Lamego: The Complete Guide

Lamego Portugal
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Vitor Oliveira

Lamego is a city located in the Viseu District in northern Portugal. It is situated in the Douro Valley region, known for its picturesque landscapes and world-renowned wine production.

Lamego has a rich history, with evidence of human settlement dating back to prehistoric times. In the Roman period, the city was an important center for trade and agriculture, and later became a significant religious center under the rule of the Visigoths and Moors. In the 12th century, Lamego was conquered by the Christian king Afonso Henriques, who established a bishopric in the city.

One of the main attractions of Lamego is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, a Baroque-style church located atop a hill overlooking the city. The church was built in the 18th century and is famous for its ornate façade and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.

Other notable landmarks in Lamego include the Lamego Castle, which dates back to the 12th century, the Gothic-style Lamego Cathedral, and the historic city center, which features charming cobblestone streets and traditional architecture.

Lamego is also known for its annual festival, the Festas de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, which takes place in September and attracts visitors from all over Portugal and beyond. The festival features a colorful procession, music, dance, and fireworks, as well as local food and drink.

Overall, Lamego is a beautiful and historic city with much to offer visitors, from its stunning natural surroundings to its rich cultural heritage.

History of Lamego

Lamego is a city with a rich and diverse history, situated in the northern region of Portugal, in the Douro Valley. Here’s a brief overview of its historical significance:

  1. Early Settlements and Roman Influence: The area around Lamego has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Romans were among the early settlers who left a significant mark on the region, establishing Lamego as a city and contributing to its development with infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Archaeological finds, including Roman coins and ruins, suggest that Lamego was an important hub during Roman times.
  2. Medieval Importance: Lamego gained prominence in the Middle Ages, particularly after the Christian Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula. It is famously associated with the legend of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, who is said to have been declared king at the Almacave Cathedral in Lamego in 1139, though this story is more symbolic than historical. During the medieval period, Lamego was a significant ecclesiastical center.
  3. Ecclesiastical Significance: The city’s religious significance is evident in its many churches, particularly the Cathedral of Lamego, originally a Romanesque building from the 12th century, later modified with Gothic and Baroque elements. The city was also a bishopric, playing a key role in the religious governance of the region.
  4. Role in Portuguese Independence: Lamego is said to have played a role in the Cortes of 1143, where Afonso Henriques was allegedly recognized as King of Portugal, marking the foundation of the Portuguese nation. Though modern historians question the accuracy of these events as described in traditional accounts, the story underscores Lamego’s symbolic importance in Portuguese history.
  5. Baroque Splendor: In the 18th century, Lamego became famous for its Baroque architecture, a testament to its prosperity during this period. The Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, built in the 18th century, is a remarkable example, famous for its beautiful staircase leading up to the church, adorned with azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles), statues, and fountains.
  6. Modern Era: In more recent times, Lamego has become known for its agricultural products, particularly wine from the surrounding Douro Valley, which is one of the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions.

Lamego’s history is a blend of legend, religious significance, and cultural development, making it a fascinating city to explore within the context of Portugal’s broader historical landscape.

Visiting Lamego for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Lamego on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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6 Best places to See in Lamego

This complete guide to Lamego not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Lamego and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios

Santuário De Nossa Senhora Dos Remédios
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Concierge.2C
Situated on Mount St. Stephen (Monte de Santo Estêvão), the Marian shrine constructed between the 18th and 20th centuries attracts pilgrims from across the country, particularly on September 8th, the Nativity of the Virgin and the pinnacle of the festivities in honor of Our Lady of Remedies. The celebrations usually feature fireworks, musical performances, and […]
Location: Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, Lamego, Portugal | Hours: Winter: 8.30 a.m.- 1.30 p.m. / 1.30 p.m.-6.00 p.m.; summer 8.30 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios

We recommend to rent a car in Portugal through Discover Cars, they compare prices and review multiple car rental agencies. Book your rental car here.

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Sé de Lamego

Sé De Lamego
CC BY-SA 3.0 / António Amen
Sé de Lamego or Lamego Cathedral boasts a facade and interior that combine architectural styles from different eras, resulting in a striking and grandiose appearance. The bishopric of Lamego can be traced back to Bishop Sardinário in 572, but it was only reestablished in the 12th century after the Arab invasion was defeated. Construction on […]
Location: Catedral de Lamego, Largo da Sé, Lamego, Portugal | Hours: 9am-1pm & 3-6.30pm | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Sé de Lamego

Explore Lamego yourself with our self-guided walking tour!

