Caminha is a small and very pleasant Portuguese town located at the mouth of River Minho in the Alto Minho region in Northern Portugal. It was founded in the 13th century, in 1284, and thanks to its location for hundreds of years played an important military role in defending Portugal’s northern borders. Now, it’s starting to become a popular spot for today’s invaders – travelers and digital nomads. Apart from the lovely old town, you’ll find there stunning landscapes with beaches, mountains, river, ocean, forests, as well as ferry boats or bridges that will quickly take you to Spain. Vamos, let’s discover the best things to do in Caminha, Portugal.
Interesting fact. Caminha is part of Camino Portugues, one of the spiritual routes leading to the famous Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Tip. A trip to Caminha can be easily combined with a visit to Vila Nova De Cerveira located only 12 km away.
- One perfect day in Caminha, Portugal – Best things to do
- Things to do in Caminha Old Town
- Other things to do in Caminha, Portugal
- How to get to Caminha, Portugal?
- One perfect day in Caminha, Portugal – Summing up
- Restaurants, accommodations, and map
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One perfect day in Caminha, Portugal – Best things to do
Things to do in Caminha Old Town
Caminha Old Town is really charming, and strolling among its streets is a pure pleasure. There you’ll find points of interest like Caminha Main Square with Chafariz do Terreiro, Torre do Relogio or Igreja da Misericórdia, little further there is Igreja Matriz de Caminha, a few medieval cobbled streets, and remains of town fortifications. Let’s go and take a closer look at each.
Caminha Main Square
The main square is undoubtedly the most beautiful part of the town. This is where two of the most popular town landmarks are located – the renaissance fountain: Chafariz do Terreiro, and Clock Tower: Torre do Relogio. On the main square, you’ll also find several old, Gothic houses, as well as some restaurants and cafes where you can sit on one of the terraces and enjoy watching the world go by.
Torre do Relógio de Caminha
Torre do Relogio (eng. Clock Tower) is an impressive 13th-century medieval tower located on the Caminha Main Square. It once served as one of three gates to the town and as a part of the defensive walls. In the beginning, the tower was known as Porta de Viana, as the road to Viana do Castelo went through it. It changed its name to Torre do Relogio in the 17th century, in 1673, when the clock was installed at the top. It was classified as a National Monument in 1951.
You can climb to the top of the Clock Tower for €1 to admire great views of the town center and its surrounding. To check out opening hours visit Google Maps.
Chafariz do Terreiro
Chafariz do Terreiro (eng. Terreiro Fountain) which dates back to 1553, is also located on the Caminha Main Square, just a few steps from Clock Tower. But the fountain wasn’t always here. First it was located 4km further, in Moledo, and was moved to Caminha in 1835. It’s one of three identical fountains designed by João Lopes. The other two are located in Viana do Castelo and Pontevedra in Spain. Chafariz do Terreiro was classified as a National Monument in 1910.
Igreja da Misericordia
Igreja da Misericordia (eng. Misericordia Church) is the third place on Caminha Main Square worth seeing. It dates back to the 16th century, but what we see today church owes to reconstructions from the 17th century. While there, don’t forget to look inside to admire its spectacular golden altarpiece.
Caminha Old Town Streets
While in Caminha don’t forget to stroll among its old narrow cobbled streets. The most notable are those around the town main square, like Rua de São João, Av. São João de Deus, Rua Direita or Tv. do Tribunal.
Igreja Matriz de Caminha
Igreja Matriz de Caminha (eng. Caminha Main Church), or Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção (eng. Church of Our Lady of the Assumption), was built between 1488-1556 inside the medieval village. Because of the fact that construction was progressing slow church combines a mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Igreja Matriz de Caminha was classified as a National Monument in 1910. Entrance to church is free.
A bit of history first. Due to its strategic location and military importance for Portugal, Caminha was first fortified in the middle of the 13th century by the order of King Afonso III. But over the years those were mostly torn down or built over. In the 17th century, after Portugal regained its independence, new fortifications were built, following modern ballistic advances. Together with the fortifications of Viana do Castelo, Monaco, and Valenca, Caminha was part of the defense line against the North.
Up to today in some places around the Caminha you’ll notice remains of the old fortifications. There are for example already mentioned Clock Tower, remains of the ramparts in front of the Main Church (which you can climb and admire views over Spain), or remains along Rua de Santo António (where you’ll also find an amazing viewpoint at the top).
Museu Municipal de Caminha
Museu Municipal de Caminha (eng. Municipal Museum of Caminha) is located just a few steps from the main square, in a building dating back probably to the 17th century. Inside you’ll find a collection of archaeological objects that document the history of the region from Prehistory to Roman times. Entrance is free, to check out current opening hours visit cm-caminha.pt official website.
Other things to do in Caminha, Portugal
Camarido Beach & Moledo Beach
If you visit Caminha in warmer months you might also want to take advantage of one of its beautiful, sandy beaches. Camarido Beach (pt. Praia do Camarido) is located 3km from the old town, at the end of the mouth of Minho River. Moledo Beach (pt. Praia de Moledo), only 1 extra kilometer further, is facing the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts.
While on the beaches you can admire in the distance the impressive 17th-century Fortaleza e Convento da Ínsua (pt. Forte da Ínsua).
Visit A Guarda in Spain
While in Caminha you can also take a trip to Spain. Just hop on the ferry or take a short drive by car and enjoy nearby towns like A Guarda or points of interest like Miradoiro de Santa Trega or Castro de Santa Trega.
How to get to Caminha, Portugal?
Caminha is located about 15km from Vila Nova De Cerveira, 25km from Viana Do Castelo, 50km from Ponte De Lima, 100km from Porto, and 85km Braga. The most convenient way to get to Caminha is by car or by bus.
Where to park in Caminha, Portugal?
If you visit Caminha on any other day than Wednesday you can easily leave your car in this huge parking lot for free.
Airports near Caminha
The closest airport to Caminha in Portugal is located in Porto (100km away). Other ones are located in Spain, in Vigo (55km away) and Santiago de Compostela (150km away). From each airport, you can get to Caminha by bus or bus+train. To check the connections that interest you please visit rome2rio.com website.
To Caminha by bus
You can quite easily get there by bus. For example, the journey from Porto will take about 2h (€5-12), from Viana do Castelo 30min (€2-10), and 2h10min from Braga (€9-20). To learn more about bus connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Caminha by train
From some places, you can also reach Caminha by train. There are connections available from cities like Lisbon, Porto, Viana do Castelo or even Albufeira. Here is a map of Portugal train connections.
Camping in Caminha, Portugal
If you’re traveling by camper you’ll probably be glad to know that there is a camping site in Caminha. You’ll find Camping Orbitur Caminha next to Camarido Beach.
One perfect day in Caminha, Portugal – Summing up
Hope that you enjoyed this blog post about Caminha and that we encouraged you to go and see it for yourself. It’s still not a well-known destination but it has its own charm, history and for sure it offers proper northern-Portugal vibes. If you would see more of it, go there and see it with your own eyes!
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Caminha?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Caminha: