This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Ponte de Lima. To help you make friends with Ponte de Lima before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Ponte de Lima, Portugal, is located in the very north of Portugal, about twenty-five kilometres from the border with Spain. It has the prestigious title of "the oldest village of Portugal" and in fact, this is not too far from away the truth -- the history of Ponte de Lima goes back to the Roman times, when it was an important settlement on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, where Saint James is supposedly buried.
The River Limia has always played an important role in the life of the village and today, its most important attraction is the ancient thirty-one-arched bridge that runs across the river and the charming chapel that stands on the riverbank on the opposite side from the village.
The tiny village of Ponte de Lima is like a jewelry box with its cute little houses and inviting atmospheric coffee houses and their adjoining traditional Portuguese terraces. However, the looks might be deceiving -- Ponte de Lima is not a sleepy village with an aging population and without anything going on. Actually, it is a centre for interesting traditional events and festivals. Every second Monday of the month, the longest market of Portugal takes place in the village, attracting people from all over the region to exchange goods. Every June, the "Vaca das Cordas" generates excitement and attracts many visitors. It is basically a bull fight, with the exception that it is the whole village fighting against one bull and that the bull does not die in the end. Last, but not least, in September, the village fills to the seams with visitors when the spectacular festival of Feiras Novas takes place, with fairs, firework, and carnivals.
Ponte de Lima is an important agricultural centre as well and is well known as being the production place of the vinho verde, the so called "green wine," a young wine, which is consumed not long after the bottling.
While Ponte de Lima is definitely a must if you are in the far north of Portugal, accommodation might be a bit tricky. As this region is well known for traditional Portuguese palaces, most accommodation options are offered inside one of these with the prices set accordingly. Moreover, the cheaper "albergues" are reserved for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Although your options for hostels in Ponte de Lima, Portugal are extremely limited, there are some in the nearby capital of the region, Viana do Castelo. They are normally extremely puritan, offering bunk beds and nothing else, but at least they are guaranteed not to blow the budget of any backpackers.
Written by local enthusiast for Ponte de Lima hostelsJudyM