The old spa town of MONÇÃO, 16km east of Valença, still boasts a high defensive walkway that runs along the northern, river-facing side of town, offering superb views across the deep Minho valley into Spain. It’s a pleasant enough place to pause, centred round the mosaic-cobbled square, Praça Deu-la-Deu, where the seventeenth-century Igreja da Misericórdia contains some magnificent azulejos. There is also an attractive grid of narrow streets round the sixteenth-century Romanesque Igreja da Matriz which houses various tombs, including that of Deu-la-Deu Martins. The town has also received something of a boost with the renovation of its spa, which can be enjoyed in the Termas do Monção (w just west of the old town on Avenida das Caldas. Otherwise the town is liveliest on a Thursday, market day, or during the local festivals of Corpo de Deus (Corpus Christi, usually second week in June) and Nossa Senhora das Dores (Aug).

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