A modern town with ancient roots, Viana do Castelo is in the very north of Portugal, crushed between the estuary of the River Lima and the wild surf of the Atlantic Sea. The Praça da República, its beautiful fountains and the Church of the Misericórdia –a three-story melange of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture – form the medieval heart of the city. Along with the 15th-century cathedral, the ancient piazzas and Manueline mansions all contrast neatly with the area’s modern-day seafront marina. But Viana is best known for its Santuario de Santa Luzia, a church perched on a hilltop overlooking the Atlantic rollers. It is accessible by funicular from the town center, which will climb the 820-foot hill. 

The construction of this elaborate Neo-Byzantine church began in 1903 based on a design by Miguel Ventura Terra, who was inspired by the Sacré Coeur in Paris. The church’s ornate façades are adorned with delicate rose windows, double-domed twin spires, a rounded apse and a grand central dome. Take the elevator to the top of the dome for panoramas across Viana do Castelo to the Atlantic.

Practical Info

Viana do Castelo is a 45-minute drive north of Porto along the IV1. Tickets for the funicular up to Santa Luzia cost €2 one-way or €3 return. The ride takes less than 10 minutes, and the funicular station is on Avenida 25 de Abril. Santuario de Santa Luzia is generally open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., with hours extended until 7 p.m. during the summer. Admission free.

Tours & Tickets

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Santiago de Compostela and Viana do Castelo Day Trip from Porto, Porto, null
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Santiago de Compostela and Viana do Castelo Day Trip from Porto

4.5 star rating: Recommended 50 Reviews

Cross the border into Spain and retrace part of St James Way – a sacred route followed by centuries of pilgrims – on a visit to Santiago de Compostela from ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $109.79
Discover Serra De Arga Nature Paradise and Pincho Waterfall, Porto, Day Trips
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Discover Serra De Arga Nature Paradise and Pincho Waterfall

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Reviews

Viana do Castelo - Portugal! North of Portugal is the greenest area in Portugal. Near Porto city, there exist a wonderful mountain called Serra D´Arga situated ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $112.03
Minho Day Trip from Porto Including Lunch, Porto, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Minho Day Trip from Porto Including Lunch

Get to know the undiscovered Minho region during a small-group, full-day trip from Porto. With an expert guide leading the way, travel around the northern ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $84.02
Santiago and Viana experience private tour, Porto, Day Trips
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Santiago and Viana experience private tour

Santiago de Compostela (in Galicia, Spain) is famous as the final destination of one of the world’s most important Christian pilgrimage routes. Visit the ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $425.72
Full-Day Private Tour of Unexplored North of Portugal, Porto, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Full-Day Private Tour of Unexplored North of Portugal

After pick-up up from your hotel, explore the unexplored North of Portugal: Leca do Balio, Vila do Conde and Viana do Castelo. This tour includes visits to ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $336.09

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