Castelo de Lamego

Castelo De Lamego
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Nmmacedo
Located at the highest point of the city, the castle was constructed in the 12th century to defend and monitor the surrounding area. To reach it, one must take the Rua da Olaria. The castle’s robust keep, which dominates the entire walled enclosure of the former parade ground, and the challenges faced in accessing this […]
Location: Castelo de Lamego, Lamego, Portugal | Hours: 10am-12.30pm & 2-5.30pm | Website | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Castelo de Lamego

Museu de Lamego

Lamego Museu De Lamego
The episcopal palace, a stunning edifice, has been converted into one of the most meticulously maintained museums in inland Portugal. Visiting this museum offers a dual pleasure: not only do visitors have the opportunity to explore the grand and austere beauty of an old palace, but they can also immerse themselves in the vast array […]
Location: Museu de Lamego, Largo Camões, Lamego, Portugal | Hours: 10am -6pm (Tuesday to Sunday) | Price: adult/reduced €3/1.50 | Website | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Museu de Lamego

Capela de São Pedro de Balsemão

Capela De São Pedro De Balsemão
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Paul Barker Hemings
The Capela de São Pedro de Balsemão or Chapel of São Pedro de Balsemão, despite its relatively recent Baroque facade, is one of Portugal’s oldest churches. Its history may date back to the 7th century when it could have served as a sanctuary for the Visigoths. However, it is more likely that the chapel originated […]
Location: Capela de São Pedro de Balsemão, Lamego, Portugal | Distance: 2.80km
Visiting Capela de São Pedro de Balsemão

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Salzedas

Mosteiro De Santa Maria De Salzedas I
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Pedro
The Monastery of Santa Maria de Salzedas was once among Portugal’s largest Cistercian monasteries and was granted extensive land in the surrounding area to cultivate and populate. Its construction began in 1155 after being given the land by Egas Moniz and his wife Teresa Afonso, the tutor and mother of D. Afonso Henriques. The monastery […]
Location: Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Salzedas, Praça António Pereira de Sousa, Salzedas, Portugal | Hours: 10am-1pm & 2-6pm Tue-Sun | Price: adult/reduced €3/1.50 | Website | Distance: 8.60km
Visiting Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Salzedas

Best Time to Visit Lamego

Lamego, a charming city nestled in Portugal’s Douro Valley, is renowned for its historical significance, cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes. Here’s a guide to the best time to visit Lamego:

Spring (March to May): Spring is a delightful time to visit Lamego as the valley bursts into vibrant colors with blooming flowers and green landscapes. The weather is mild, making it ideal for exploring outdoor attractions like the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios with its famous Baroque staircase. The spring months are less crowded, offering a more peaceful experience while wandering through Lamego’s ancient streets and visiting its museums and churches.

Summer (June to August): Summer is peak tourist season in Lamego, attracting visitors with its warm, sunny weather. This period is perfect for partaking in the local vineyard tours in the Douro Valley, where the grapevines are lush and fully leafed. The city hosts various summer festivals, including the prominent ‘Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios’ in August, which features elaborate processions and cultural festivities. However, expect higher prices and more tourists during these months.

Fall (September to November): Autumn is arguably the best time to visit Lamego, especially in early fall. The weather remains warm in September but starts cooling down pleasantly in October and November. This season coincides with the grape harvest (vindima), providing a unique opportunity to witness and even participate in the winemaking process. The landscape is spectacular, adorned with golden and amber hues as the vine leaves change color. Additionally, the tourist crowds begin to thin out, making it easier to explore the city and its surroundings.

Winter (December to February): Winter in Lamego is mild compared to other European destinations, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. It’s a quiet time for the city, ideal for visitors looking to avoid crowds and experience local life. Winter is also a good season for enjoying indoor activities, such as visiting the Lamego Museum housed in the old Episcopal Palace, which offers a rich collection of religious art and artifacts.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Lamego depends on your interests. Whether you’re keen on exploring historic sites, participating in local festivals, or experiencing the beauty of the Douro Valley’s vineyards, Lamego offers a memorable experience in every season.

Average Temperatures in Lamego

  • January 12°C 18
  • February 15°C 17
  • March 17°C 15
  • April 21°C 14
  • May 25°C 9
  • June 28°C 7
  • July 34°C 2
  • August 32°C 2
  • September 28°C 7
  • October 23°C 20
  • November 15°C 19
  • December 12°C 21

How to get to Lamego

Getting to Lamego, Portugal, can be quite straightforward, depending on where you are starting your journey. Here are the common ways to reach Lamego:

  1. By Air:
    • The nearest major airport is Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto, which is about 120 kilometers west of Lamego. This airport receives both international and domestic flights.
    • From the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use public transportation to get to Lamego. The drive typically takes about 1.5 hours.
  2. By Car:
    • Driving is often considered the best way to reach Lamego, especially if you’re coming from Porto or other parts of Portugal. The roads are well-maintained, and the journey offers scenic views, especially as you approach the Douro Valley.
    • From Porto, you can take the A4 motorway, which provides a direct route to the area near Lamego. From there, you can follow local roads directly into the city.
  3. By Bus:
    • Regular bus services connect Porto and other major cities to Lamego. Companies like Rede Expressos offer frequent routes that can be a convenient and economical choice.
    • The bus journey from Porto to Lamego typically takes around 2 hours, depending on the service and traffic conditions.
  4. By Train:
    • While Lamego itself does not have a train station, the nearby town of Régua has a station that is well-connected to Porto and other parts of the country. Régua is about 15 kilometers from Lamego.
    • From Régua, you can take a bus, taxi, or potentially arrange for a hotel shuttle to Lamego.
  5. By Taxi or Rideshare:
    • Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are available in Porto and can be used for direct transfers to Lamego. While this option is more expensive than public transport, it offers convenience and flexibility.

Choosing the best mode of transport depends largely on your preferences for cost, convenience, and travel time. If you’re planning to explore the Douro Valley extensively, renting a car might provide the most freedom to travel around the region at your own pace.

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