takes place in November (last year it was from November 10th to 12th), but there is still no confirmed date for 2024.

What to Do in Penedono in 2024 (Must-See)

Pelourinho de Penedono, em frente ao castelo.
Pillory, in front of the castle.
  • Attend the Medieval Fair of Penedono and engage in a duel, watch the jesters and merchants, as well as indulge in the Medieval Feast;
  • Explore the Jewish Heritage, such as by taking the “In the Paths of Sepharad” Route (Nos Caminhos de Sefarad);
  • Climb up to the Santa Margarida Viewpoint in Póvoa de Penela;
  • Take part in the Pilgrimage of Santa Eufémia, on the 15th and 16th of September.

Gastronomy and restaurants in Penedono

Regarding the best places for lunch or dinner in Penedono, I have two suggestions to share with you.

Firstly, a quaint space in the center of the village for those who enjoy fun experiences. I’m talking about Taberna Fornos do Rei, which has long wooden tables, clay dishes, and a rustic atmosphere that’s worth experiencing.

Appetizers like grilled alheira sausage, fried blood sausage, or broken eggs are always a good choice, and for main courses, the highlights are oven-baked pork cheeks and shrimp broth rice.

On the other hand, at the Hotel Medieval de Penedono, you can try delicious dishes in an elegant atmosphere.

I recommend stuffed mushrooms with cheese, cured meats, and mushrooms with chestnuts as starters, and for the main course, it’s hard to choose between Galician-style octopus, sirloin steak, chanfana (braised goat or mutton), and bísaro pork with chestnuts.

What to visit near Penedono?

Torre do Relógio de Mêda
Clock Tower in Mêda.
Largo dos Monumentos Aguiar da Beira
Monuments Square in Aguiar da Beira.
Castelo de Trancoso
Visiting the castle in the Historic Village of Trancoso.
Alto Douro Vinhateiro
Viewpoint of the Côa Museum, in Vila Nova de Foz Côa.

Not far from Penedono, there are several places to visit that you can include in your itinerary.

Here are my top recommendations, along with their respective distances:

  • Mêda (18 km, 11 mi or 325,03937 yd);
  • Aguiar da Beira (27 km, 16 mi or 1367,559055 yd);
  • Trancoso (29 km, 18 mi or 34,785652 yd);
  • Vila Nova de Foz Côa (37 km, 22 mi or 1743,692038 yd).

Medieval Fair of Penedono

Interior do Castelo de Penedono.
Interior of Penedono Castle.
"Prisão" no Castelo de Penedono (jaula de metal).
“Prison” at Penedono Castle (metal cage).

The Medieval Fair of Penedono takes place on the first weekend of July, when the village is filled with visitors.

Thus, there are street performances with actors dressed in medieval costumes who recreate medieval times.

Who built the Penedono Castle?

Ver o interior do Castelo de Penedono.
See the interior of Penedono Castle.
Subir às ameias do Castelo de Penedono.
Ascend to the battlements of Penedono Castle.

As I mentioned, the origins of Penedono Castle are not precisely known, but everything indicates that it was likely rebuilt by Vasco Fernandes Coutinho, with its origins possibly dating back to the year 900.

Accommodation in Penedono

The Hotel Medieval de Penedono is an excellent choice for exploring the region. It is located right in front of the castle, offers a varied breakfast, and has a restaurant if you prefer to dine there.

Furthermore, it provides free private parking, and although it doesn’t have a swimming pool, during the summer, hotel guests can use the municipal pool for free.

If you prefer to choose another accommodation, we suggest checking the availability and prices of hotels in the region through the following link and map.

Hotels in Penedono

Everything you need to know before visiting the village of Penedono

O que fazer em Penedono: visitar o castelo, ver o pelourinho, explorar o centro da vila e muito mais!
What to do in Penedono: visit the castle, see the pillory, explore the town center, and much more!

How many days are needed to visit Penedono?

Since the village is relatively small, one day is enough to explore the castle and the center.

However, in this itinerary, I suggest exploring the surroundings, including the Santa Margarida viewpoint in Póvoa de Penela and the parish of Belsega.

Where is the village of Penedono located?

The village of Penedono is located in the district of Viseu, which is part of the Douro sub-region.

What are the inhabitants of Penedono called?

The inhabitants of Penedono, or the natives, are called “penedonenses.” By the way, did you know that the village was once called “Pena do Dono”?

Map and How to Get to Penedono

Penedono is located 65 km from Viseu, 68 km from Lamego, 71 km from Guarda, 156 km from Coimbra, 199 km from Porto, and finally, 357 km from Lisbon.

The best way to reach Penedono is by car, so if you need to rent a car in Portugal, I recommend the Discovercars website.

It’s where I usually rent a car, as they currently offer the best prices and conditions in my opinion.

Check out how much it costs to rent a car in Portugal.

From Lisbon

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