Nadir Afonso Museum of Contemporary Art
(25 km from Boticas Hotel)
A museum dedicated to the work of Nadir Afonso and designed by the most renowned architect in our country, Álvaro Siza Vieira. The building was designed while Nadir Afonso was still alive and the museum plan was followed with great satisfaction by the painting master.
One of the most interesting attributes is the building being suspended on sheets of concrete in an effort to “save” it from the waters of the Tâmega in the event of a flood as it is very close to this river. This suspension dramatizes and accentuates the weight of the museum's volume, which from certain perspectives, in games of light and dark, is reminiscent of Nadir's “Espacillimité”.
Siza Vieira managed to create a stylistic “bridge” between the characteristics of Nadir’s work and the building dedicated to it. Even though the architect does not admit that there was a conscious effort to make this happen, we think it is quite obvious that it exists. Namely in its plan and in the geometric cutouts beneath the building’s volume.
The museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions perfectly integrated into the building that has the refined and characteristic style of Álvaro Siza.
An inevitable place when visiting this region, even more so for a guest at the Boticas Hotel whose stay is full of art by master Nadir Afonso.
Coordinates: 41.741091, -7.465734
More info: https://macna.chaves.pt
Vilarinho Seco Village
(23 km from Boticas Hotel)
Vilarinho Seco is a typical Barrosã village where we can feel the beauty and atmosphere of times gone by. It is one of the best preserved villages in the region and is located in the Alturas do Barroso mountain range. It is an authentic journey into the past and Barrosã traditions in a setting that unfolds on granite walls expertly paired in the form of chapels, crosses, squares, granaries and mills that are still active. There are even some buildings that still have thatched roofs! The activity of this village is still agriculture and pastoralism, a living ethnographic museum.
A scenario far from today where we can walk through the organically arranged streets as if we were in another reality. Another asset of the village is the typical cuisine that you can taste in the village restaurant.
Coordinates: 41.692262, -7.815123
Fountain of Loves
(8 km from Boticas Hotel)
Fonte dos Amores is a small waterfall located near the Carvalhelhos Thermal Park. With a truly enchanting setting, between oaks and chestnut trees, the waterfall falls into a small lake where it is common to find bathers on the hottest days cooling off in the clean waters of the place.
This fountain, in addition to the scenery and its crystal clear waters, has an associated legend that gives it even more charm and piques the visitor's curiosity. The legend tells of a beautiful girl who fell into the lake and was saved by a brave boy. They fell in love and lived a beautiful love story for the rest of their lives. We invite you to learn more about the legend when you visit the site.
More info: https://chavesandaround.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/a-fonte-dos-amores/
(50 km from Boticas Hotel)
A simple and beautiful granite bridge that “overcomes” the Rabagão River in a steep place between granite boulders. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century, has a span of 13 meters and is located in a splendid landscape that in itself was worth a visit.
Like the Fonte dos Amores, it has a legend linked to it that gives it a great mystique and the nickname Ponte do Diabo. Those who know say that an evil criminal who often sought this area to hide from the police found himself in trouble in this place in the middle of a storm and as the river was very rough he had no way of getting through. Being evil, he appealed to the Devil, offering his soul in exchange for salvation. The Devil agreed to his request and made a bridge appear so that the man could cross and thus save himself from the strong current of the river. After this adventure, the bridge immediately collapsed at the devil's command. Many years later, in a confession, the criminal revealed his secret to a priest. To find out what the priest did with this information, the best thing to do would be to visit the bridge and I'm sure someone there will tell you the rest of the legend.
Coordinates: 41.692232, -8.019535
(25 km from Boticas Hotel)
The Montalegre Castle located in the village of Montalegre is an imposing presence on top of a granite hill and from where we can see in all their splendor the Gerês and Larouco mountains as well as the Cávado river.
The construction dates back to the 13th century, more precisely 1279 and was part of a set of fortifications dedicated to defending the border with Galicia. The castle has 4 towers connected by walls that close off the parade ground. One of these towers is the robust keep with Gothic features, the architectural trend at the time of its construction.
This castle is linked to a very interesting tradition that brings many visitors to Montalegre, the celebration of Friday the 13th! On those days the town and the surroundings of the castle are filled with people dressed up in a “dress code” taken from the precepts of witchcraft! It's a pagan celebration of witchcraft in a fun way and without scary superstitions.
