Amarante
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AMARANTE

Deep within the Minho's lush green landscape, straddling both banks of the river Tâmega, lies the picturesque little town of Amarante. This beautiful town makes a great day trip from Porto. MADABOUTPORTO.COM is your essential guide to how to get there, what to see, where to eat and the best tour suggestions.



INTRODUCTION TO AMARANTE

The mighty Serra de Marvão provides a suitable natural backdrop to the town's 17th-century traditional houses with wooden balconies and narrow cobbled streets. Originally known as Turdetanos to its Roman founders, Amarante had a name change to honour Governor Amarantus. The town dates back to the 4th century BC. Through time, has borne witness to many invaders and visitors alike.

The towns famous bridge and a national monument was built in 1790. It was once a focal point of resistance against French Marshall Soult's soldiers in 1809, the Ponte de São Gonçalo offers the visitor a visual feast including the impressive São Gonçalo Convent, named after the local patron saint, crowned with its red Cupola. It's said that São Gonçalo built the first bridge in the 13th century to give access to his monastery, but it was tragically destroyed by floods in 1763. São Gonçalo's monastery became a church in 1540. Great views can also be found from the restaurants strategically placed along the river banks that serve some of the best cuisine in the area. Satisfied bellies can be walked off in the leafy park along the bank of the Tãmega and maybe make room for Amarante's famous sweet egg-based delicacies.

CONVENTO DE SÃO GONÇALO

Convento de São Gonçalo

Convento de São Gonçalo

The most dominant and most beautiful building in Amarante is undoubtedly the Convento de São Gonçalo, its magnificent red Cupola dominating the skyline and its commanding location overlooking the bridge. Construction started in 1540 on the orders of Dom João III and took 40 years to complete. Facing a square next to the monastery is a beautiful Mannerist doorway with high niches containing 17th-century granite statues. Those figures in the foreground represent St. Francis and St. Domingos de Gusmão, whilst in the background can be seen St. Gonçalo, St. Peter the Martyr and St. Thomas Aquinas, all enjoying the protection of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Crowning the collection of statues is the royal coat of arms. São (Saint) Gonçalo is the patron of the town and is famed for being a matchmaker and confidant to the town's maidens who are tired of being single. His limestone tomb is found inside the monastery, and it's believed that touching the tomb helps to bring a speedy marriage (it worked for my wife). Over the centuries, his face, hands and feet have been worn away by those eager to find marital bliss. Also inside the main part of the church is the chapel of Santa Rita Cássia, with its gilded wooden altarpiece and the beautiful eighteenth-century organ supported by three gilded bearded mythological figures.

TOP TOURS OF AMARANTE

Inside Amarante Tour

Inside Amarante Tour

Come discover Amarante and let yourself be enveloped by the stories, traditions and flavours that the town has to offer you. Let yourself be immersed in this passionate filled history town. History begins in the stone-age, through the Roman period and the influence of Saint Gonçalo and the French troops during the Napoleonic wars. Amarante itself has a religious image, perhaps for its monumental convent of S. Gonçalo bathed by the bucolic Tâmega River or its majestic baroque churches and its beautiful and magnificent S. Gonçalo bridge. The discovery of great personalities such as Amadeu de Souza-Cardoso, Teixeira de Pascoaes or António do Lago Cerqueira is equally irrefutable. Discover Amarante with a local guide who will be honoured to present you his home.

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Douro Valley Tour (Amarante, Pinhão and Peso da Régua) with Wine Estate visit

Douro Valley Tour (Amarante, Pinhão and Peso da Régua) with Wine Estate visit

Get to know one of Portugal’s most treasured regions during this full-day tour to the Douro Valley from Porto. See historic landmarks in Amarante, visit the city centre of Peso da Regua to see where the barrels of port wine was loaded onto the Rabelo boats, and cruise down the picturesque roads. Learn about the winemaking process throughout the day and sample wines from various vineyards in this premier wine region. Explore the Douro Valley on a full-day tour. Enjoy complimentary pick-up from your hotel in Porto.



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Amarante’s Flavours - Wine, sweets and regional products

Amarante’s Flavours Tour

In this experience, you discover the region of Amarante, the traditions and the flavours. We will pick you up from your hotel and drive you in a comfortable minivan to Amarante. Here we will explore the town, its history, traditions, legends and flavours. The first delight you will taste will be the conventual pastry, made in Amarante since the XIII Century. After lunch, we will visit a local Vinho Verde producer and guide you through the vineyards. You will get to know the evolution of Vinho Verde, the history behind the wine, methods of harvest and processing the grapes. You will try the different wines of the producer with a regional products picnic. In the end, we will return you to your hotel.


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AMARANTE WINES

Amarante has its own sub-regional appellation, as part of the Vinho Verde classification (labelled as Vinho Verde DOC, sub-região Amarante). Protected from the influence of the Atlantic and high average altitude, temperatures are higher than other Vinho Verde sub-regions. These conditions favour the cultivation of certain late-ripening varieties: Azal and Avesso (whites) and Amaral and Espadeiro (reds). The soil is granite, like most of the region. The white wines usually present fruity flavours and an alcohol content higher than the regional average.

