Do you want to discover Northern Portugal but don’t know what places to visit? In this article you’ll find some of the most beautiful places in this Portuguese region and in the country.
Here is our top 10 of the places to visit in Northern Portugal
The beautiful capital of Northern Portugal doesn’t need introduction, but know that by visiting Porto you’ll have a taste of what the north has to offer. You can visit Porto in 2 days but it won’t be enough. This way you’ll have an excuse to visit this beautiful city again.
Guimarães is the birthplace of Portugal; this is where the country was born thanks to Dom Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. This city has an appealing historic centre. You may visit Guimarães in a day and the historic centre in half a day.
Braga’s history dates back more than 2000 years and is considered the Portuguese Rome because of its countless churches and two shrines – Bom Jesus do Monte and Sameiro. To visit Braga you will need a day, aside from the historic centre you shouldn’t miss the two shrines.
4. Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo was known until 1848 as Viana da Foz do Lima. The city had a glorious past thanks to its strong maritime tradition, particularly due to its naval shipyards. When you visit Viana do Castelo you must visit the historic centre, the shrine of Santa Luzia and don’t forget to enjoy the many beaches near the city.
5. Ponte de Lima
You can’t visit Northern Portugal and miss the oldest town in Portugal. Ponte de Lima is a small town that will amaze you with its medieval charm. Visiting Ponte de Lima may take at least half a day but count on a day, because once in Ponte de Lima you won’t want to leave.
6. Peneda-Gerês National Park
Shaped by mountains, streams, rivers and canyons, the Peneda-Gerês National Park will offer you unique moments. You will need at least three days to fully visit the Peneda-Gerês National Park. In addition to the landscape you will discover, you will also have the opportunity to find wild animals, try tree climbing, trails, ride a horse and much more.
7. Montesinho Natural Park
The Montesinho Natural Park was my biggest surprise during my tour throughout the north of Portugal. I was astonished by the amazing landscapes, by the kindness of the population and by the beauty of the little villages, some of them still communitarian. It will take two days to visit the Montesinho Natural Park. While discovering the park don’t miss the opportunity to visit the historic centre of the city of Bragança.
8. Miranda do Douro
Miranda do Douro is located in the Douro International Natural Park and has the particularity of having two official languages, Portuguese and Mirandese. The river Douro flows through the city, as the name indicates. It has Spain as its frontier in the east of the city. While in Miranda do Douro, don’t miss the opportunity of taking part in a Douro International cruise to look at rare bird species present in the park. You can visit Miranda do Douro in an afternoon.
Chaves is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Portugal and a place to go! Lose yourself in the streets of Chaves and visit historical places like the Fort of São Francisco, the Fort of São Neutel and the donjon of Chaves castle. Take the opportunity to visit the beautiful Trajano bridge and drive along the thermal route until Vidago.
10. The Douro
In the valley of the Douro river you will find many vineyards. It’s in this region that the famous Port wine is produced. To visit the Douro valley I encourage you to go on a Douro cruise leaving from Porto or to visit the region by car, through the roads next to the river Douro, to enjoy the marvellous landscape.
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