A few kilometres north of Ponte da Barca, the Rio Vez, a tributary of the Lima, is overlooked by the hillside town of ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ. It’s at its best – no real surprise – along the river, flanked by neat, wooded gardens and with a summer beach (praia fluvial) located a few hundred metres downstream from the old four-arched bridge. The old town, such as it is, stretches uphill behind the bridge, culminating in an unusual spiral Manueline pillory in the Praça Municipal. It’s very much a traditional shopping town – a bucket, some wellies, a length of hosepipe and a kilo of peaches, no problem, designer clothes not so much. The peak of the town’s activity takes place every other Wednesday, when the fortnightly Arcos market springs into action. Its major annual bash is the Festa do Concelho is held over the second week in August and features the usual giant figures, folkloric entertainments and blazing riverside pyrotechnics.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Lisbon has rightly garnered a reputation as being one of Europe’s hippest cities – but Portuguese cuisine remains somewhat unknown. Rest assured, though, Li…

24 Aug 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best beaches in Portugal

The 10 best beaches in Portugal

For many travellers, Portugal is synonymous with images of golden sun-baked beaches. And with a generous 1700 kilometres of coastline, there’s enough sand for…

28 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook