• Isabel

Bemvenido à Braganca, where nature meets tradition | Portugal

The city of Braganca, located in the north of Portugal, bordering with Spain, invites you on an exploration through history, culture and tradition whilst being immersed in the nature of the surrounding mountains. Different to more famous areas of Portugal like the beach, surfing, warm sun from the south and cities like Lisbon or Porto, Braganca is all about tradition yet keeping the kindness of locals and relaxed Portuguese spirit alive.


In this article you can learn about some local culture discovered in tales and legends when exploring the old city and castle of Braganca, different scenery visible when driving through picturesque roads in nature and some conscious 21st century products giving a new perspective to items coming from this area and from Portugal.



1. Where ancient walls meet the Camino de Santiago
2. Castle of Braganca
3. Roadtrip through northern Portuguese nature
4. Honey, the Portuguese liquid gold coming from natures queen
5. Olive Oil, the new wine of the northern region of Portugal
6. Pousada de Braganza Hotel
7. Restaurant G - Michelin starred

1. Where ancient walls meet the Camino de Santiago


The cities historic center, fully surrounded by the former city walls, is situated on the top of a mountain with the castle of Braganca located right in the middle giving you spectacular views. This small old city is extremely well preserved and within the area you will find beautiful old stone roads, houses, incredibly powerful, humungous trees and cute side paths. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this location is also part of the Camino de Santiago!


2. Castle of Braganca


The castle giving tribute to the history of Portugal is classified as a national monument which has seen much reconstruction and restauration over the years due to some turbulent history. You can still visit today, one of the buildings which used to store water, which has been preserved in truly great and impressive conditions. Previously, over the span of many years, it was a place of refuge for different royals in history giving it a stature of safety.


According to legend it is also said a princess used to live in the tower who was betrayed by her uncle (the lord of the castle) in matters of love and therefore she stayed in the tower where the two visible windows became the port of treason and the port of light.


3. Roadtrip through northern Portuguese nature


The transmontane region also known as the district of tras-os-montes, (behind the mountains) is literally located in the midst of nature and mountains making for some scenic views. As the region is split into two parts, the Terra Fria (cold land) and Terra Quente (warm land) you will experience extremely hot summers and cold snowy winters which has also stronlgy impacted the type of agriculture produced in each area.


This area, is a truly great one for exploration in the form of road tripping. Small fun fact, alongside the various olive trees found on the hills all around, you will be surprised how many chestnut trees are equally found in masses. And of course you will constantly drive past animals running wildly.


The soil and environment has allowed for a variety of local products to stem from the area and in more modern perspectives there are some 21st century products where human, animal and nature are working together harmoniously which deserve a little more attention. Notably, the natural and organic honey and premium olive oil.



4. Honey, the Portuguese liquid gold coming from natures queen


Mel do Parque de Montesinho (honey of the parc of Montesinho) is a local honey which is completely natural and organic following an ancient way of production.

This honey has similar therapeutical and healing properties to Manuca honey of New Zealand. In a study where different honeys from around Europe were tested, the Mel do Parque de Montesinho came closest to resembling the chemical compounds found in the Manuca honey.


Local honey which follows production methods going back hundreds of years is produced completely naturally and organically. This supports the environment where the Apicultures (bee homes) are located as well as fostering a natural life for the bee where the honey taken is done in a way which does not impact the natural life of the bee.


Mel do parque de Montesinho products : Honey, wax, propolis and polen. For more information, click here.



5. Olive Oil, the new wine of the northern region of Portugal


Quinta dos Olmais has made a name for itself internationally, as one of the worlds best olive oils. A family owned business where real human values, strong work ethics and a love towards nature is expressed. Olmais truly which work with nature to produce their products.


Located in the Terra Quente (warm land) the olive oil comes from trees which are organically grown in the valley “Vila Flor” formerly known as a village of kings which dates back to 1286. On this organic olive oil plantation, wildlife friendly farming methods are practiced and there is no use of chemicals or pesticides to main the olive trees.


By buying form and working with Olmais you support taking a journey back to nature, back to the roots, back to the good old days where man and nature work together in harmony bringing out each others best.


Olmais premium Olive Oil products:

  1. Olmais organic extra virgin olive oil

  2. Tresval cold pressed extra virgin organic olive oil

Next to the premium olive oils you can also discover 3 different types of Vinegars. For more information, click here.



6. Pousada de Braganza Hotel


A hotel project where nature and history meet putting an emphasis on the beautiful landscape in the area. The Pousada de Braganza is one designed by the architect José Carlos Loureiro in the 1950s where you can find retro furniture, fireplaces as they had been in the castle, trees being incorporated in the walls and views which take your breath away. Being located at the top of a mountain you also have scenic overviews onto Braganza old town and the historic castle.



7. Restaurant G - Michelin starred


The Restaurant G, Michelin starred, located in the Hotel Pousada is run by two brothers who give you very tasteful and insightful culinary experience.

You have a choice of a vegetarian and even a completely plant-based variance using products from around the region, allowing you to experience northern Portugal through culinary excellence.



Known as the land which welcomes people and has plenty to offer in terms of culture and scenery, Braganca invites you to take a deeper plunge into the historic perspective of northern Portugal.



Each country has so much vast history about it, changing completely when going from one side to the other of the country. It’s always fascinating to explore uncovered areas of a country you know form only one perspective. Keep exploring to increase your level of perception of reality and what you know, by teaching yourself about different forms of history and legends and seeing how countries have developed over time through your own eyes.


We are generation change!


Enjoy! Yours truly,


© Isabel


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Links


https://www.meldoparque.pt/pt/ https://www.meldoparque.pt/pt/component/sppagebuilder/?view=page&id=35&Itemid=626

https://www.olmais.com/ https://www.olmais.com/shop

https://www.pousadas.pt/en/hotel/pousada-braganca

https://gpousada.com/


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