10 Things To Do In Vila Nova De Cerveira, Portugal

Bom dia! Vila Nova de Cerveira, or just Cerveira, is a small and pleasant Portuguese town we visited during our 4-month stay in the country as digital nomads. Apart from the charming old town, there you’ll find lush green, peaceful landscapes perfect for a quiet escape. Vamos, we’ll show you great things to do in Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal.

Interesting fact. Vila Nova de Cerveira is named after the deer population that used to inhabit the area (cervos means deer). And now, one is carefully observing the village from above, from Miradoiro do Cervo.

Travel tip. You can easily combine a trip to Vila Nova de Cerveira with a visit to Caminha (12km away) and/or Valenca do Minho (20km away).

Things To Do In Vila Nova De Cerveira, Portugal
Happy Little Traveler Authors

Created by Sonia & Wojtek

One day, we packed our lives and slowly rushed into the unknown with smiles on our faces. We’re full-time digital nomads traveling in Europe who inspire to live, travel, and discover differently. Sunny coastal destinations are what we love most. We share travel guides, tips, and know-how to make planning your next trip a piece of cake. Real human experience and verified facts only!


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Vila Nova De Cerveira, Portugal FAQ

Where is Vila Nova De Cerveira located?

Vila Nova De Cerveira is located in Northern Portugal in the Alto Minho region in the Viana do Castelo district. It sits on the left bank of the Minho River, which separates Portugal from Galicia in Spain. Cerveira is close to Portugal’s only National Park – Peneda-Geres, and the region’s capital city – Viana do Castelo.

Is Vila Nova De Cerveira worth a visit?

Yes, Vila Nova De Cerveira is a small and charming town definitely worth a visit while in the area. Even if only for a short little while. It can boast a beautiful old town perfect for strolls, and peaceful surroundings full of natural beauty and many striking views.

What is Vila Nova De Cerveira known for?

Nowadays, Vila Nova De Cerveira is best known for its stunning viewpoints, huge weekly Saturday market that attracts hundreds of people, and the oldest art festival in Portugal – Cerveira International Art Biennial which has taken place since 1978.

View over Vila Nova de Cerveira castle from Old Town
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Legend of Vila Nova de Cerveira

The village has its legend, here you can read it:

“Once upon a time… there was a stag (deer) that was chosen by the Gods of Olympus to become a King. And so the stag decided to move, together with other stags, to this uninhabited territory that began to be known as “Terras de Cervaria” (Land of the Stags). Many years flew past. Fights, skirmishes, and disasters gradually devastated the colony until only the King Stag was left. According to the legend, when the noblemen from Asturias came down during the Reconquest to conquer what was to become the Condado Portucalense (Portugal), a young nobleman challenged the King Stag to a face-to-face duel. And the old Lord accepted. The duel took place among the trees and weeds on a trenched site. And, so the legend tells, the King Stag swept to victory! He kept the nobleman’s flag that turned to be the King’s coat of arms. But the Gods deceived the old King. He wouldn’t be immortal… Tired of living and ill, the old Lord died in the loneliness of the crags and with him disappeared for good the Terra da Cervaria.” Source: Wikipedia

Vila Nova De Cerveira, Portugal - Explore charming old town

Things to do in Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal

Viewpoint – Miradoiro do Cervo

The number one thing to do in Vila Nova de Cerveira is visiting Miradoiro do Cervo (eng. Cervo/Deer Viewpoint). It’s a truly spectacular viewpoint located only about 5km from the town center, a 10 minutes ride by car. On the top, you’ll find magnificent views over the surroundings, an iron deer statue designed by sculptor José Rodrigues that is watching over the area, and… a huge cerLove swing, perfect for a very instagrammable photo. What we recommend is to just sit for a moment or two on the rocks or a tree and enjoy the views.

Viewpoint Miradoiro do Cervo in Vila Nova de Cerveira
Deer statue in viewpoint Miradoiro do Cervo in Vila Nova de Cerveira
Swing in Miradoiro do Cervo in Vila Nova de Cerveira
Spectacular views from Miradoiro do Cervo viewpoint in Vila Nova de Cerveira

Viewpoint – Miradouro do Espírito Santo

Miradouro do Espírito Santo (eng. Espiritu Santo Viewpoint) is located just a little lower, on the same road leading to Miradoiro do Cervo. It’s yet another amazing viewpoint from which you can admire spectacular panoramas of the area. There you’ll find ruins of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. 