Montalegre thus becomes an essential place to visit in this region.
Coordinates: 41.832100, -7.791373
Church of São Bartolomeu de Beça
(5 km from Boticas Hotel)
This church is located in the parish of Beça, of which it is the parish church. It stands out for the erosion of the granite between the entrance arch and the bell tower due to the chains that were used to ring the bells. Although there are many similar Romanesque churches in the region, the detail we mentioned makes this one stand out due to its very deep and somewhat sculptural wear. The church in the Sapiãos cemetery has similar wear, although less noticeable.
Otherwise, it is a typical Romanesque church with the heavy appearance common in this type of construction. It is also common to have few openings and just a long, narrow nave.
An interesting fact is that this church was used as a setting in the RTP series, Vidago Palace.
Coordinates: 41.692198, -7.700951
Boticas Parque – Nature and Biodiversity
(5 km from Boticas Hotel)
A place that we have to visit if we want to better understand the splendid nature of the region. A natural park that extends across 3 parishes of Boticas, Beça, Codessosso and Vilar and is crossed by the Beça River. We can experience nature in this park in various ways, including on foot, by bike or even by kayak. In the park we can see not only the flora but also native breeds of livestock from the region, a butterfly garden and an amphibian tank. An area where you can breathe nature and where we can spend quality time in a natural setting like few others exist.
Coordinates: 41.683996, -7.714645
More info: https://www.boticasparque.com/o-parque/
Pitões das Júnias
(45 km from Boticas Hotel)
One of the Portuguese villages at the highest altitude, in the municipality of Montalegre, within the Peneda Gerês National Park. Full of incredible scenery, the village is built of granite, as is typical of the region, and holds moments that take us back to the past. In this village and its surroundings we can visit places such as the Monastery that dates back to the 9th century and was a hermitage, that is, an isolated place sought after by hermits. This monastery is in ruins in a remote location, which makes the visit something special. Only the monastery church is in good condition.
The other most popular attraction in this village is the waterfall that projects from a granite crack onto a 30-meter-high cliff. To access the viewpoint from where we can see the waterfall, you have to walk 100 steps on a wooden walkway, which made access to the place much easier.
A village where we can hear the echoes of times gone by and take a break from the routine.
Coordinates: 41.842107, -7.950092
More info: http://www.espiritoviajante.com/dicas-para-visitar-pitoes-das-junias/
Castro do Outeiro Lesenho
(12 km from Boticas Hotel)
The fort is located at the top of a hill near Ribeira do Corgo and was built during the second iron age with a strong complex of walls that measured up to 3 meters thick in the strongest location. It is perhaps the most interesting castro in an area that has many places of this type. In the 20th century, to create a fire watch station, the walls were partially dismantled and later rebuilt, although not completely.
Inside the walls were typical circular-shaped dwellings with a few exceptions. In archaeological work, traces of Roman occupation were also found. The ex-libris of this fort is, however, a statue of the Galician warrior about 2m high. 4 of these statues were found and can be seen in the National Archeology Museum in Lisbon, in the castro there is a fantastic life-size replica.
In addition to the archaeological remains of this place, we can glimpse incredible landscapes all around.
This place hosts the Sun Festival on the summer solstice, this festival consists of a 12 km walk from Boticas Parque to the castro. The participants, many of whom are dressed in the style of the castro's inhabitants, wait for the sun to set and celebrate the arrival of summer.
Coordinates: 41.649429, -7.753965
More info: https://www.cediec.pt/?v=1&show=60
Anthropomorphic Graves of Sapião/Bird Necropolis
(4.5 km from Boticas Hotel)
One of the most bizarre and interesting attractions in the Boticas area are the anthropomorphic graves of Sapiãos. Also known as bird necropolis, these pieces consist of graves in the shape of a human silhouette excavated in granite and which form a set of several tombs. This monument is located next to the road and of the five graves, one of them stands out for its volume outside the rocky outcrop while the rest are shallow. It is estimated that they date back to the 11th century and are located on the access road to the Romanesque church and cemetery, also from the medieval period. In addition to this group, there is another similar tomb relatively nearby. There is also a 17th or 18th century cross with very interesting decorative work that is reminiscent of the bell tower of the Sapiãos Parish Church.
Coordinates: 41.713461, -7.635375
More info: https://www.allaboutportugal.pt/pt/boticas/monumentos/sepulturas-antropomorficas-de-sapiaos