Perched on a hilltop just outside of the town center of Viana do Castelo is the majestic Basílica de Santa Luzia. Built between 1904-1943, the beautiful church that is inspired by Byzantine architecture with Gothic styling looks like a church that was built centuries ago and not one that was completed less than 80 years ago.
The church sits atop Monte de Santa Luzia and offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Lima River, and the historic town of Viana do Castelo. It is accessible via a short drive from town, or visitors can access the church from the town center by climbing the 660 steps that ascend up the mount. Rather than walk, an easier option is to ride the funicular that ascends the 650 meters to the top of the mount in just 7 minutes.
The interior of the church is beautifully decorated and is topped off by a soaring dome that visitors can access via a narrow and winding set of stone stairs. Light streams into the church through two enormous rose windows that are the largest on the Iberian peninsula and the second largest in Europe.
If you decide to spend the night you can stay at the Pousada Viana do Castelo – Santa Luzia located on the same hilltop just 2 minutes away. For more information and reservations, click here.
Book a private tour! You may want to consider booking a private tour with an English-speaking guide, if you want to visit Barcelos as a day trip from Porto. Your personal guide can provide you with information on the city and its historic sites. For more information on our Porto Day Trip that includes Viana do Castelo, click here, and for information on all of our Porto & Porto Day Trip tours, click here.
Photo Credit: © Christopher Pappas · All rights reserved / Photo of Basilica of Santa Luzia
For assistance with your travel plans, including hotel and private tour reservations, click here.