The unique Centro do Artesanato de Barcelos, Torre de Porta Nova (tel. 25/381-18-82), is a gem. It displays some of the best regional handicrafts at the best prices we've encountered in the north. The center has an age-old stone tower that rises opposite the Church of São da Cruz. A wide display of goods is for sale on its street level and upper floor.
One outstanding collection alone makes the trip to Barcelos worth it. It consists of witty, sophisticated ceramics from the heirs of Rosa Ramalho, who was known as the Grandma Moses of Portuguese ceramics. Some of these figures show the influence of Picasso. Ms. Ramalho created figures depicting eerie people. For example, she put the heads of wolves on nuns and gave goats six legs -- all in muted forest green or butterscotch brown. In addition, there's a good selection of the ceramic red-combed Barcelos cockerels, with many variations on the traditional motif in red and black. Local wares include black ceramic candlesticks, earthenware bowls used for caldo verde (a fortifying soup of greens and vegetables), hand-knitted pillows, handmade rugs in bold stripes, and hand-loomed bedspreads.
If this place doesn't have what you're looking for, head for Largo do Dom António Barroso in the center of town, where a handful of other souvenir and handicrafts shops sell the products of local artisans.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.