The fourth tourist point that we will introduce you is located in the district of Bragança, in the region of Trás-os-Montes, and is a county rich in natural resources: we are speaking of Macedo de Cavaleiros.
Macedo de Cavaleiros is just over four hours drive from Parque das Nações, in Lisbon, where is Benerent, your car rental service. You can check the path to Macedo de Cavaleiros as well as its location.
When talking about the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros, all the search engines point us towards the protected landscape of the Azibo’s Reservoir and to the historic village of Chacim.
Idealized for the agricultural irrigation, the Azibo’s Reservoir gained the status of Protected Landscape. More than the name of a river, a reservoir or a site, Azibo is synonymous of environmental quality, scenic beauty and river beaches.
The village of Chacim is located at the base of Serra de Bornes, county of Macedo de Cavaleiros. A village with immense patrimony, namely, the Real Filatório de Chacim, dating from 1788, and classified as a property of public interest. It is a dilapidated industrial processing and manufacturing complex of silk, which is an important example of the European sericulture industry.
But Macedo de Cavaleiros has much more to discover and visit.
As is normal in the area of Trás-os-Montes, there are many viewpoints that you can visit for a magnificent view, as you can see from this image of Miradouro de Bornes Sul, 1064 meters high.
Those interested in museums and want to know a little more about a risky profession like beekeeping, you can always visit the Museum of Honey and Beekeeping. It exists in 2 strands: the museum of antiquities and the alive museum. This is the first museum linked to honey and beekeeping in Portugal. In the museum of antiquities can be appreciated utensils used by beekeepers, as well as to know all the products produced by the hives, to taste up to 5 different types of honey and to verify the evolution of this ancient activity. In the living museum, and in complete safety, visitors can contact with the bees.
You must also visit Casa do Careto, dedicated to the character existing in the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros that rejoices the Carnival days of the region. Located in the village of Podence, it is exposed the facts, the rattles, the masks and all the clothing of these seductive and enigmatic figures.
When you go on vacation to some place, always enjoy being able to practice some of the most accomplished activities in that area. The county of Macedo de Cavaleiros isn’t different and certainly wants to know what are the activities most carried out there.
One of the activities that more are realized in the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros are the signalized pedestrian routes. Among several possibilities, we recommend the Quercus Trail which has an extension of 8.2 kilometers. With the Rio Azibo always in sight, this route also passes by Fraga da Pegada beach.
If you go to the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros in the summer, you can’t miss the opportunity to get to know the two fluvial beaches present in the Azibo’s Reservoir: Ribeira Beach and Fraga da Pegada Beach.
Ribeira Beach has a large multipurpose lawn and a global overview of the site, from which there are various hypotheses of routes and occupation of time that make the day unforgettable and with good reasons to return.
Fraga da Pegada Beach has a children’s playground and offers the possibility of renting canoes and pedal boats. The sand is thin and has pebbles rolled on the shore for more pleasant contact with the bottom.
As for festive events, there are two shows that you can not miss if you visit Macedo de Cavaleiros: the Chocalheiro Carnival and the International Festival of Traditional Music.
The Chocalheiro Carnival is held in the village of Podence. At the time of Carnival the small village of 200 inhabitants is totally transformed and receives visitors from all over the world to see a unique carnival, due to the famous Caretos. They are masked characters who jump through the streets of the village, making some noise and have as main target the women who pass by.
The International Festival of Traditional Music animates the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros at the end of August, with sounds from all over the world. Receiving visitors and artists from all over the planet, this event is one of the most sought after in the county.
The county of Macedo de Cavaleiros, as well as the entire region of Trás-os-Montes, has its own gastronomy and is appreciated throughout the country.
One of the ex libris from the region of Macedo de Cavaleiros is the boar. The animal is so important in the gastronomy that it even has an event that celebrates this type of meals: Gastronomic Route of the Boar. This event is held on the last weekend of January and aims to present the best of Macedo de Cavaleiros gastronomy using the boar as the main ingredient.
Another highlight in this gastronomy is the grelo. Like the wild boar, there is an event dedicated solely and exclusively to the ingredient: Gastronomic Festival of the Grelo. Besides the vegetable, this event intends to show other elements of the gastronomy of Macedo de Cavaleiros, followed by the grelo.
If we have to advise a place to stay on holiday in the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros, we must highlight the union of parishes of Podence and Santa Combinha.
It isn’t necessary to explain much why we choose this area of the county because the fact of being inserted in a protected landscape area already means a lot about the quality of life presented there.
Accommodation and restaurants do not lack in this union of parishes, in addition to activities to be carried out in the Azibo’s Reservoir, as well as on the beaches there.
As already mentioned in this article, Carnival is also a festive season that can’t be missed and in the village of Podence is centered the carnival festivities that give name to the county of Macedo de Cavaleiros.
- Ribeira Beach is one of the 7 Wonders – Beaches of Portugal, the only one north of the Tejo River;
- Fraga da Pegada Beach has been awarded with the Blue Flag since 2004, something rare in fluvial beaches in Europe;
- Azibo’s Reservoir is part of the Iberian Plateau Biosphere Reserve, classified by UNESCO, Europe’s largest reserve.