A Valentines Romantic Getaway trip in Portugal.
A Romantic Getaway in Portugal
Interesting facts about Valentine's day in Portugal
2023 is off and running, and here at the Getaway Van as the memory of Christmas leaves us we look forward to planning the next year and what better way to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them with a romantic Getaway trip to Portugal over Valentines Day. We have so many spectacular backdrops just in the North of Portugal, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Firstly here are some interesting facts about Valentine’s day in Portugal.
Valentine's day curiosities and traditions in Portugal
‘Cantarinha dos Namorados’
In Portugal, in Guimarães, the “cantarinha dos namorados” is a very common Valentine’s Day gift that keeps a very old tradition alive (from at least the 16th Century). The Valentine’s Cantarinha is in the shape of a water pitcher, but decorated beautifully. They have been made since at least the 16th Century and continues today. The piece was intended to save the money that the bride managed to save, with the intention of buying a gold cord, which she would take to the altar. Another version of the same memoir states that the “cantarinha” would serve to store the gold gifts offered by the bride’s parents after a marriage proposal was accepted
“Lenço dos Namorados” - Valentines handkerchief
Also, in Portugal, the “Lenço dos Namorados” is an important tradition that dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Women would wear beautiful embroidered handkerchiefs in order to attract men in a very educated courtship. I have been told that often there were spelling mistakes made by the ladies who were creating the handkerchiefs. The scarf was given to the suitor and if he accepted, it would be worn on his coat, neck or even on his hat and if not, it would be returned to the girl. The embroideries would illustrate the love between the couples, with beautiful colours and drawings. In Braga, the tradition remains, and many people give and receive an embroidered scarf as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Nowadays however we exchange valentines cards and chocolates and send a message through Whatsapp to the one we want as our Valentine, but there is still romance to be had here in Portugal, so have a look at these ideas for a romantic Getaway this Valentines Day starting in the North.
Romantic Getaway in Portugal - The North
The Douro Valley
The magnificent Douro Valley wine region is a perfect backdrop to romance. I myself have been there with my other half and it really is spectacular to embrace those views as a couple – it really takes your breath away. Take a drive along one of the most beautiful roads, the N222 that snakes alongside the river. Then take a boat trip along the Douro, visit the vineyards and taste the delicious wine grown from the grapes in this region, don’t miss out on your romantic Getaway in Portugal starting here in the North.
Geres - National Park in the North of Portugal.
If mountains and waterfalls are more your cup of tea then you need to visit Geres. There are many many things to see and do here, as a romantic getaway but also for those wishing to seek a couple adrenaline rush!
One of the Getaways Partners has a large range of activities you can do together from romantic horseback riding, exploring nature with hiking trails, bike tours, 4×4 tours and more!
Check them out here www.equidesafios.com/en_GB
Far in the North interior of Portugal you can find the hidden beauties and curiosities of love in Trás-os-Montes.
As far as the eye can see
In this place you can find almond trees, which were not native to the area. The Trás-os-Montes almond trees are explained in the legend of a Moorish prince who married a northern-European princess. Though happy in summer, she grew sad and wistful in winter, and ached for the snow-clad hills of her homeland. The prince hurried to the Algarve, from where he brought back the almond trees, so that from then on, every February when the trees blossomed, the princess beheld white as far as the eye could see. So you can bring your own Prince or Princess and benefit from love the Prince showed for his lady and enjoy these blossoming trees in February.
Looking for romantic fertility culture? Discover... Pagan pigs
Yes! Pigs! How romantic I hear you say, just hold on, these roughly sculpted granite pigs (known as porcas or berrões) are found all over northeastern Portugal and neighbouring Spain. Most date back a couple of thousand years, and their origins are obscure, though they are thought to have been Celtic fertility idols. The most famous example of a porca is in the small town of Murça, off the IP4, halfway between Vila Real and Mirandela, where it sits on top of a granite plinth above a flowerbed in the town centre.
f your romantic road trip is the start of creating a family you should definitely discover the Devil’s bridge in the Montelegre region.
Legend of the Devil’s Bridge
Legend has it that one day a man was running away from the law when he saw he couldn’t cross the river. He decided to evoke the devil, asking him for help to cross the bridge in return for his soul.
The devil appeared and accepted the deal.He made a bridge and then made it disappear after the man had crossed.
Many years later, and when the same man was at death’s door, Satan appears again, now to collect the debt. Frightened, he wanted to break the pact so the man calls the priest. The priest decides to help him. The priest disguises himself as a peasant and goes to the place where the devil had appeared. When he gets there, he invokes the devil in a similar way to what the fugitive had done. This is where the Demon appears, and as before, makes a bridge appear again.
The peasant in disguise crosses the bridge, he then took the holy water he had hidden under his cloak and threw it towards the devil while shouting an exorcism! The frightened Devil disappeared leaving behind the bridge that would come to be known as the Devil’s Bridge or Misarela Bridge.
So this is literally the Devil’s Bridge, as it was built by the Devil himself!
Fertility blessings at the bridge
Legend has it that if a woman hasn’t been able to conceive, or if she is pregnant but foresees a difficult or dangerous birth, she should go to the middle of the bridge’s arch with her family at night, with a rope and a glass, and wait.
Everyone waits for the first person to cross the bridge, who then becomes the godfather or godmother of the child.
They say that the new godparent is supposed to lower the glass down to the river using the rope to collect some water, then rub it over the woman’s womb, reciting a prayer which proclaims that the child should be called Gervásio if it’s a boy, or Senhorinha if it’s a girl.
Where to stay?
Parque de Campismo do Cepo Verde (RTFT)
Another partner of the Getaway Van, you can get a 10% discount in low season (perfect for a Romantic Getaway Road trip in February)
Find them here.
It is known as Portugal’s Venice, with a just as romantic atmosphere, you can take a trip with the famous trips in traditional moliceiro boats along the central canal. These vessels date from the time when the moliço seaweed was gathered to be treated and turned into fertilizer. With their curious and humorous drawings, the moliceiros provide you with some of the best views of the city of Aveiro and its typical coloured houses.
These houses deserve a through exploration and on your romantic Getaway enjoy the closeness of the beach and wak near these houses of Costa Nova. Don’t forget the check out Barra Beach with one of the largest lighthouses in Portugal.
Where to stay?
Check out our partner in Averio, with a 10% discount in winter including Valentines day.