January 22, 2020
Lamego is a beautiful small town nestled due east of Porto by about three hours. It’s a beautiful drive to Lamego along the Douro River Valley that is home to thousands upon thousands of grape vines. If you love Port wine, then a drive through this region is a must.
The town of Lamego is full of small winding streets, cathedrals, boulevards and history that contains Kings, Queens and multiple religions. On one end of town you have a Castle and the other a baroque Cathedral with an impressive set of stairs. Driving in town is frustrating and it’s easiest to just park the car and head out on foot.
We stayed at a great little Airbnb just about 5 miles outside of town and you can read about that adventure here. Our sightseeing in this area included a drive to the historic areas of Ferreirim, Ucanha and Sao Joao de Tarouca and to visit the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Our Lady of the Remedies) Chapel in Lamego.
Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Our Lady of the Remedies) Chapel
Religious pilgrims have been climbing St Stephens Hill since the 1300s to visit Our Lady of the Remedies at her altar. The journey to the top is 686 steps via nine landings. These landings are decorated with tile panels, chapels, fountains, obelisks and statues. One of the landings has the images of the 18 kings of Israel.
Also on this upper terrace is a chestnut tree more than 700 years old and ten feet in diameter. Jeff wondered if the tree still generated chestnuts. And if we let our forests grow, just how old would our trees get? There goes Jeff with his nature philosophies . . . Surprised he didn’t hug the chestnut!
Did we climb to the top? Yes we did, but not in the conventional manner. We climbed to the top via the stairs and through the forest paths around the Chapel. We checked out the patios of the steps and the grottos and grounds of the surrounding forest. It was quite beautiful being so far up above the city.
Directions: From Porto we drove Highway 108 to Peso da Regua. We then headed south on EN 2 to Lamego. The train heads north to Braga, then south to Peso da Regua, avoiding this difficult terrain. Then a bus to Lamego. We chose to stay along the rivers (think windy, winding, steep and narrow roads). Jeff would not have survived a bus ride winding through those beautiful hills!