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LET DISCOVER Soajo VILLAGE

Soajo has had several charters, the last one given in 1514. Later, it would become council, taking in Ermelo and Gavieira, but it was extinct on 17/02/1852, because of the liberal reformations.
This village has about 3.913 hectares and is located about 20 km from Arcos de Valdevez. It is limited on the North side by Gavieira, on the East side by Spain, on the South side by Lindoso and Britelo and on the West side by Gondoriz, Cabana Maior, Vale and Ermelo.

The region…

The Soajo village (Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal) is a structured settlement made up of granite houses that are characteristic in mountain regions. The houses are set beside narrow lanes, just wide enough for ox-carts to get by, deeply rutted by the use throughout the centuries.

The rustic houses are distinguishable more by their ethnographic than by their architectural value, being built out of materials regionally available. The cultural heritage without being exuberant and erudite, is an excellent repository of a humankind’s good relationship with nature. While keeping, and maintaining their rural origins, the visitor may enjoy the quietude of the environment and the scenarios, the peacefulness and the rural folk’s tunes.

This village is famous for its communitarian threshing-ground constituted by 24 stone granaries standing on granite. The most ancient one goes back to 1782. These granite monuments were built at a time when corn started being grown on a regular basis and they were used for the protection of cereal from storms and rodents. Part of these granaries are still used by the villagers.

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How to Get There

Aldeia de Portugal

From Porto Airport: Take the motorway A3 to Braga/Valença. After 77 km leave the motorway in the exit signposted Arcos de Valdevez. After paying the toll, follow the IC28, for 15km and exit to Arcos de Valdevez. On the entrance of the town you will find a round about signed posted “Soajo/Mezio/PNPG”. Follow the signs to “Soajo/Mezio”. After 3km turn right in direction to “Soajo/Mezio” and continue for 18km until the village of Soajo.

GPS coordinates
41°52'25.76"N
08°15'51.33"W

Surrounding Places

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Melgaço
Arcos Valdevez
Ponte de Lima
Paredes Coura
Monção
Viana do Castelo
Valença
Ponte da Barca
Braga

Facilities & Equipments

Village FacilitiesDue to their geographical constraints, the Aldeias de Portugal are often not provided with all the equipments and facilities that we usually find in urban centres. To make your stay at Aldeias de Portugal more pleasant we will mention here the facilities and equipments that can be found at the villages and/or surroundings.

Cultural & Natural heritage

Village Cultural & Natural heritageIn the Aldeias de Portugal many perspectives catch the interest of their visitors. In these villages many constructions and archaeological findings prove us the existence of men thousands of years ago. Folklore is the most genuine, colourful and joyful of Portugal. Also culture, gastronomy, arts, artisans and traditional crafts of ancient times, were kept alive until the day of today.

History

Village History Soajo village is implanted in one of the hillsides of Peneda mountains, over Lima river. It has a long history. It is said that it was founded on the 1st century but only on the 16th century did it get a charter. Soajo people has been enjoying privileges ever since the foundation of Portugal because, at a time when other Portuguese villages were under Spanish leadership, Soajo recognized the king of Portugal as legitimate and that gave it several rights.

The inhabitants used to be called «monteiros» (huntsmen), because their main activity was hunting. The captured species were: bears, warthogs, wild goats, wolves and foxes.

In 1852, Soajo lost the right to be head of council. Nevertheless, it hasn’t lost its peculiarity. Even today, the streets are paved in granite and the houses are built in stone. Communitarian life has always been very important in this village. Until about a century ago, Soajo had a judge elected by the people.

Located in a region of rare beauty, this village has other curiosities, like Soajo Dolmens, Old Bridge and Côto Velho Sightseeing.