Viana do Castelo

Located at the mouth of the Lima River, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean in the far north of Portugal is the city and municipality of Viana do Castelo.  Over 91,000 people call Viana do Castelo home.  The seaport in Viana do Castelo is home to a naval repair facility, and has a thriving economy in this sector.  The shipyard in Viana do Castelo is the last remaining shipyard serving Portugal.

Viana do Castelo has a standard Mediterranean climate, complete with warm dry summers and mild but wet winters.  During July and August, daytime high temperatures reach a very nice 26 degrees Celsius, with evening lows of 16 degrees.  In January, the coldest month, highs of 14 degrees are common, with night-time low temperatures of a cool six degrees Celsius.  Viana do Castelo receives on average 98 centimetres of rain per annum, with summers rarely exceeding five centimetres of precipitation monthly.

Among the many old world sights to see in Viana do Castelo include:

Viana do Castelo Cathedral:  The cathedral, also named Igreja Matriz, dates back to the 15th century.  Significant upgrades have occurred over the centuries, including two Roman towers on the façade of the cathedral.

Praca da Republica:  The scenic town central square, the area is surrounded by ornate buildings of multiple architectural styles.  The square’s centrepiece is a Renaissance era fountain, constructed in 1553 by famed Portuguese sculptor Joao Lopez the Elder.

Municipal Museum:  Located in an 18th century mansion, this museum centres on local artisans of ceramics, paintings, and furniture.  The museum also contains artefacts from nearby archaeological digs.  One of the most fascinating rooms of the museum contains tiled walls featuring the Earth’s continents.

The nearest airport to Viana do Castelo is Francisco de Sa Carneiro Airport, located 52 kilometres from the city centre.  Consider car hire at Porto Airport for travel to and around Viana do Castelo.

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