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São Domingos Montain

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The Natural Viewpoint of C. Paiva

Translated by flag- Hannah Mactear — 5 years ago

Original text by flag-pt Inês Melo

The Natural Viewpoint of C. Paiva

This incredible view that you can see in the picture is the natural viewpoint in the Paiva Castle, in the Aveiro district.

I went there with my boyfriend and he suggested going there at sunset and now I understand why!


The São Domingos mountain is in the Castelo de Paivo area (Aveiro district), but more particularly in the Raiva parish, almost 500 metres above sea level.

What you can see

The São Domingo mountain is regionally and even nationally known as a place where you can see various areas of the region. This makes it sound like a normal and even banal thing, but it's when you start to climb the mountain that you start to realise the beauty of this region.

When you get to the top of the mountain you can see a parallel construction which serves as a pass so that people can get to the summit (vehicles aren't permitted from this point).

Passing by a cross made of rock, you get to the top of the mountain where you can see a small chapel built in honour of São Domingos, the saint who gave his name to this place. Unfortunately we couldn't go inside the chapel, since it was shut when we went, but it is possible to visit it, except during holidays.

The Natural Viewpoint of C. Paiva

Next to the little chapel, there is a beautiful set of bells. This is an amazing thing to see... but even better to hear. These bells inform the population of the time, and due to their location and their power, you can hear them from very far away. I forgot to the count them at the time, but there were more than 10 of them and they all were different sizes.

The Natural Viewpoint of C. Paiva

Finally, we approached the walls of the mountain, and from there we could see something fantastic. One of the most beautiful views that could ever exist! There isn't a man-made terrace, it's considered a natural terrace, but it wasn't necessary. We got a beautiful panoramic view. The view you can see in the image is from the side which is right opposite the chapel, but the view is just as beautiful as you walk along the walls.

From here you can also see various regions and even various rivers:

  • The River Douro and all it's components;
  • The River Paiva which opens up onto the Douro in this spot;
  • The Mountain of the Virgin of the city of Porto;
  • All the areas around that region, like the Raiva, Pedorido, etc;
  • The Island of Love ("A ilha dos Amores") situated in the parish of Fornos;
  • The Entre-os-Rios and Anjo bridges which symbolise the tragedy that once also marked this region;
  • Other places whose names I don't know;


Exactly what you were thinking. It's totally free. Anyone can visit.


There are good points of access. You reach the top of the mountain after having climbed a lot... which is to be expected... but the roads are good quality and you can get there by car, motorbike, bike or on foot, but by bike and on foot it still costs a bit... It's also possible to go by coach or bus, as there are frequent excursions up there.

In my case I went by car, and at the top there are lots of parking spaces. At holiday times this parking spaces can't support the number of cars... but at other periods of the year you don't have to worry about parking spaces because there are enough.

The Natural Viewpoint of C. Paiva

(The view at night is just as good ad the one during the day... )

What can you do there?

The São Domingos mountain isn't really somewhere with lots to do. All you can do is basically enjoy the lovely view, walk around and visit the chapel and its bells. There are man-made rock tables there for visitors to have their meals on, so you can also eat there (you have to bring something though, because there's nowhere to buy food). Another thing to do is watch the festivities. And above all of these things don't forget that this is a religious place and so it's also a place for devotion.

Keen photographers seek out this place, since they find their work a bit easier here!

The best celebration that occurs here is on the 4th August, and it attracts thousands of visitors. Some even do a pilgrimage up the São Domingos mountain.

Another celebration is on the 7th and 8th of September.

The Natural Viewpoint of C. Paiva

It's a romantic place, perfect for taking photos and lots more!

I would strongly recommend visiting it!

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