Situated in the northwestern comer of the country, Viana do Castelo (pop. 20,000) is one of the loveliest coastal cities in all of Portugal. Visited mainly as a beach resort, Viana also has a lively historic district centered around the Pra$a da Republica. Diagonally across the plaza, granite columns support the flowery facade of the Igreja da Misericordia. Known for its azulejo interior, the GlMonte de Santa Luzia, overlooking the city, is crowned by magnificent Celtic ruins and the Templo de Santa Luzia, an early 20th-century neo-Byzantine church. The view from the hill is fantastic. For more views of the harbor and ocean, visit the Castelo de Sao Tiago da Barra, built by Felipe I of Spain. Viana do Castelo and the surrounding coast feature excellent beaches. The most convenient are Praia Norte, at the end of Av. do Atlantico at the west end of town, and Praia da Argacosa, on Rio Lima.

Trains 258 82 13 15) run from the station at the top of Av. Combatentes da Grande Guerra to Porto (2hr. 13-14 per day, ‚4.10). Buses run to: Braga (1 Lahr. 4-9 per day, ‚3.20); Lisbon (5Mihr. 2-3 per day, ‚18); and Porto (2hr. 4-9 per day, ‚3.50-6). The tourist office, R. do Hospital Velho, at the comer of Pr. Erva, has a helpful English-speaking staff and offers maps and accommodation listings. 258 82 26 20. Open Aug. daily 9am-7pm; May-July and Sept. M-Sa 9am-lpm and 2:30-6pm, Su 9:30am-lpm; Oct.-Apr. M-Sa 9am-12:30pm and 2-5pm.) The PPousada de Juventude de Viana do Castelo (HI) O, R. de Limia, off of R. da Argagosa, is right on the marina, off Pr. de Galiza; its balconies have great views. 258 80 02 60. Reception 8am-midnight. Checkout 10:30am. Reservations recommended. Mid-June to mid-Sept. dorms ‚13, doubles with bath ‚35; mid-Sept. to mid-June ‚1028.)


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