Caminha is a town near the estuary of Minho and the Atlantic Ocean in Northern Portugal. The town is on the coastal part of the Portuguese Way path of the Camino de Santiago. It is a popular place for second homes and as a summer resort.
The population of Caminha (kuh-MEE-nyuh, /kɐ.ˈmi.ɲɐ/) in 2021 was about 15,828. The Vilar de Mouros parish is well known for the oldest rock festival in Portugal.
Caminha is 2 km from the Atlantic Ocean, on the southern side of the Minho estuary, where this river is met by the smaller and meandering Coura. Here the Minho reaches its widest point (about 2 km) and marks the border between Portugal and Galiza. It is a scenic area, with the wide estuary marked by low-tide sandbars, a pastoral and green rural landscape, and pine forests on the slopes of the granitic mountains.
- 1 Loja Interativa de Turismo de Caminha (Caminha Interactive Tourism Store), Praça Conselheiro Silva Torres, ☏ , email@example.com. M–Sa 09:30–13:00 & 14:00–17:30.
- 2 Posto de Turismo de Vila Praia de Âncora (Âncora Beach Tourism Post), ☏ . M–Sa 09:30–13:00 & 14:00–17:30.
There are two main routes to get to Caminha. Using the N13 national road, which links it to Viana do Castelo going south and Valença going north; or the A28 speed-way. A28 has virtual tolls, foreign cars must apply for a temporary permit.
- 1 Igreja Matriz de Caminha. The large Parish Church (begun 1488) is one of the most significant buildings illustrating the transition from Gothic to Renaissance in Portugal, with Manueline influence. Several architects from Northern Spain participated in its long construction. The outstanding timber roof in the interior has rich decoration showing Moorish influences (Mudéjar style). National monument.
Other major points of interest include the main square (Renaissance fountain of 1551), several Gothic and Renaissance houses in the old core and main square, and remains of medieval and 17th-century fortifications. Some pre-Roman archeological findings and ethnographic pieces are shown in the modest Municipal Museum.
The marshes along the Coura are protected and good for birdwatching.
The Atlantic beaches in the area are wide and have good sand but tend to be windy for part of the day; the Moledo beach (4 km south) attracts surfers. River and sea excursions can be arranged with local fishermen.
South of the Coura, the small granitic range ("Serra") of Arga (823 m) provides ample opportunities for hiking, cyclocross and canyoning.
In the wooded northern slopes is the small monastery of S. João de Arga (popular place for picnics, camping and exploring peaks and streams; also venue for a religious festival) and the village of Castanheira (scenic terraced fields and natural pools).
Caminha its famous for its copper handiwork. A weekly market is held every Wednesday. Work from local coppersmiths and lacemakers can be found around town.
- 1 Restaurante Baptista, Praça Conselheiro Silva Torres 24/26, ☏ . Daily 10:00–11:00. €5-18.
To have a fun night just go through the Torre do Relógio tower to the Rua Direita. There is a great number of Bars and Cafés you can enjoy a drink. The peculiarity on this street is the possibility of mingle with people from other bars on the street. As there is no minimum consumption in most of them and they are quite close from each other.
- 1 Hotel Porta do Sol, Avenida Dr. Dantas Carneiro 1, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 07:00–11:00. Four-star, 100 room hotel on the waterfront with three swimming pools, spa, and fitness centre. €68-141.
There is free Wi-Fi on the main plaza, Praça Conselheiro Silva Torres (a.k.a. "O Terreiro"), but most often doesn't work.