Miranda do Douro, Portugal, is a rather tiny town. As you probably have heard, the small towns in Portugal are the gems of the country. Miranda do Douro is one of those gems. It is located right on the border between the main Iberian Peninsula countries, on the shores of the Douro river. Perfect for a short stop on you way to Porto, or even organize a Douro Valley day trip. Its geographic situation makes Miranda do Douro the ideal place to be for every nature lover, but these are not the only activities you can do to have an exceptional time. That is why we have created a list with the top things to do in Miranda do Douro, Portugal:
Miranda do Douro Portugal: Environmental cruise through Arribes del Duero natural park.
Shailing through one of the most important rivers of Portugal, was for sure the highlight of the trip for us. After your visit, you will understand why this place is twice in our top things to do in Miranda do Douro. Luckily, we had the chance to enjoy it from up above and also from the Douro river.
On the first day’s afternoon, we decided to take the Douro river cruise. An hour and a half beautiful trip that will leave you speachless. From the boat, you can see a wide variety of birds. Some of them were the golden eagle, the griffon vulture and even the native black stork. For those interested in seeing other type animals, you might have the chance to spot otters in the wildlife. But don’t worry if you don’t see any animal because the impressive view you have during the douro river boat trip, will be more than enough. Depending on when you go, you could even see some waterfalls going down from the sides.
Miranda do Douro Portugal: Enjoy the traditional portuguese food.
It is well known that Portugal and Spain are two of those countries racing to make the best food. In that regard, Miranda Do Douro has the great advantage of being located between those two countries, which leads them to have not just really good food, but also a great variety to choose. One of the most famous dishes is the Iberico Ham. The “chorizo”, the “lomo” and the “salchichón” are also must try portuguese dishes. In despite of portuguese pork´s reputation, this is not the main meal of the Mirandeses, but the cod fish (“bacalao”), which by the way, tastes delicious, don´t forget to try it!
Miranda do Douro Portugal: Visit Miranda do Douro Cathedral.
As said before, Miranda Do Douro is a small town, therefore it is not known for having outstanding monuments. However there is one that needs to be mentioned, and you should add to your top things to do in Miranda do Douro. Miranda do Douro cathedral is located in the historical center and it still is the place of worship of the town. The insides are beautiful and it´s worth it spending some time observing the art of the cathedral. It is a Portugal must see.
As we are always looking for the best photos, we prefer to spend more time outside, in the surroundings. In the back side, you will find the ruins of the old Episcopal Palace and a stunning garden. From there, you can get the postcard of the trip, so make sure you bring wide lenses. But the best of this spot, is enjoying the view of the river, which it will also be a perfect drone flight!
Miranda do Douro Portugal: Meet the locals while walking through the historical center
Another thing you should write in your list of top things to do in Miranda Do Douro, is meeting the locals. The best place to do it, is be the old town, while walking through the beautiful white and welcoming streets.
The Mirandeses have their own language, the Mirandese language is a mix between Portuguese and Spanish. They also speak Portuguese and you´ll find some that can speak Spanish as well. Anyway, don´t worry if you don´t speak any of these idioms because they´ll always try to understand and help with anything you need as they are really friendly.
The historical center is surrounded by a wall. When you go through it, taking any of the three main streets, you´ll arrive to the most important square of the town. Once there you´ll find the sculpture of the Pauliteiros de Miranda do Douro dressed with the typical Mirandeses´ clothes. The Pauliteiros is a popular group in the Miranda land specialized in the traditional portuguese dance of the town. Two of the most important buildings are located here as well. In one side, the town hall and in the other side the Museu da Terra de Miranda. In the museum you´ll get to know more about the history of Miranda.
Next to the main square, you can see a church placed in another beautiful square. This one and the cathedral, are the main places of worship in the old town.
Other than going to the places we´ve told you, we advise you to wonder through the different streets. The white streets will remind you to the ones in Mikonos and the old town is not really big, so you won´t need much time for it.
At last before leaving the historical center, go visit the ruins of Miranda do Douro´s castle.
Miranda do Douro Portugal: Enjoy the impressive view of the Douro Valley
As we said at the begining, we have to add two of the Douro valley tours to the list of top things to do in Miranda do Douro, there is a reason why this place is one of the world heritage sites in Portugal.
The other tour we are talking about, is enjoying what is known as the Grand Canyon of Europe, from above.
There are many viewpoints from where you can admire an impressive view of the Douro valley in Portugal. However, the most impressive one of all of them, is with no doubt São Joao das Arribas. Perfect place for who wants to relax enjoying nature and also for whoever is up to a nice hike.
Out of all the ones in the list, we advise you to come here first if you just have a couple of hours in Miranda do Douro. It was our favorite part of the trip, and we are sure you won´t regret it!