A Short Guide to Miranda do Douro

Known as the “museum city”, Miranda do Douro is an alignment between nature and culture. It speaks about time, for it seems to have stop in its streets. It speaks of beauty, meandered by the Douro River and all its biodiversity. It speaks of language, since it has its own official language, the “Mirandês”. And it speaks of food, for all its products are fresh and cooked in the simplest and most wonderful way. Right at the frontier with Spain, Miranda do Douro is definitely a special place, that cannot be called only Portuguese, due to its authenticity in all aspects.

Hidden Portugal Writers Team

Where to sleep, eat and go

 

Miranda do Douro lies at the border between Portugal and Spain. With only the Douro River separating this little village from two countries, you would think its individuality would be all over the place. However, it may come as a surprise that, instead of a scattered culture, Miranda do Douro presents a really strong and unique identity. Starting from its own language, the “Mirandês”, and adding its distinctive dishes and costumes, Miranda do Douro is one of the most culturally rich places you will find. Allied with gorgeous landscapes, the village is definitely a must-see when coming to Portugal. And you will find all the information you need to know in this guide.

 

How to get there

 

The cheapest and fastest way to get to Miranda do Douro is by bus. Either from Lisbon and Porto, you may check Rede Expressos and Rodonorte for tickets to get there. However, it would be advisable for you to go by car: many of the places you WILL want to see are only accessible by car, since public transportation is not always available around the village. So, thinking of the future, this will be a more convenient way to explore the region.

 

Where to stay

 

Depending on the kind of traveler you are, there are several options for you to stay in Miranda do Douro. If you are looking for a more low-budget and adventurous option, you can stay at the Douro Camping – which also accepts vans – right at the outskirts of the town. There is also a free parking spot for vans right at the outside of the castle walls, which is a great option if you´re looking to saving money and still have a privileged location. However, if you are looking for a bit more comfort, Hotel Turismo Miranda would be a perfect option for you. Unexpensive and with a great location, the hotel has very standard conditions, with big rooms and a good level of comfort, along with a nice staff. 

 

Where to eat

 

Nothing more needs to be said other then “go to the “O Mirandês” restaurant”. Seriously! Wait an hour if you need to, but make sure you do go there. Try the Posta Mirandesa, the most famous dish of the region (and a rather delicious one, especially for meat lovers) and Bacalhau à Mirandês, which can be translated to Mirandês codfish (also the best codfish you will ever eat. I still dream about it!). If these two dishes don´t sound good to you, try any other dish, because it will surely be delicious. And the prices are not expensive at all – about 10 euros per person. Another good option for you, inside the same price range, is the restaurant “O Moinho”. It´s bigger than the last one and has a very rich menu from which you can choose anything from pizzas to typical dishes. 

 

What to do

 

Alright, there are surely some activities you just can´t miss in Miranda do Douro. This list will tell you the most essential ones. 

1 – Take a stroll around the historical center 

Visit the Praça D. João III, with its emblematic statue representing a typical couple from Miranda and the baroque building Solar de ls Ordazes. There you will find the Terra de Miranda Museum, where you can learn more about the history and culture of the town. Then visit the Miranda do Douro Cathedral, which has a baby Jesus statue with a Top hat, and the Episcopal Palace Ruins, the former residence of the bishops. Jump around the little souvenir shops, try some typical snacks if you´d like and finish off with a climb to the castle walls (did you know that they are pre-roman?). Oh, no, wait. Don´t miss out on the ruins of the castle too! And the La Costanielha street – it´s the oldest and most typical one! Ok, there is really a lot to see here.

 

2 – Go on the Cruzeiro Ambiental

Cruzeiro Ambiental is a 1-hour cruise that will take you on a boat trip through the Douro canyon. You will have a guide that will provide you super interesting explanations about the particular flora and fauna of the Douro Internacional. At the end, you will have some Porto wine tasting, which is really the perfect way to end it.

 

3 – DIY tour around the viewpoints of the region

Yes, this region is just stunning. No question here. It´s the perfect location to get some really nice views over the Douro River. As so, it would be a shame to not do a rally around the best viewpoints of the region. If you want to know which viewpoints NOT to miss, check this post. 

Miranda do Douro is all in one: it is wilderness just as much as it is culture and history. The present intertwines with the past and the future and you will be caught in the middle of it all and experience it all. So, make sure you don’t miss this place when visiting Portugal.

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