Why Go to Miranda do Douro?
Miranda do Douro is a fortified town on the border with Spain overlooking the Douro river valley. It's residents speak a different language and dance a different dance, to bagpipes no less. The Pauliteiro Stick Dancers celebrate the ancient traditions of the Douro valley, including the Celtic Iron Age past.
Miranda do Douro is a picturesque village with an awe-inspiring 16th century cathedral which has an interesting cultural artifact inside. Called Menino Jesus da Cartolinha (Boy Jesus of the Top Hat), the carved statue represents a boy who appeared during a 1711 Spanish seige to rally the Portuguese troops, and he's been carved with a famous top hat and on display in a glass case inside the Cathedral.
You can also go to Miranda for a traditional culinary specialty, posta mirandesa, a thick, grilled veal steak or Sopa transmontana, a soup made with chestnuts.
Getting to Miranda do Douro
You'll need a car to arrive at Miranda do Douro, as there is no train station.
Festivals in Miranda do Douro
Stick dances are performed to the music of bagpipes, cymbals and drums by pauliteiros. The most famous festival is Festas de Santa Bárbara which takes place on the penultimate Sunday in August.
More Things to See
The Museu das Terras de Miranda or "Land of Miranda Museum" is found in the center of Miranda in the 16th-century former Town Hall building. You'll find the history of Miranda and the traditions of the Alto Trás-os-Montes region.
Behind the Cathedral is a section of the 16 th century aqueduct of Vilarinho which supplied Miranda do Douro with water until the 20th century.
Take our Virtual Tour of Miranda do Douro.