Rio Minho: what to visit and do

Located in the far north of Portugal, and dividing our country from Spain, is the River Minho. Its route passes through several towns in upper Minho, such as Valença and Vila Nova de Cerveira.

This important river provides a great dynamic to all the cities it encompasses, both in terms of sport, gastronomy and culture.

In this article, find out more about the Minho River!

Where is the Minho River 

O river Minho It rises at an altitude of 750 meters, in the Serra da Meira, in Galicia. This river runs for around 340 km until it flows into the Atlantic Ocean, south of “A Guarda”, also in the Galicia region. 

In national territory, the Minho River passes through the towns of Melgaço, Monção, Valença, Vila Nova de Cerveira and Caminha. 

What to do on the Minho River 

Along the Minho River there are unique natural landscapes such as the Peneda-Gerês Natural Park, and there is also a thermal destination. On the Minho River it is also possible to practice adventure sports such as rafting, canoeing, pendulum jumping or slides. 

Boat trips

The Minho River provides the opportunity for river trips. Starting in Tui, Spain, the tours last one hour and introduce you to the landscapes of Minho, which include the various cities located in its river basin, and even the river's own fauna and flora. 

The vessel makes two weekly departures, where the online registration

Wine tourism

Belonging to the Vinho Verde region, along the Minho River there are numerous producers of red, white, rosé or sparkling wine. This has been a demarcated area since 1908, and is one of the largest demarcated areas in Europe. 

Therefore, there are several spaces in the region that promote the tasting of these wines, as well as courses that aim to provide more in-depth knowledge of these drinks. 

Melgaço Radical has partnerships with several wine producers that you can visit and explore, namely Soalheiro, The Quinta do Regueiro, House of Lefties, between others.

Hiking and cycling

For a total of 40km, along the old railway paths that connected Monção to Valença, or the paths parallel to the river Minho, between Caminha and Vila Nova de Cerveira there is an eco-trail.

On this route it is possible to have contact with the Minho River, at the same time as you can observe the different cultivation and wine production fields. 


Artisanal fishing, sport fishing or professional fishing are the three types of activity that can be done on the Minho River.

The practice of fishing has always had great social and economic importance in the regions covered by the river, something that continues today. The lamprey is the queen of the Minho River, but there are other species that can be fished, such as trout. 

aquatic sports

The Minho River is the ideal place to practice water sports. Canoeing, rafting or hydrospeed are some examples. 

The ideal time to practice the vast majority of these water sports is spring/summer, where the mild climate and river currents are more conducive to practicing these sports. 

A Melgaço Radical gives the opportunity to practice various water sports on the Minho River.


O rafting consists of descending the currents of a river, in inflatable boats. This sport is done as a team and the River Minho is one of the best places to practice it. To do rafting on the river minho it can be a unique and unforgettable experience.


In the case of canoeing, this activity is also done in groups, and participants can go down the Minho River in canoes. The degree of difficulty is medium/low, which makes it an accessible sport for everyone. 


At the hydrospeed Participants also go down the river, but in this case they go individually supported on floating boards. The Minho River is therefore a reference place for practicing this adventure activity.

Visit historic cities

The banks of the River Minho embrace cultural legacies and archaeological monuments, which make your journey a unique and enriching experience.

Cities like Valença, Caminha and Tui, or towns like Melgaço, Monção and Arbo, are some examples.

Taste the local cuisine

In addition to the wines, the gastronomy of upper Minho is also a point worth highlighting. The lamprey is an attraction in the region, where the River Minho is one of the main fishing spots. With its various recipes, such as lamprey rice, Bordeaux or roasted lamprey, these dishes are available in any restaurant in the area. 

Other fish, such as trout or salmon, are popular dishes in the region, which can be tasted in the various restaurants in locations along the Minho River. 

Kid goat is also an essential dish for anyone visiting the Melgaço and Monção regions, just like the famous dish “Foda à Monção” or “Cordeiro à Moda de Monção”.


The Minho river encompasses the Minho estuary, where you can observe the birds that live in that place, and which have unique characteristics. On this route that starts in Caminha, we can observe water birds such as the heron or the sea turtle, large land birds such as the hoopoe or the black swift.

Passerines can also be observed, such as the wren, the black crow, or the mountain sparrow.

Leisure and Picnic Areas

Along the Minho River there are several leisure areas that allow a moment of rest for those visiting that region. Most parks also have picnic areas, ideal for a picnic. 

One of the main highlights is the Castelinho leisure park, in Vila Nova de Cerveira, or the Azenha river beaches, in Caminha.

Cultural events

In March, the “Sabores da lamprey” festival is celebrated, near Valença, and in April, the “Festa da lamprey” is celebrated in the village of Arbo, next to Melgaço. Several local restaurants participate in these events and try to make the best dish of this fish. 

Craft fairs are also very common in cities such as Valença and Vila Nova de Cerveira.

The Festa do Alvarinho and Fumeiro and, more recently, the Festa do Espumante, are nationally known events that attract thousands of people to the town of Melgaço.


From water sports such as canoeing, rafting or hydrospeed, to the possibility of bird watching, the Minho River is defined as a hydrographic route with unique fauna and flora.

This is a river of great socioeconomic importance for the region, as there is its own gastronomy associated with fishing in this river, where lamprey is the main highlight. Derived from this, there are several festivals that celebrate the natural riches that the Minho River offers, giving dynamism to the place. 

Discover Unlimited Emotion – Your Adventure Starts Here!

With more than two decades of experience, Melgaço Radical stands out as an undisputed reference in adventure sports and activities in the water, on land and outdoors on the Minho River and in Portugal. Our icon, the rafting on the river minho, is not just an activity; It is a transformative experience that attracts thousands of adventurers, national and international, to the picturesque region of Melgaço.

But our passion for adventure is not limited to rafting. Melgaço Radical is synonymous with diversity and innovation, offering a wide range of activities such as canyoning, canoeing, hydrospeed, abseiling, slide, pendulum jumping and hiking.

Come experience the excitement and beauty of Melgaço – where the adventure never ends!

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