However, Amarante is famed for its reds since these climatic conditions favour well-matured grapes, particularly from the Vinhão variety, deep in colour and fruity on the palate. Most brands have the characteristic Vinho Verde fizz. This red should be served chilled.


VISIT A VINEYARD

Adega Cooperativa de Amarante

Cabeceiras de Basto | adega.amarante@sapo.pt | Website

Caves da Cerca, S.A.

Amarante | geral@cdcwine.com | Website

Quinta da Lixa

Celorico de Basto | info@quintadalixa.pt | Website

Vinho Verde Amarante

Vinho Verde sub-region Amarante

AMARANTE AQUA PARK

Amarante Aqua Park

Amarante Aqua Park

Parque Aquático Amarante is situated close to the River Tamega, located some 50km West of Porto and a short distance southwest of Amarante. You will find swimming pools for adults and children, incredible toboggans, water slides of various types and a snack bar. The Aqua Park is a great family day out.

June - September, Daily: 10h00 - 19h00
Rua do Tâmega, nº 2245, 4600-909 Fregim, Amarante, Portugal
41° 14' 59.8" N | 08° 06' 28.4" W
+351 255 410 040
waterpark@tamegaclube.com |  Website


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WHAT TO DO IN AMARANTE

Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum

Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Museum

The Municipal Museum of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, installed in the Dominican Convent of São Gonçalo, was founded in 1947 by Albano Sardoeira. The museum brings together materials relating to local history and celebrates artists and writers born in Amarante.
Tuesday - Sunday: 10h00 - 12h30/14h00 - 17h30, Sundays & Holidays: CLOSED
Alameda Teixeira de Pascoaes, 4600-011 Amarante, Portugal.
41° 16' 10.5" N | 08° 04' 41.9" W | +351 255 432 006
Cmasousacardoso@um.geira.pt |  Website

Route Marancinho

Walking routes

The PR1 Route Marancinho runs along for a good part of the journey along the river of the same name. Beginning and ending with the Romanesque church of Gondar, this route of more than four miles (6km) utilises ancestral paths, including a beautiful stretch of the old Roman road. Maps and brochures can be found at the tourist office in Amarante for this route and others, including the Rota de São Bento and the Itinerário da Lameira.

Parque Florestal de Amarante

Parque Florestal de Amarante

Overlooking the Cepelos side of the river Tãmega and occupying more than five hectares is one of the highlights of Amarante. First planted in 1916 on the initiative of António do Lago Cerqueira, the park offers visitors spaces for leisure, hiking and sport. It also hosts thousands of spices of tree and plants.

Rua das Carvalhinhas, 4600-206 Amarante, Portugal.
41° 16' 0.2" N | 08° 4' 53.9" W

AMARANTE GOLF COURSE

Amarante Golf Course

Amarante Golf Course

Created in 1997. Amarante's golf course is backdropped by the surrounding natural beauty, two of the highest mountains in Portugal - Marão and Aboboreira, it's hilly topography offers players a challenge. Located in the parish of Fregim four miles (6 Km) from the town of Amarante. The course consists of 18 holes, for a par of 68, over 40 acres and an altitude of 600 metres. The highlights are the fast but undulated greens, which require special attention by players. It comprises seven par 3 holes, eight par 4 holes and three par 5 holes. The site also contains a golf school offering courses and advice for all ages and abilities.
Minimum handicap requirements: men: 36, women: 36

April - September 07h30 - 20h00, October - March 07h30 - 18h00




Contact Details
Sociedade do Golfe de Amarante, S.A. 4600-593 Amarante, Portugal. | 41° 15' 30.7" N | 08° 06' 55.2" W
+351 255 446 060 | escola@golfedeamarante.com |  Website

The Course

Inauguration year:

1997

Holes:

18

Par:

68

Distance:

5030 m

Architect:

Jorge Santana da Silva

Amenities

Practice Areas:

Driving Range

Hire:

Clubs, Buggies (without GPS), Trollys

Lessons:

Individual, Group

Club House:

Shops, Restaurant & Snack

Main Events:

-

THE FESTIVAL OF SÃO GONÇALO

During the first weekend of June in Amarante occurs one of the most bizarre yet colourful and merry festivals of Portugal. The Festival of São Gonçalo has its roots from an ancient ritual of fertility drawn from a pagan source and is a spectacle well worth seeing if you're in the Porto area when it's on. Traditionally during the festival, young and unmarried couples exchange provocative phallic-shaped cakes (bolos de São Gonçalo), symbolising their passion and love. At midnight on the second day of the festival, the skies of Amarante are illuminated by a spectacular firework display. It is the increasingly challenging aim of the organisers to surpass the previous year's spectacle.

