Since we've now travelled the length and breadth of Portugal... we've arrived at the northern most part of Portugal...after a fantastic stay in Porto!! In fact you can actually see across to Spain from the window of our motorhome where I sit and type this today!! Looking out past that pretty fishing boat in the above picture!! What an amazing view to get from yet another quality Orbitur campsite (Caminha)
Caminha is an ancient fortress town beside the Minho.... its obvious why it was important to the Romans and Celts who settled down here in Galicia.. but it actually was quite a significant trading port due to it's protected harbour...trading with Viana do Castelo... As ever the history of Portugal is linked to it's love of the sea and exploration,something we loved learning about in nearby Porto (some 90mins south of Caminha)
The ancient city walls match those that we saw in Dubrovnik, and judging by the slant downwards maybe were inspired by similar architectural thoughts... but it's the impressive 13th Century 'Torre do Relógio' that catches your eye! You can even see how it's crucial city gateways were formed under the clock tower.. to keep unwanted visitors out of the city... but also try to spare some time to see the Paços do Concelho and it's attractive loggia or the Gothic inspired Igreja Matriz with it's inlaid ceiling of panelsin traditional Mudéjar style (something that reminds us of Teruel in Spain)...
They call this region the 'Patchwork of Landscapes' and you can see why... dense green vegetation are interspersed by crystal, clear water that snakes around the many stone clad defensive settlements of this region. Other places you shouldn't miss include Foz do Minho, Moledo and Forte do Cão....
The Caminha region is seen as one of the most authentic areas of Portugal (perhaps even the cradle of Portugal) but until you've strolled the town's cobblestones, explored the winding alleways or admired the artistically rich architecture... you don't really fully appreciate the beauty of this area... It's undiscovered beauty even extends into the hills that surround this coastline and up towards the pristine natural mountainous beauty of Serra d'Arga
So where should you base yourself? Well, we found that there are plenty of spaces to try wild camping or even use the town's squares (not between Feb-Nov)... but for us, we've travelled to the Orbitur Caminha... A fantastic campsite for the kids giving acres of space in the natural woodlands that allow beautiful views across the water to Spain...And we've fully tested the facilities (both girls have loved the playground and a chance to explore the site (by bike) whilst we've also fully tested the laundry and motorhome service sites!)
We've even fitted in some more 'Road Schooling'.... after our recent Science experiments on 'How does a Helicopter Fly?' this time it was back to more conventional Maths and English lessons...!
And we even had time to explore the other options for those that don't visit European Campsites with their own motorhome/caravan.... We've been constantly amazed at the quality across Europe of low priced accomodation available at campsites (this time in cabins / square colourful tents)... We'd never have thought of 'city hopping' by using these... but we reckon it would prove a very cost efficient option for families seeking to travel on a budget ....plus it gives the kids an opportunity to blow off some steam on the campsite's facilities...
Plus there's the option of using an inexpensive campsite restaurant, self catering or even finding time to BBQ (like last night's chicken and baked potato efforts!).
It may not be for everyone, but when you get views from your bedroom window like the one below... well, we're sold but I guess you'd expect that from a family that is living full time in their own house!!!
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