Visiting the north of Portugal is like taking a trip back in time. It has a little bit of everything. Cities where nostalgia attracts the streets, local people and typical taverns. We are talking about a region where castles are still imposing, traditional and traditional villages, churches from other times and along the coast we feel the Atlantic breeze.
Which places to visit in northern Portugal This is exactly what this article is about, 10 suggestions of places and scenarios that are worth visiting. Where charm blends with landscapes, where nature merges with the city environment and people, say hello on every corner..
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10 Places to visit in northern Portugal: Ideas for an unmissable itinerary!
Porto, the charm of longing.
The last breath of the Douro River builds the melancholy of Porto. The city lives in longing for an eternal goodbye, as if it had stood still in time, with its picturesque rabelos, boats that transport aged and born wine where the river begins to speak Portuguese.
Monumental from its unbeatable walls to the top of the Torre dos Clérigos, between the tiles of the São Bento train station and the books of Livraria Lello, Porto is made of alleys that make anyone lose their charm.
In the elegant Praça da Liberdade, the focus is on the baroque and neoclassical facades of buildings from other times. In Ribeira, the real Porto is lived and felt through its residents. In Rio, the view meets the crossing of the six bridges of the Douro Arrábida, Luís I, Infante Dom Henrique, Maria Pia, São João and Freixo.).
As for gastronomy, making a wine tasting is essential. On the edge of Vila Nova de Gaia, cellars and cellars await to give the taste of the gold on your lips. In addition to the pleasures of the wines of the Douro Region, delicacies such as Francesinha and Tripas à Porto, cannot be missing from the menu of the visit!
Guimarães, the city where Portugal was born.
Guimarães is an absolutely charming city.
Among the monuments and its immense history were born the reasons why it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. And, of course, the fact that it was closely linked to the birth of the Portuguese national identity was its first capital and the homeland of Afonso Henriques, the first king of the country, also helped!u!
Nowadays, the ability to transform and grow without losing its medieval character, only shows that it is a city that knew how to adapt to the winds of change and the modern city style.
Among the places of interest, in Guimarães you will find the Castle, the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Penha and the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança.
Ah! Don't forget to also stroll through the oldest part of the city and visit Praça Oliveira and Largo do Toural! Emblematic places that tell the story of Guimarães.
Braga, the city of archbishops.
During Roman times in the Iberian Peninsula this would be a fundamental urban nucleus that would be called Bracara Augusta. With such antiquity, the enormous offer of historical-artistic heritage seems evident.
Braga is the third city in number of inhabitants after Lisbon and Porto itself in Portugal. It is the main crossing point of the "Portuguese Way" to Santiago de Compostela and has the oldest cathedral in Portuguese territory.s.
Among the places of interest, the following stand out: Fonte do Ídolo with two deities carved in granite; the Cathedral, ordered to be built by the Counts of Portucale, parents of Afonso Henriques, their tombs are precisely here; Praça da República, a large city center; the baroque church of São Marcos; or the Capim dos Coimbras.s.
To close the visit, nothing like the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, probably the most characteristic and photographed place in Braga. P.S. Watch out for the stairs! Go prepared to go upir)
Viana do Castelo, the capital of Alto Minho.
(Our dear city!)
At the compass of the coast, in Alto Minho and at the mouth of the river Lima, there is a friendly city that combines the soul of the sea with the strength of the land, Viana do Castelo!
Viana do Castelo is another semi-fortified city, whose beautiful historic center offers charming squares such as Praça da República, the heart of the historic center, with mansions and a beautiful fountain, a famous Renaissance fountain.
On the other hand, if there is something that cannot be missing in Viana, especially for those who like the naval issue, it is the old hospital ship, Gil Eannes, built in the city's shipyards in 1955, which today functions as a museum; and Castelo de Viana, Santiago da Barra Castle, with its polygonal shape, a stronghold in the defense of the city.
For those who like art, visit the Municipal Museum, which features a magnificent collection of Portuguese pottery from the 17th-18th centuries; the 15th century Sé, or Mother Church; and the beautiful Chapel of Malheiras.