Believe us, both Miradoiro do Cervo and Miradouro do Espírito Santo are the places in Vila Nova de Cerveira that you wouldn’t want to miss. 

Views from Miradouro do Espírito Santo viewpoint in Vila Nova de Cerveira
View over deer statue from Miradouro do Espírito Santo
Miradouro do Espírito Santo in Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal

Vila Nova de Cerveira Castle

Vila Nova de Cerveira Castle (pt. Castelo de Vila Nova de Cerveira) came to life in 1320, by the order of King Dinis, to defend the emerging town. It’s located in the town center, on a small hill that rises above Minho River, overlooking the town and the surroundings. Most of the fortifications disappeared with the town’s growth, but the most important ones stay hidden behind the gate. There you’ll find places like a pillory, Igreja da Misericórdia, 17th century Capela de Nossa Senhora da Ajuda, or old barracks and town hall. 

Entrance to the castle is free. Unfortunately, when we were visiting it was closed due to some restoration works. 

Castelo de Vila Nova de Cerveira Portugal
View over Vila Nova de Cerveira Castle

Main Square – Praça da Liberdade

Praça da Liberdade (eng. Liberty Square) is located in the heart of Cerveira town, right next to the castle. It’s a huge, busy square where you’ll find many restaurants and cafes, as well as historic points of interest like Parish Church of Vila Nova de Cerveira, Casa Verde – Green House, and Monument to the Heroes of 1808.

Main Square - Praça da Liberdade in Vila Nova de Cerveira Portugal
Liberty Square in Vila Nova de Cerveira

Casa Verde

Casa Verde, the Green House, is a beautiful, renovated 19th-century mansion which facade is entirely covered in stunning emerald green tiles. It is located on the main square, Praça da Liberdade. 

Casa Verde, the Green House, in Cerveira Portugal
Casa Verde in Cerveira Portugal

Parish Church of Vila Nova de Cerveira

Igreja Matriz de Vila Nova de Cerveira (eng. Parish Church of Vila Nova de Cerveira) or Igreja de São Cipriano (eng. Church of St. Cyprian), is the town’s main church, located on the Liberty Square. It was built in the 18th century, in the Baroque style. In 1877 it was severely damaged during a strong storm and later rebuilt in 1881. Entrance to church is free.

Right next to the church there is a small green space, Municipal Auditorium Garden (pt. Jardim do Auditório Municipal), with quite an original sculpture you might want to see too. 

Parish Church of Vila Nova de Cerveira
Interior of Igreja Matriz de Vila Nova de Cerveira

Feira de Vila Nova de Cerveira – Saturday Market

Feira de Vila Nova de Cerveira (eng. Fair of Vila Nova de Cerveira) is a huge weekly Saturday market that the town is very well known for. Each Saturday hundreds of people both from Portugal and Spain visit it to buy things like clothes, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, pastries, honey, flowers, or ​​various household items. If you’re visiting on Saturday, that’s for sure a thing to do in Vila Nova de Cerveira you don’t want to miss.

Feira de Vila Nova de Cerveira
Market Feira de Vila Nova de Cerveira from Castle

Castelinho Leisure Park

Parque de Lazer do Castelinho (eng. Castelinho Leisure Park) is the main leisure area. This green space is located at the riverfront and can offer facilities like a mini-golf course, climbing wall, volleyball field, children’s playground, and more. It’s also a perfect place for walking or running. 

Inside Parque de Lazer do Castelinho you’ll also find Aquamuseu do Rio Minho (eng. Rio Minho Aquamuseum), where in aquariums you’ll be able to see fish found in the Rio Minho, and native fauna. Tickets cost €2 for adults and €0,5 for children 5-18 (March 2024). For current prices and opening hours visit aquamuseu.cm-vncerveira.pt website.

Amizade Bridge

Ponte da Amizade is a Bridge connecting Spain and Portugal. It took 2 years to finish and from 2004 both vehicles and people can move on the bridge. You can take a short 20-minute walk to it from the Cerveira town center and admire the views over the Minho river from it. 

