Perhaps less rural than some of its neighbouring villages, Lousada is a small town forty five kilometers East of Porto. Here the streets are lined with colourful buildings and interesting architecture as well as more modern bars, restaurants and shops. Although quiet for most of the year, just South West of the town lays the CAL race track which hosts motorsport championships throughout the year attracting tourists from all over Europe and providing a great day out. Alternatively, visit the unique medieval city of Guimaraes, just half an hour from Lousada, it has Unesco World heritage status for its historical streets and well preserved monuments.
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To indulge in some real local specialties in the Douro Valley region try some of the wonderfully tasting meat dishes, some popular choices are roasted baby goat, wild boar stew and partridge. Fish dishes are also divine as the fish is caught from the Douro river, these are oozing in flavors and are accompanied by freshly grown vegetables. Be sure to try some of the famous ports and wine of the Douro Valley, these are a great way to wash down these delightful dishes.
The nightlife in Lousada is very relaxed, with a scattering of restaurants, providing a friendly atmosphere, offering the chance to try some Portuguese specialities. For a more vibrant nightlife, the famous cities of Porto and Guimaraes are within a 35 minute drive, brimming with cool bars and pavement cafes.
A region full of vineyards, Douro Valley is the ideal place to visit if you enjoy good wine. Located at around a 15 minute drive, Quinta da Aveleda is a great winery set in pretty gardens. With organised tours allowing you to explore their gardens, vineyards and grounds, as well as taste some of their wine, including the famous wine of the region Vinho Verde.
Located within 20 minutes drive of the centre of Lousada, you will find Magikland, the largest amusement park in Portugal. Home to six different theme areas; Africa, World of Confusion, Medieval Village, Pirates’ Refuge, Souk and Wild West, with each area having a specific feel to it with different rides for children and adults to enjoy.
Usually open from June-mid September, Parque Aquático de Amarante is situated within 30 minutes from Lousada. This popular water park caters for daredevils and the more sedate alike, with plenty on offer to keep all ages entertained.
If you are a football fan, why not visit the home stadium of FC Porto, the Dragao Stadium, with guided tours usually available a few times a day.
Just 35 minutes’ drive from Lousada, the colourful city of Porto is the second largest in Portugal, adorned with medieval relics, tall bell towers and baroque churches, this fascinating city is well worth a day visit during your stay. The birthplace of port, Porto has been a long standing mecca for wine enthusiasts, with many wine caves open for tastings. The historic centre, a Unesco World Heritage Site attracts many, with locals mingling on village style plazas lined with old storefronts.
Located around a 30 minute drive from Lousada, Guimaraes was previously awarded European Capital of Culture, and we can easily see why, it would be hard not to fall in love with this picturesque city! At the heart of the city you will find a web of pedestrianised winding cobbled streets and washing-hung alleyways adorned with tiny bars and quaint cafes, leading to charming squares where you can dine alfresco. Individual shops are dotted around, specialising in lacework, hats and birdcages, fascinating to explore, and for those looking for international shopping Guimaraes Shopping can be found just outside of the historic centre full of well known brands. As the first capital of Portugal and birthplace of the nation's first king, Guimaraes is one of the country's most historic cities, and its World Heritage medieval streets with well-preserved monuments make it one of the most attractive places to visit in Portugal. There is no better way to see this adorable city than by the 10 minute cable car journey that transports you from Guimaraes over its residents’ back gardens to the 2,000 foot high peak known as Penha.
The elegant city of Braga, is the third largest in Portugal, located around a 40 minute drive, and well worth spending a day exploring during your stay. Laced with ancient narrow streets and interesting buildings, with an upscale old town, packed with lively cafes, trim boutiques, excellent restaurants and low-key bars. Home to a number of impressive Baroque monuments, including one of the country's best-known sights, the Bom Jesus Sanctuary.
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