002 - Ponte de Lima - Portugal

Ancient roman bridge, a beautiful rose garden, a quiet and intimate location, mountains, and a river who makes you forget who you are: Ponte de Lima.

In the previous article we saw the fortress city of Valença sitting in the north of Portugal. Now we travel a bit south, and we stop at one of the oldest cities in entire Portugal: Ponte de Lima. 

Click on the map

002.1 On road to Ponte de Lima

002.2 The cutest residents in Ponte de Lima, peaking from the grass

002.3 The Lima River, Ponte de Lima (the town) and the high hills surrounding the region.

002.4 The iconic Roman bridge, still holding a few arches from that ancient times. The rest was rebuilt in the XIV-XVth century and it is pretty much unchanged ever since.

002.5 Not just the old town is beautiful. Look at this gorgeous white house on Avenida Antonio Feijo , it even has a stone falcon.

002.6 A small example of what is to be seen in the gardens around here (photos done in May 2017 and June 2018, so make sure to come here late spring - `till mid-summer)

002.7 Paços do Marquês de Ponte de Lima, marking the entry into the old town. If it wasn`t for the flowers in front, it would be the least romantic sight in the whole town. 

002.8 Side entry to the palace. I really loved how that solitary flower bouquet grew in the corner. 

002.9 Stony walls, stony roads and curled gates.

002.10 A beautiful space on 31 de Janeiro Street filled with old houses, shattered glass and walls in decay. I do love the small glass cupola on the distant rooftop. 

002.11 Just a cat, on the steps of an art gallery (or so I remember). Here the cat was looking at my wife (she loves cats)

002.12 Vila Belmira, detail shot, where we see the stairs to the tower and the main window.

002.13 The fairytale chateau -> Vila Belmira (yes you can rent rooms). When I first saw it, I could not believe someone actually made a little corner of fairytale. But is real and I wish I could live here. 

002.14 Where to? Antique shop? The beach? Or the Torre?

002.15 Entrance to the Medieval Tower, long ago also known as the Prison. While the wall is not magnificent, look at this bench. 

002.16 Statue of Memorias do Campo (and in the background the arches of Ponte de Lima)

002.17 Grabbing a refreshing Sangria and some local specialties at one of the restaurants next to the beach.

002.18 Sunset over the “medieval” side of Ponte de Lima.

002.19 Old windmill and new windmills.

002.20 Capela de Santo Antonio, the stone bridge and far far in the distance, Antelas and Santo Ovidio (mountain peaks, for which you would need 4 hours to climb and come back. I did not do that hiking trip so I cannot say if the view is much better from there, than from ground level)

002.21 All in one picture: the stones that make the “ponte” over Lima river, the beautiful chapel and the mountains

002.22 A reminder of the Ancient Roman contribution to this town. (of course, a lot of the Celtic people, living in the area, had to flee from them, but Romans did build the bridge that is still standing today, at least a part of it).

002.23 Roman stone and if you want to read more about, why the soldiers are here, then find in the end the Legend. 

002.24  The legendary Roman general and the bridge seen from the other shore. (read at the end of this article the legend)

002.25 Santo Antonio Chapel as seen from the Arnado Parc (a park filled with roses). This park definitely deserves a visit, because it is filled with roses, and they do compliment every book page that you read while sitting on a bench in this park. We did a visit here just for photos, and came back twice (we lived in Vigo/Spain) with stuff to read (I read on digital e-reader so I had many options to fit the mood). This small park is really packed with roses and they really smell great!

002.26 Waterlily in the Arnado Parc (next to the greenhouse)

002.27 Waterlily in the Arnado Parc (next to the greenhouse)

002.28 Roses from the Arnado Parc (right next to the Santo Antonio Chapel)

002.29 Roses from the Arnado Parc (right next to the Santo Antonio Chapel)

002.30 I guess you saw in these images that Ponte de Lima can be a romantic destination and an opportunity to see ancient roman vestiges, all in a small town easy accessible on foot.

002.31 During the summer period, this place becomes packed with tourists, and the riverside is filled with caravans. Restaurants are great and they fit the price of cities (no special tax, or at least I did not have this feeling that it costs more than "home").

Sadly to get here you need a bus ride or a car rental. Of course, the Camino de Santiago passes through (there are important churches in this area) so you could walk here like many do. There are also plenty stores with gear, very, very cheap. (I think it comes from Tui) 

Thank you very much for watching/reading this article, and see you in the next one: the old capital of the Galicia region. 

The photos on this article were made in June of 2017 and May of 2018.

They were shot on Canon 80D and Nikon D5500.

The images that are at dawn, or sunset, are shot using a small travel tripod

The photo lenses used in this article are:

Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S Mount: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 23, 28, 30

Canon 24-70mm f/4L Canon EF Mount: 3, 24, 25, 26

Canon 70-200mm f/4L Canon EF Mount: 5

Canon 50mm f/1,8 Canon EF Mount: 21

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5,6 Nikon DX Mount: 6, 17, 22, 27, 29, 31

Most photos are shot at lowest ISO possible, for the highest aperture available, in order to obtain a good exposure time. 

All shot in manual mode.

No phone camera photos in this article. 

No HDR photos in this article.

No AI in any way, shape or form

Ponte de Lima was visited by us at least 4 times, but I've lost a ton of photos, due to HDD failure...

In the late spring and early summer, this city is in bloom and it is magical!

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