Car Hire in Amarante

The Festival of São Gonçalo

The Festival of São Gonçalo

SUGGESTED HOTELS

Hotel Casa da Calçada

Hotel Casa da Calçada ★ ★ ★ ★

Located in Amarante within a majestic landscape and an entire idyllic scenery that inspires its discovery. Declared by the Portuguese Government as a building of high architectonical, historical and cultural relevance, its neo-classical elements in a romantic atmosphere. Inviting travelling to the past in a homelike and welcoming ambience.

Largo do Paço, 6, 4600-017 Amarante, Portugal.
41° 16 06.0" N | 08° 04' 41.1" W | +351 255 410 830 | reservas@casadacalcada.com

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Vila Coura

Vila Coura

Located in Amarante Vila Coura provides an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi. All accommodation includes a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen, a dining area and a private bathroom complete with bathrobes. Some rooms feature a patio or a balcony. A microwave, a fridge and oven are also provided, as well as a kettle and a coffee machine. This farm stay offers a continental or à la carte breakfast. After a day of hiking or fishing, guests can relax in the garden or in the shared lounge area.

Rua Dona Eduarda Matos n607 Vila Caiz, 4600-789 Amarante, Portugal.
41° 13' 35.3" N | 08° 08' 05.9" W

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Hotel Navarras

Hotel Navarras ★ ★ ★ ★

Hotel Navarras is located within the suburbs of Amarante and close to Ponte de São Gonçalo and Igreja de São Gonçalo, and within a 40 minute reach of Porto. Hotel Navarras by Tamega Clube is 400 yards from the Tâmega River. It offers air-conditioned rooms and has a terrace with panoramic views. Hotel Navarras' rooms have modern wood furnishings and a private bathroom. They come equipped with a TV and a telephone. Some rooms feature a balcony with panoramic views.

Rua António Carneiro, 4600-049 Amarante, Portugal.
41° 16' 04.2" N | 08° 04' 27.1" W | +351 255 431 036

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Confeitaria da Ponte

Confeitaria da Ponte

A great little bakery, patisserie selling freshly made sweets, cakes and other naughty, yet very tasty, things. There is a terrace overlooking Amarante famous bridge and offers spectacular vistas to accompany your coffee and pastry (or two). Their range of local and national pastries is huge and Confeitaria da Ponte since opening in 1930 has earned a nationwide reputation as the place to visit in Amarante.

Daily: 08h30 - 20h00
Rua 31 de Janeiro, Amarante 4600-043, Portugal.
41º 16' 07.1" N | 08º 04' 35.0" W
+351 258 742 754
confeitariadaponte@gmail.com |  Website


Filhos de Moura

Filhos de Moura

In a village, a ten-minute drive North of Amarante is the wonderful small family restaurant, Filhos de Moura. Their menu is fairly basic as they prefer to specialise in what they're good at, and that is Leitão - roasted piglet cooked in a wood fire stove, served succulent and tender with a slightly spicy sauce. Try it with a Tavora - Varosa Espumante sparkling wine and take a taxi, it's well worth the effort and it won't hurt your wallet.

Tuesday - Saturday: 10h00 - 15h00/19h30 - 23h30, Sunday: 10h00 - 16h30, Monday: CLOSED
Rua de Sao Pedro n 575, Aboim, Amarante, 4600-065, Portugal.
41° 17' 38.6" N | 08° 06' 04.5" W
+351 969 683 779
filhosdemoura@gmail.com |  Website


Restaurante Quinta do Outeiro

Restaurante Quinta do Outeiro

Quinta do Outeiro first opened in April 2008, with an indoor capacity for 65 people and a terrace for about 140 more. Magnificent views overlooking the River Tamega and Serra do Marao.

Daily: 12h00 - 15h00/19h00 - 22h00
Outeiro de Baixo, São Gonçalo, 4600-222 Amarante, Portugal.
41° 16'' 04.1" N | 08° 05' 36.4" W
+351 255 010 092
geral@quintadouteiro.com

Amarante is 63km (39 miles) from Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport PORTO. Website

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Only 40 minutes from Porto along the A4. There are two exits for Amarante, clearly marked: Amarante West leads the area S. Lázaro and Santa Luzia, Amarante-East leads to the area of ​​Queimado, Murtas and São Gonçalo.

Latitude - 41° 16' 10.56" N Longitude - 08° 04' 42.44" W

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Sadly trains no longer go to Amarante.

• Amarante is served by a bus station, located between the roads rua dos Combatentes do Ultramar and the estrada municipal 570. The are no direct connections from the airport rather via the centre of Porto with Rodonorte. Companies operating in Amarante are:
• Rodonorte: A coach company servicing North & Central Portugal Website There are regular buses from Porto to Amarante for €7.40 each way.
• Transdev: Website
• Rede Expressos: Website Services from various towns including Braga, Bragança, Coimbra, Porto, Valença and many others to Ponte de Lima.