Last but not least, go up to Monte Santa Luzia, a must-see spot where you will find one of the best viewpoints in the whole country and where you can see the Santa Luzia Sanctuary, one of the most important basilicas in Portugal.
P.S Know everything about Viana do Castelo in our City Guide.
Valença do Minho, the fortress of the border.
City bordering the Minho River as a testimony. On the other side of Galicia specifically Tui. It remains protected by one of the most sophisticated defensive systems in Portugal, comparable only to the border fortifications made in Elvas in Alentejo or Almeida in the district of Guarda that followed the designs of the French Vauban. It has four access gates, a dozen bastions and four revelins joined by a thick wall. Its state of conservation is excellent, as is its historic center, very popular with visitors from Spain.nha.
For a weekend getaway, Valença is one of the best destinations to consider.
Amarante, the city of São Gonçalo.
Halfway between Guimarães and Peso da Régua, one of the best kept secrets of northern Portugal is located. Nothing more, nothing less than Amarante, a charming and majestic medieval city that has the entrance to the Ponte de São Gonçalo.
It is not known if it is due to the influences of São Gonçalo, but in Amarante, whose name even seems to come from the words "love" or "lover" although it has nothing to do with it, there are winds of romanticism and hands clasped on the banks of the Tamega.a.
In Amarante, something that cannot be missed is the local cuisine. Save space for traditional and flavorful deadlines.
Bragança, high up in Portugal.
Bragança is one of the northernmost points in Portugal. And, because visiting Bragança This time the reason is clear, centered on a single location, one of the best medieval castles in Europe is in Bragança..
There are about fifteen towers and an extensive wall that allows you to walk along the city. In the center is the large castle, built with the mission of protecting this territory.
However, the castle is not the only reason, we would be unfair. The city's palaces, historic buildings and Trás-os-Montes cuisine complete the beauty of the city tour.
On the outskirts of Bragança is the Montesinho Natural Park. Where nature merges with the foothills of the mountains and green areas come to life!
Chaves, the spa town of northern Portugal.
The Romans called Chaves de Aquae Flaviae since, at the time of Emperor Flávio Vespasiano, its thermal waters located in Alto Tâmega in the heart of Trás-os-Montes were highly appreciated.
Today, two thousand years later, it remains a spa town, which takes advantage of the healing properties of spring waters. They are the hottest thermal springs in continental Europe, reaching temperatures of 73 degrees centigrade.
Regarding points of interest, a Roman bridge over the Tâmega river allows access to a historic center full of life; the castle district, the most monumental, keeps much of its medieval legacy; and in Praça de Camões, several granite palaces provide harmony to the buildings.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
Although Portugal has numerous natural parks and reserves, only one of them has been declared a National Park. Bordering the province of Ourense, in Spain, a gigantic space called Peneda-Gerês National Park was born, an exuberant location between the mountains and the rivers that pass through it.
A paradise with hundreds of plant species and where the fauna started to return after centuries of human exploitation.
Gerês, between the waterfalls and their shale villages, builds an ecosystem that invites water sports, extreme activities and holidays to rest with the family. One of the most sought after destinations and one of the places to visit in the north of Portugal that you cannot miss.
Always flanked by green hills that protect it from Atlantic winds, it adds a special touch to the vineyards on both banks.
The Douro Valley presents itself as one of the most bucolic destinations in Portugal, not only in the north. UNESCO designated the Alto Douro as a World Heritage Site in 2001 in the category of cultural landscape, since its wine activity reflects the whole history that has passed through here.
The Douro Valley is a land of ravines, mostly segmented on terraces. Barca dAlva, Peso de Régua, the capital of this region, the magnificent Pinhão, Vila Real, and finally, Lamego, make this region an undiscovered destination.ir.
Whether by car, train or boat, one day is not enough to contemplate this natural beauty. In each terrace there is a history, in each city a tradition.
Which places to visit in the north of Portugal?
Now there's no excuse, you already know the most emblematic places in the northern region. We just need to find the ideal time to visit them.
For a getaway or a vacation, there are 10 suggestions that we are sure have captured your attention.