Parque de Lazer do Castelinho and Minho River in Portugal

How to get to Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal? 

Vila Nova de Cerveira is located about 40km from Ponte de Lima, 100km from Porto, 75km from Braga, and 40km from Viana do Castelo. The most convenient way to get to the town is by car, bus or train.

Where to park in Vila Nova de Cerveira?

If you visit on any other day than Saturday you can leave your car in a huge parking lot where the market, takes place. On Saturdays looking for a parking lot will be more challenging. We managed to find a place on Rua 15 de Maio.

Airports near Vila Nova de Cerveira

The closest airport to Vila Nova de Cerveira is located in Porto (100km away). Other ones are located in Spain, in Vigo (40km away), Santiago de Compostela (140km away), and A Coruna (195km away). From each airport, you can get to Cerveira by bus or bus+train. To learn more about the connections that interest you please visit rome2rio.com website. 

To Vila Nova de Cerveira by bus

You can also quite easily get to Vila Nova de Cerveira by bus. For example, a trip from Porto will take about 1.5h (€7-14), 45min from Viana do Castelo (€3-19), and 15min from Caminha (€2-7). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.

To Vila Nova de Cerveira by train

From some places, you can also reach it 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. For great train ticket deals visit the Trainline website.

Vila Nova de Cerveira Camping

If you’re traveling by camper you’ll probably be glad to know that there is a camping site in the town. You’ll find Parque de Caravanas opposite Parque de Lazer do Castelinho. 

Things to do in Vila Nova De Cerveira, Portugal – Summing up

Whether you would like to enjoy a bit of a hike with stunning Instagram-worthy views, do the shopping on the market, or just enjoy another lovely Portuguese town – Vila Nova de Cerveira has it all. If you have a day or two to spare, don’t think twice and direct your steps to this town. We hope that thanks to this post you’ll get the most out of your visit. Enjoy your time in Cerveira!

Our opinion about Vila Nova de Cerveira

For us, a visit to Cerveira was a day trip from nearby Ponte da Barca where we lived for a few weeks. We connected this trip with a visit to nearby Caminha and Valenca do Minho. It was quite a long day, but thanks to the fact that each place is fairly small we managed to see it all without rushing. We visited Cerveira in mid-April on Saturday (unfortunately) so we found the town very busy, thanks to the weekly market.

Overall, we think Vila Nova de Cerveira is a beautiful and pleasant town and we enjoyed our time there. But what we loved most were two viewpoints. Oh wow, the views from each of them were truly magnificent. We won’t lie when we say that it’s one of the best in Portugal! Until today we remember very fondly sitting on the rocks, eating dinner, and just enjoying the place. What we didn’t like, or rather not really understood, was the popularity of the market. We didn’t find anything special about it, but for sure it’s huge!

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to eat in Vila Nova de Cerveira?

Here are your best, high-rated options in Vila Nova de Cerveira:

Where to sleep in Vila Nova de Cerveira?

INATEL Cerveira Hotel Portugal

INATEL Cerveira Hotel

INATEL Cerveira Hotel is a modern hotel located in the heart of Vila Nova de Cerveira. The hotel features a range of comfortable rooms, all with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast each morning and a variety of regional dishes at the on-site restaurant, as well as relax by the outdoor swimming pool and take advantage of the hotel's fitness center and tennis court.


Casa do Cais Cerveira

Casa do Cais Cerveira

Casa do Cais Cerveira is a cosy house with views over the walls of the Cerveira Castle and located just a few metres from the centre. House feature a living area with a flat-screen TV, kitchenette, dining area, private bathroom, and central heating.


Quinta de São Roque in Vila Nova de Cerveira Portugal

Quinta de São Roque

Quinta de São Roque is a beautiful countryside retreat in Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal, featuring a lovely outdoor pool and gardens. The property offers comfortable and spacious rooms with private balconies and scenic views of the mountains and river. Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast and relax in the peaceful surroundings of this charming guesthouse.


Accommodations photos source: booking.com

Vila Nova de Cerveira, Portugal - Map of places


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