Located in the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal, Lamego, Portugal is a fairytale town for those looking to escape the busy cities of Lisbon or Porto and spend time relaxing, slowing down, and sightseeing at your own pace. Only a 3.5-hour drive north of Lisbon and an 1.5-hour drive east of Porto, Lamego is a small, but beautiful town of 26,000+ residents in the Viseu District on the shores of the Balsemão River.
Truthfully, Lamego can be seen passing through on your way from Lisbon to Porto (or vice versa), but if you’re really looking to slow down or explore the Douro Valley, it’s the perfect place to base yourself for a night or two.
A Quick Guide to Visiting Lamego, Portugal
How to Get to Lamego
Lamego can easily be reached by car from anywhere in Portugal. From Lisbon the drive is 3.5 hours, and from Porto the drive is 1.5-hours. You can also book an affordable bus ticket to travel to Lamego on Busbud.com.
If you choose to drive to Lamego, there is free parking around the city. But once you’re in town you don’t need a car unless you’re planning to explore the outskirts of town.
If you are planning to rent a car, don’t miss Everything You Need to Know About Renting a Car in Portugal; and if you’re planning a more extensive Portugal road trip, make sure to read The Best 8 Day Northern Portugal Road Trip
Where to Stay in Lamego
For being such a small town, there’s a good number of hotels and Airbnbs to choose from. I lucked out with this super cute Airbnb – O Cantinho do Colégio – located right in the heart of town, and highly recommend it!
Things to See and Do in Lamego
You can easily see all of Lamego’s attractions in a few hours, but as mentioned earlier, if you want to really slow down I recommend spending a night in town.
CASTELO DE LAMEGO
Lamego’s medieval castle is perched high up on a hill, overlooking the town. While the walk is steep to get there, it’s worth it for the views. The entrance to the castle is free and really the only thing to do once you arrive is walk along the old walls.
SANTUARIO DE NOSSA SENHORA DOS REMEDIOS
This is by far the most impressive thing about Lamego, an 18th-century historic church dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies. The church draws visitors from all over, especially on September 8th, a day of celebration where patrons climb the 600+ stairs to the top, asking for miracles along the way. Entrance to the church is free.
The Lamego Cathedral is a Catholic Church built in 1129. It’s located in the heart of town and entrance is free to visit.
STROLL THROUGH JARDIM DA REPUBLICA
Jardim da República is the perfect place to sit and relax with a book in hand. There are benches to sit on, statues to admire, and in the spring and summer beautiful flowers adorn the gardens.
STOP FOR PASTRIES
While you’re in town, I highly recommend a stop for pastries at Padaria Rina, with shops throughout town. I chose this “stick” looking pastry stuffed with Nutella and it was delicious! But for a better guide to dessert in Portugal, check out this post.
EAT A TRADITIONAL MEAL
Before leaving, you’ll definitely want to stop for a traditional dish coming from Northern Portugal. TaskaZita was a gem of a find, a complete local spot that serves traditional dishes. I recommend trying the francesinha, a Portuguese sandwich (originally from Porto), made with bread, meat, sausage, melted with cheese, topped with a fried egg, in a thick tomato/beer sauce.
VISIT THE DOURO VALLEY
Lamego is the perfect spot to stay if you plan to visit the beautiful Douro Valley. If you plan to spend a couple of nights in town then I definitely recommend heading to the valley for at least one wine tasting and even dinner. A 30-minute drive east will bring you to the beautiful winery, Quinta dos Murcas. You don’t need a reservation unless you want to guarantee a tour. After wine tasting, I recommend driving to DOC – Chef Rui Paula for an elevated lunch or dinner experience.
For everything you need to know about visiting the Douro Valley, don’t miss A Guide to Visiting the Douro Valley
For a small town, Lamego, Portugal packs quite the punch. Like I said earlier, it’s the perfect stop if you’re looking to slow down and gain a more “insider” look to Portugal.
If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, don’t miss The Ultimate Portugal Travel Guide
If you need more inspiration on visiting Portugal, make sure to check out my Instagram page/highlight reel by searching “#ppinportugal” or find my “Portugal” highlight.