Porto & the North
The explosion of Porto as one of Europe’s hottest destinations caught everyone by surprise, especially the locals! It’s the locals though who have given a new lease of life to their city, especially with the revival of speciality food markets, traditional petisco bars, and transforming once sedate areas into fun and lively neighborhoods. Monuments have had a makeover and the best of time-honoured cuisine has reappeared with a modern twist!
It’s hard not to let the charm of Porto just wash over you as you sit by the River and watch the world go by. But we encourage you to get under the skin of the city with one of our great local guides.
You may also opt for a cruise along the beautiful Douro or a private visit to one of the historic Port wine cellars. Meet those people whose passion makes Porto so unique for its wine and who play a fundamental role in maintaining the Port heritage of the city.
The old town of Porto is also a must, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and “a masterpiece of mankind’s creative genius.” You will see an array of historical and religious monuments such as the Romanesque cathedral, Palácio da Bolsa, and the church of Santa Clara. The quarter can be explored from many different perspectives, such as the Fundação de Serralves, one of the highlights of Portugal for art lovers, and the São Bento Station celebrated for its intricate and traditional tilework.
Outside of Porto, there are some alluring day excursions to consider. Guimarães is regarded as the birth place of Portugal. The town is striking for showcasing architectural developments from the Middle Ages to the modern times: crumbling medieval archways intermingle with traditional 16th-century half-timbered houses and small Gothic chapels. Overlooking the town is the monumental Guimarães castle, a unique marriage of Romanesque and Gothic styles, and one of Portugal’s most impressive castles.
Braga is the spiritual cradle of the nation, home to 35 magnificent churches, many impressive religious festivals and Northern Portugal’s most well-known sacred monument, the Bom Jesús church.
Apart from Braga and Guimarães the Minho is also home to the Vinho Verde wine region and we can organize fabulous excursions and wine tastings to historic wine estates. The fresh and fruity Vinho verde provides a fantastic contrast with Port wine… why not combine both regions? For the nature lovers, the Gerês National Park offers some fantastic hikes amongst beautiful scenery.
Trás-os-Montes is an amazing destination for those looking for peace and relaxation and it has some of the best thermal spa retreats in Portugal, from palaces to chic and trendy tree houses, there is something for everyone!
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