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Barcelos, a small city overlooking the river Cávado, is famous for its pottery and ceramics, specially the tradicional Barcelos cock which became a Portuguese national symbol.

Its origin springs from a legend: an innocent pilgrim, on leaving the town, was accused of stealing and sentenced to hang. He pleaded with the judge, who was about to begin a meal of roasted cockerel, and said that the cock would stand on the plate and crow to prove his innocence. The judge didn't believe him, but, as the pilgrim was being hanged, the cock did stand up and crow. Luckily, the judge was still in time to save the man.

The main attraction of Barcelos is its huge weekly market where visitors can buy almost anything, from the legendary clay cock to all sorts of other crafts (pottery, ceramics, wicker baskets, embroidery and lace, etc.), clothes, furniture or even cattle.

If you happen to visit the town in the beginning of May, Festa das Cruzes (Festival of the Crosses) is an event to watch, with thousands of flowers laid on the streets, folk dancing, fireworks and a typical religious procession.

Other attractions include the Archeological Museum, set in the ruins of a palace, and the Pottery Museum, displaying the history of ceramics in the region.

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