On the planted seafront, Portugal has been, since the Middle Ages, a privileged country for the construction of mills, whether tidal or windy. These milling units were used, in particular, for the production of flour.
Given the favorable geographical conditions, Portugal ended up standing out from other countries in the field of milling activity. We have the largest concentration of tide mills in the world. The French have about 110 in an area between Brittany and Normandy.
Moinho de vento de Montedor in Viana do Castelo
The only working windmill of trapezoidal wooden sails, in Portugal, is in Viana do Castelo. From the Interpretation Centre, with the most varied information on mills and the region - installed in the building of another windmill with cloth sails, one can make way through two unforgettable routes: an environmental one and a patrimonial one.
Named "Barn of the Alto Minho", the Community Threshing has a nucleus of recovered water mills, eight granaries and four porches that served as haystacks. A journey back in time and privileged views of the Minho region countryside are waiting for you on this visit.
This trail starts at the Parada village (Lindoso - Ponte da Barca) and takes us on a journey through an idyllic universe of fauna, flora and history. With the river Lima as company and the Amarela Mountain as a backdrop, along the way you will find abandoned windmills situated on the waterfront. Take a dip in the paradisical Poço da Gola!
A few kilometres from Fafe, and surrounded by dense nature, you will find a refuge composed of only five houses, transformed into rural accommodation.
There is also a mill and a pestle where, in past times, the inhabitants produced the flour and transformed the wool, using the energy of the Vizela River.
Today we will introduce 10 of 1000 mills, magical landscapes and (almost) forgotten traditions. In the past, the number of mills in operation evidenced the economic prosperity of the villages.
Today, behind every mill there are countless surprising discoveries. Traditions and customs, natural surroundings of incomparable beauty.
A postcard image is what the three Windmills of Lomba da Conceição offer us, whose red colour contrasts with the green landscape of Faial Island.
It is one of the must-see stops if you visit Horta and, given its location, from where you can also enjoy magnificent views of the Pico Island.
29 hectares of area and two rivers - Ui and Antuã – are the elements of the landscape of the Mill Theme Park in Oliveira de Azeméis, a living museum of bread confection and cereal grinding. Composed of three mill cores, these are interconnected by pedestrian paths enriched by the surrounding fauna and flora.
This circular pedestrian route leads you to discover some of the natural and cultural treasures of one of the most important protected areas of our country:
the Peneda Gerês National Park.
The historic water mill, the community oven and the centuries-old Romanesque style church are just a few points of interest you'll find along the way.
Here, the traditions of the people who live on the slopes of the hills, such as the slaughter of the pig, the husking of corn or the bread manufacturing, remain.
Therefore, granite water mills or granaries are part of the daily life of the inhabitants. Forget everyday problems and let yourself get lost in this village located in the Alvão Natural Park.
Symbols of the industrial heritage of Barreiro, these three buildings - the Gigante windmill, the Nascente windmill and the Poente windmill - of Dutch typology, are located on the river beach of Alburrica.
They are connected to Barreiro by wooden walkways and provide a different tour, just outside Lisbon.
We strongly reccomend the West Mills Route
Windmills mark the landscape of the western region, recalling times when their existence was the livelihood of hundreds of families.
With industrialization and the new milling processes, these buildings on top of the hills lost their main mission, but they never ceased to be magical places, which arouse the curiosity of passersby.
Although many have been left in ruins, in recent years an effort has been made to restore them and it is currently possible to visit them, on a route that passes through Peniche, Cadaval (Serra de Montejunto), Lourinhã, Torres Vedras, Sobral de Monte Agraço , Arruda dos Vinhos and Alenquer.
There are currently 26 windmills and six restored watermills, and some of them are even able to grind cereals as was customary hundreds of years ago. Others are craft shops, museums, rural tourism accommodations or electricity production sites. But all of them keep alive the memory of a tradition that has marked not only the landscape, but the entire culture of the region.
On the old Óbidos-Peniche road, you can find one of these mills in full working order, see the milling process and purchase traditionally produced flour.
Find out more and where to stay https://turismodocentro.pt/roteiro/rota-dos-moinhos-do-oeste/