Barcelos, more than a destination, an experience to live!

Barcelos is a territory rich in traditional and creative crafts, giving its artistic sector a sustainable and innovative character.

In this sense, Barcelos offers experiences related to craftsmanship in all its forms, so that you can be inspired by its creative essence. Whether it is modeling clay, handling the potter’s wheel, designing your own figurines, painting the typical rooster of Barcelos, an icon of Portugal, creating with paper pulp, working with stone, iron or creating pieces in the embroidery of Saint Miguel de Carreira, the possibilities are endless.

In addition to crafts, vineyards and wine, culinary arts, festivals and pilgrimages offer the opportunity to experience the most authentic traditions of Barcelos.

Thematic Routes also invite you to live unique experiences to meet the craftsmen: 7 itineraries around the gustative, the figurative, the pottery, the embroidery, the weaving, the iron, the basketry, the carpentry and the contemporary art.

Barcelos, labeled Creative Friendly destination, has a strong axis of creative tourism, which makes it more than a destination, an experience to live!

Barcelos’ next creative events

  • Battle of Flowers and Barcelos Folklore: a creative world to discover

The first big pilgrimage in Minho region, the “Festa das Cruzes (Crosses Festivities) which Barcelos celebrates in the first days of May, is one of the most important events in Barcelos, with hundreds of visitors, that “venerates religiosity, honours tradition, promotes tourism, stimulates the economy and exalts entertainment and conviviality.”

The Festival of the Crosses, whose central stage is the Temple of the Bom Jesus da Cruz, has in its genesis the Legend of the Crosses, with the appearance of a cross on the muddy ground of the Campo da Feira in 1504 to the shoemaker João Pires, and whose veneration results today in the great pilgrimage of Minho, with the pilgrimage of thousands of visitors. Some of the high points are the Battle of Flowers (1st May), the Procession of the Invention of the Holy Cross (3rd May), but also the Pilgrimage Arches and the Carpets of Flowers in the Temple of the Lord of the Cross, exhibited during all the days of the festival, as well as street folklore, music concerts, street parades, and all the inherent entertainment.

Part of the programme, and considered one of the highlights, is the Battle of the Flowers, which brings together children and adults in a very special Barcelos revelry.

Its origins date back to the beginning of the 20th century, and it was initially a parade where workers brought flowers from the fields, scattering them around the city in a cathartic act of spring celebration. Nowadays, the tradition continues, with the municipality’s associations gathering the largest number of flowers and throwing them over the city, covering its streets in a truly colourful carpet of flowers.

This experience can be lived every year on the 1st of May, where the aim is to join an association and live this Battle in a special and unforgettable way.

Together with the Battle of Flowers, the animation of the Festival of the Crosses also includes Street Folklore, in which the Folkloric Groups of the municipality animate all those who attend with their traditional dances and costumes, touring the streets of the city. Singing “Viras”, “Vareiras” and “Chulas”, among other songs from the Barcelos repertoire, the dancers recreate dances linked to pilgrimages and even some countryside jobs, such as husking, harvesting and linen work, in an arduous task of preserving and promoting these symbolic and particular traditions.

Also in this area, Barcelos City Council, together with the folkloric groups, presents a range of creative experiences where the aim is to stop being a mere spectator and make you feel part of a typical Minho folk dance group, sharing this passion for folklore with its members.

  • “Touring Barcelos”

The “Touring Barcelos” program, which includes 16 initiatives that will take place between March and December 2023, aims to enhance and promote the natural and cultural heritage of the municipality, often located outside the usual tourist circuits. This initiative is part of the set of creative actions that promote the discovery of the identity of the municipality of Barcelos and completes the offer for all those who choose Barcelos to spend their vacations or simply a weekend in one of the many accommodations spread throughout the territory.

  • 7 Pleasures of Gastronomy

Are you a fan of gastronomy? The 7 Pleasures of Gastronomy program is for you! The main attraction being the traditional Roasted Root, this program aims to promote various other traditional specialties throughout the year that you can enjoy in local restaurants, on the following dates:

March 10 to 19 – Rooster Gastronomy Week, “Rojões” and “Papas de Sarrabulho” Barcelos style

May 19 to 21 – Cod Weekend

July 14 to 16 – Tidbits Weekend

From 6 to 8 October – Weekend Barcelos Fashion Roast

November 3 to 5 – Weekend “Pica no Chão Rice

December 2 – Contest “Barcelos Doce” – Christmas Temptations

Along with these dates, there is also a series of creative experiences related to the culinary arts and local products, such as the preparation of traditional cakes, Barcelos rooster, pilgrim’s bread, as well as visits to two local producers, an oil mill and a chocolate factory.