Miranda do Douro

Miranda do Douro is a town in the district of Bragança, in the Northeast of Portugal, bathed by the rivers Fresno and Douro and right on the border with Spain. Located in a mountainous and arid region, but with beautiful landscapes and surrounded by the International Douro Natural Park.

It was a long time ago that the first people started to stay in these lands – among them there are traces of the strong presence of Celts and Romans. The region became an important strategic position, given its proximity to Spain, due to the various battles that took place over time – particularly in the Middle Ages.

It was at the time of the Treaty of Alcanices – signed between King Dinis of Portugal and Ferdinand IV of León and Castile – that we read the history of the foundation of the town of Miranda on 18 December 1286, elevating it to the category of town and increasing its ancient privileges. Later, King João III elevated Miranda do Douro to the category of town on 10 July 1545.

Miranda do Douro has always been able to preserve its traditions and ways of life in an increasingly “bold” time. For example the language itself – Mirandese, which is a unique heritage in the region and has survived the passage of time unscathed. But there are other traditions that still survive today as they did in the past, given the interest that people show and the affection with which they are maintained in the region. This is the case of the colourful folklore with the famous dança dos paus (dance of the sticks), or of the Pauliteiros de Miranda – with their typical costume of skirts and accompanied by the sound of the bagpipes. They are a living legacy of the Celtic occupation of the region during the Iron Age.

The proximity with Spain helps, and how the numerous shops in the city – footwear, textiles or jewellery, are aimed at the Spanish neighbours who come from across the border to do their shopping. But also pieces such as Quilts made on traditional looms, Embroidery, Zaragoza fabrics and Buréis or Flutes, Bagpipes, Rocas and Castanholas, are also sought after by those who travel to the region.

When it comes to gastronomy, in the Trás-os-Montes region of Miranda do Douro, the Posta Mirandesa (Mirandesa steak), the meat-folar, the Mirandesa sweet ball, the smoked meat (not forgetting the famous alheira) or the excellent sponge cake are mandatory.

In addition to their mother tongue – Portuguese – they also speak their own language – Mirandese.

To visit:

  • Cathedral of Miranda do Douro
  • Miranda do Douro Castle
  • Paço Episcopal Ruins
  • Church of Santa Maria Maior (Old Cathedral)
  • Misericórdia Church
  • Church of Santa Cruz .
  • Convent of Frades Trinos
  • Medieval Bridge over the Fresno River
  • Vilarinho Aqueduct
  • Costanilha Street
  • Terra de Miranda Museum
  • Fonte dos Canos (Pipes Fountain)
  • Arribas do Douro (International Douro Natural Park)
  • Penedo Durão Viewpoint
  • Fraga do Puio Viewpoint
  • São João das Arribas Viewpoint
  • Miranda Dam
  • Picote Dam
  • Salto de Castro


Festivities and Pilgrimages:

  • Exhibition fair for Mirandesa cattle, on 24 June
  • City Day, July 10th (Municipal Holiday)
  • Miranda do Douro and Santa Barbara festivities on the penultimate Sunday of August