ACTIVITIES | Quinta do Convento da Franqueira
ACTIVITIES

Beaches: The long sandy beaches of Apulia and Esposende are 20 minutes by car. Further north the beaches of CabedeloAfife and Moledo, popular with surfers are a 40 minute drive.

Golf: The 18 hole links course at Estela Golf Club, one of the best in the north and the 9 hole Quinta da Barca Golf Club are both a 25 minute drive. The scenic 18 hole
course at Ponte de Lima is a 45 minute drive away. www.portugalgolfcourses.com

Riding: Centro Equestre Vale do Lima, near Ponte de Lima, has a covered arena for training and riding lessons and a centre for the Lusitano horse. Tel: 258 943873
Equivau, Centro Hipico do Quinta do Vau, Barqueiros, a 20 minute drive where you can hire horses by the hour for guided rides in the local countryside. Tel: 91 2621517

Watersports: Englishman Peter Fishbourne runs Água Montanha Lazer Lda. with canoes, pedaloes and water skiing on the Caniçada lake in the Geres National Park. www.aguamontanha.com 

On the Lima river the Clube Nautico de Ponte de Lima offers canoeing trips in 2 or 4 seater canoes on one of the most beautiful rivers in the North. www.cnplima.com

Adventure Sports: Dunar Turismo e Lazer Lda. Offer surfing, body boarding and kite surfing lessons at Esposende on the Cavado estuary. www.dunar.pt

Barcelos (5 km): Although quiet and secluded, the Quinta is by no means isolated, being only 5km. from Barcelos the home of the most famous folk art ceramic of Portugal - the "Galo de Barcelos". Barcelos is also home to the famous Thursday market in which you can buy anything, from an ox-cart to a hand woven bathmat. There are as many cafés, cake shops and restaurants as there are fashion and shoe shops, stocking international brands as well as locally manufactured goods.

Braga (22 km) is one of the oldest (and largest), cities in Portugal, boasting as many churches per square km. as Rome. Most famous of these is Bom Jesus, set atop a wedding cake tier of steps representing the stations of the cross. (The water powered funicular is an option for the less energetic). Braga, as the capital city of the region has a busy pedestrian area with good shopping.

Guimarães (45 km) was the first capital of Portugal and is now a World Heritage site. It possesses one of the best preserved castles in the country, the birthplace of Dom Afonso Henriques. the founder of the Portuguese nation. The old quarter of the town around the "Largo da Oliveira" is a network of cobbled streets and squares dating from the town's medieval past.

Viana do Castelo (30 km), at the mouth of the River Lima is a picturesque port with fine mansions in the towns’ old centre, reflecting the prosperity of the 16th.c cod fishing industry. The blue and white pottery of Viana is world famous and one can visit the factory and shop.
Further north from Viana is Valença a fortress town on the border with Spain.

The old world town of Ponte de Lima (35km), on the banks of the River Lima where the Romans panned for gold to pay their legions, has a bi-monthly market, on Mondays. The market is held on the sandy banks of the river. The beautiful countryside around Ponte de Lima is dotted with some of the oldest and finest country houses and palaces in Portugal.

Porto, on the banks of the River Douro is easily reached by car, or by train from Barcelos straight into the city centre where most that is of interest is within walking distance, sometimes uphill! On the south bank of the river are the famous Port wine cellars that offer guided tours and tastings and boats to take you on a river trip. Porto is a World Heritage site.

Gerês National Park - 60 km.
Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro - 45 km.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain - 160 km.