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7 Days on the Writers' Route in Northern Portugal

© Guillén Pérez CC BY-ND 2.0

Take your pen and book a very special week in the calendar. You will see the houses of more than nine writers, spaces that inspired new ideas and helped create works that lead us to travel across borders. The works of these writers are awarded and understood by their readers around all over the world. They come from difficult and humble lives, others wealthier, all worthy of a human being who left his testimony to the world, in writing.

Part 1 of the Trip | 2 Days

Arrived in Porto, we suggest you to rent a car for the next few days. Let us take you to know the charms of this city, elected for the third consecutive time as Best European Destination. From the riverside area, where the beautiful rabel boats sail over the Douro waters, to the colorful buildings and other dark stone buildings that give it identity, we take you to enjoy the view over Vila Nova de Gaia and visit the Porto wine cellars, not forgetting the historic center considered World Heritage, the architecture, aesthetics and flavors, all invites you to stay longer.

We suggest you stay for lunch and eat a “Francesinha”, or “Tripas à Moda do Porto” or “Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá", before leaving to discover the first house, the Casa Museu Guerra Junqueiro, on Rua de Dom Hugo near the Cathedral.

Guerra Junqueiro House Museum (Casa Museu Guerra Junqueiro)

The daughter of this multifaceted poet donated her father's national and foreign art collections to the Porto City Hall and it is in this house the same is available. A visit that sits between the 15th and 19th centuries, encourages study, promotes the objects conservation and allows a deepen knowledge about art and collecting.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10.00am - 5.30 pm | Sunday: 10.00am - 12pm (last admissions 12.00pm) and 2.00pm - 5.30pm (last admissions 5.00pm). Closed on holidays.

José Régio House (Casa José Régio)

Hop on by car to Vila do Conde, the birthplace of this 20th-century Portuguese writer. His literary work covers topics ranging from gardening to conventual sweets, passing through collecting and the Immaculate Conception Feast, celebrated on this town on December 8. The house kept its areas - the office, the room where it eventually died, the dining room and the garden - well representative of the author's personality and waiting for your visit.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am – 6.00pm.

Cupertino de Miranda Foundation (Fundação Cupertino de Miranda)

Find yourself now with Vila Nova de Famalicão. In the Praça D. Maria II awaits for you the Surrealism Studies Center, equipped with Museum, Library and Auditorium. This "Temple of Art, Culture and Kindness" has fulfilled its role and honored the knowledge as its founder so longed for. The program focuses on the plastic arts and its collection includes the personal, graphic and plastic work of Mario Cesariny - poet, translator and painter.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm, Saturdays 2:00pm - 6:00pm (during the exhibition period). Closed on Sundays, holidays and weekends in the month of August.

House of Camilo (Casa de Camilo)

The Museum and Study Center of one of the greatest Portuguese writers of the 19th century is located in São Miguel Seide, near Famalicão, where he died. Camilo Castelo Branco, by his name is the oldest of this group of writers, spent his childhood in Vila Real, Trás-os-Montes, and had a hectic life of passions and ideas, going through prison and culminating in suicide. He wrote about Delicacies, Bom Jesus and other worship places, fairs, suppers, bridges and love. He was master of other writers and his stories populate the imaginary of many generations.

Museum-house opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10:00am - 5:30 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am - 12:30pm and 2.30pm - 5.30pm. Closes to the public Mondays and holidays. Study Center opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00am - 5:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10.30am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm - 5.30pm.

Part 2 of the Trip | 3 Days

Eça de Queiroz Foundation – House of Tormes (Fundação Eça de Queiroz - Casa de Tormes)

On the way to Amarante, more precisely Santa Cruz do Douro, you will get to know the house and history of one of the most important Portuguese novelists of the 19th century: Eça de Queiroz. Graduated in Law, it was during his experience at the Portuguese consular service in Havana, Newcastle, Bristol and Paris that he dedicated himself to realistic literature, producing the emblematic works "Os Maias", "O Crime do Padre Amaro" and "O Primo Basílio" Rich and promoter of guided tours, concerts and training sessions, the Casa de Tormes takes you on an experience for the Queirosian gastronomy, recreating the meal times described in his works, pretexts for family and social gatherings.

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (closed for lunch 1 pm - 2 pm)

Quinta das Quintãs House Museum (Casa Museu Quinta das Quintãs)

Located in Barqueiros - Mesão Frio, in the district of Vila Real, this pink house, with three well preserved floors, saw the birth of men and women of letters and leads us to the work of Domingos Monteiro, Pina de Morais, Graça Morais and Lisa Pina de Morais. The first, lawyer, politician, writer, journalist and publisher became one of the most remarkable 20th century novelists in Portugal. All the others deserve to be recognized as well. Nowadays, literature and the arts are promoted in this house.

Opening hours: Open for events five or six times a year, on previously announced dates.

Miguel Torga Space (Espaço Miguel Torga) 

Located in the place where he was born, where he played in his childhood and returned to visit not only his father who lived there, this museum space includes three cores, one dedicated to Trás-os-Montes and Douro, another to its own land of origin - São Martinho de Anta, and another related to the family. The author’s house and the indispensable garden assume great importance in this visit that will give you to know more about this writer who did in his works a praise to the Wine, which he acknowledged to be the fruit of an almost superhuman work; and to the “Fumeiro”, a bagged delicacy that everyone should experience.

Opening hours: Business days 9am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 5:30 pm | Weekends and holidays: under appointment.

Part 3 of the Trip | 2 Days

Aquilino Ribeiro Foundation – House of Soutosa (Fundação Aquilino Ribeiro - Casa de Soutosa)

Coming from the Beiras and a lover of regional delicacies accompanied by good wine, Aquilino Ribeiro leads his imagination to the penultimate visit of this cultural and tasty journey through "Terras do Demo" (meaning Devil's land). The “febras assadas”, the “entremeada”, the “torresmos” and the “fumeiro” join together in several lines alongside an accurately described rural world, among agricultural fields, pastures and forests. Situated in Peva, in the northern district of Viseu, this house has its doors open to your visit.

Opening hours: Winter (from October 1 to May 31) - Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 5:30pm, Sunday 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Summer (from June 1 to September 30) - Tuesday to Friday 9:30am - 2:30pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm, Saturday 10:00am - 12:30am and 2:00pm - 6:30pm, Sunday 2:00pm - 5:00pm.

It always closes on Mondays and holidays.

Ferreira de Castro House Museum (Casa Museu Ferreira de Castro)

Already in the district of Aveiro, this house is located in Oliveira de Azeméis and portrays the humble, humanist and democratic life of the novelist, writer, journalist and fiction writer Ferreira de Castro. A boy who liked the life outdoors, bathing in the Caima river and moved to the interior of the Amazon (Brazil) at the age of eleven. He transmits in his work a script of places where he lived and made to survive, inviting you to visit the surroundings of the house where he lived.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm Closed on holidays.

Complete this script delighting yourself with one or several works by these authors while enjoying a "cabrito assado" (roasted lamb) as main dish or a "sável à moda do Douro" (shad at Douro style), if you prefer fish. For dessert, the "aletria" (a sweet made of vermicelli with milk, sugar, eggs and cinnamon) or "arroz doce" (rice pudding), without ever missing an always appetizing Port Wine.

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