Today we’re taking you on a trip back in time, to the remote and traditional village of Soajo. It’s located at the altitude of 1416m a.s.l at the foot of Peneda-Geres National Park, in the Alto Minho region in Northern Portugal, only 10km from the Spanish border. We’ll be honest – in Soajo you won’t find many places to see, but the ones you’ll find will probably impress you. Picturesque granaries, wonderful views of the surroundings, traditional stone old town with quaint houses, winding streets… All of that creates a charming picture. Vamos, let’s take a proper look at Soajo, Portugal.
Tip. A trip to Soajo can be easily combined with a visit to Lindoso village, located only 10 km away.
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Soajo, Portugal – Remote Portuguese Village In Peneda Geres National Park
Granaries of Soajo
Soajo’s impressive granite granaries, or espigueiros in Portuguese, are definitely the unique highlight of the village. At first glance, those a little bit strange-looking constructions were, and still are by some, used to dry and store grain. The granaries are often located in the slightly higher parts of the villages, to increase the chances of catching more wind, thus better ventilation. They are also always elevated from the ground, to protect grains from rodents.
In Soajo, you’ll find 24 granaries from the 18th and 19th centuries, with the oldest one dating back to 1782. On each granary there is a cross on top, to chase evil spirits away. Thanks to that, granaries are often mistaken for graves. In Soajo they can be found at the entrance to the village, right next to the parking lot.
Those granite granaries are very typical for North Portugal, we spotted quite a lot of single ones while driving in the area. The second granary cluster, even bigger than the one in Soajo, can be found in Lindoso, just 10km away. There you’ll find more than 50 well-kept espigueiros at the foot of the Lindoso Castle.
Soajo Old Town
Just a few steps from the granaries of Soajo the charming streets of Soajos’ old town begin. While strolling among them you can feel like stepping back in time, and only a few places suggest that it’s still the 21st century. Among the streets, you’ll find many charming stone houses, a small parish church (Paróquia São Martinho de Soajo), and a village main square with an unusual stone pillory with a carved anthropomorphic face, crowned with a triangle resembling a hat. Soajo is a very small and walkable place, you probably won’t need more than 1 hour to walk all the streets, even two times.
Ponte da Ladeira
Ponte da Ladeira is an arched medieval bridge located about 600m from the granaries of Soajo. It isn’t reachable by car, the only way to get there is by a short hike, just follow the signs. If you’re up for a bath in clear waters in a peaceful place – it’s a spot for you.
Poço Negro is one more great place in nature near Soajo, located only about 1km from granaries. There you can relax in the shades of trees, or take a nice, refreshing dip into the water. To get there follow the signs on the road leading to Soajo.
Hiking trails near Soajo, Portugal
Soajo is located at the foot of Peneda-Geres National Park, a paradise for outdoor activities enthusiasts. If you want to discover the wonders of the area on foot you can start in Soajo, which is a great starting point for trails. We didn’t have a chance to do any, but here on alltrails.com you can find some ideas.
How to get to Soajo, Portugal?
Where to park in Soajo?
You can leave your car for free in this big parking lot right next to the granaries of Soajo.
To Soajo by taxi
If you don’t own a car and don’t want to rent one you can get to Soajo by taxi. For example, the journey from Ponte da Barca will take about 20min (€14-18), from Viana do Castelo 50min (€35-45) and 35min from Ponte de Lima (€24-29). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Soajo by bus
You can also get to Soajo by bus, but it will be a long journey on a short distance. Also, there is usually only one or two buses a day, and mostly from the villages and towns nearby, like Ponte da Barca, Arcos de Valdevez or Ponte de Lima. To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
Soajo, Portugal – Summing up
That was quick, as probably will be your visit to Soajo. But don’t let that discourage you! Soajo is a truly charming place worth visiting while in North Portugal, or Peneda-Geres National Park. There you can enjoy nature, take a breath of fresh mountain air and a relaxing dip into the water, step back in time while wandering the village streets, immerse for a moment into Portuguese rural life, and even taste local cuisine. We promise you, Soajo village in Portugal is worth visiting, even for that short period of time.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Soajo?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Soajo:
Where to sleep in Soajo?
Casa de Bairros
Casa de Bairros is a charming rural guesthouse located in the heart of the Peneda-Gerês National Park in Soajo. The property features comfortable rooms, each with a private bathroom and views of the surrounding countryside.
A Casinha da Padaria
A Casinha da Padaria is a charming farm stay in Soajo with breathtaking mountain views from the balcony. The cozy 1-bedroom accommodation includes a living room, flat-screen TV, and an equipped kitchenette with a coffee machine. Guests can enjoy the peaceful surroundings on the terrace and stay connected with free WiFi.
Casinha da Raposeira
Casinha da Raposeira is a charming and cozy cottage located in Soajo. The traditional stone building features a rustic interior with modern amenities, including a fully equipped kitchen and comfortable bedding. Guests can enjoy stunning mountain views from the property's private terrace, and there are several hiking trails and natural attractions nearby to explore.
Casa de RioBom
Casa de RioBom in Soajo, Portugal is an air-conditioned country house with direct access to a patio that offers stunning mountain views. The fully equipped kitchenette and comfortable bedrooms are complimented by the included towels and bed linen. Enjoy a delicious breakfast every morning at this lovely accommodation.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com