No one place is typical of Northern Portugal. It is a region of contrasts, where the cultures and traditions shift and change with the landscape; a region of terraced vineyards and granite villages, lush river valleys, deserted beaches, medieval alleys, urban bustle and remote isolated communities.

UNESCO World Heritage sites

Northern Portugal is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites. The historic centre of Porto, the historic centre of Guimarães and the Alta Douro wine region, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Douro Valley, Portugal Douro Valley, Portugal

Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia

Take a walk across the Dom Luis Bridge in Porto, opened in 1886, for a spectacular view over the River Douro, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.

River Douro, Porto River Douro, Porto

Barcelos market

In the charming medieval town of Barcelos a weekly market (Thursday) takes place. It is an important and vibrant centre for trade and sells clothes, shoes, fresh fruit and vegetables, ceramics, souvenirs and handicrafts

Guimarães

Nestled in the mountainous Minho region, Guimarães is steeped in history. Of particular interest is the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança, the Vila Flor cultural centre, Guimarães castle and the central squares of Praça da Oliveira and Praça de Santiago

Guimaraes, Portugal Guimaraes, Portugal

Peneda-Gerês National Park

This unspoiled area of Northern Portugal is a destination for nature lovers. Here you will find dozens of hiking trails, historic fortresses and rich flora and fauna – wolves, foxes, wild boar, wild ponies, bats and 147 species of bird. Especially beautiful in spring.

Douro river cruises

Take a day cruise along the River Douro from Porto to Pinhão. Watch from the deck as the landscape changes from urban settlements to a wide, meandering lush countryside lined with vineyards. Return to Porto by train from Pinhão to observe the Douro river from a different perspective.

The Douro River, Portugal The Douro River, Portugal

Port wine tasting

All major port wine producers have their cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia and many offer port wine tastings for visitors. One of our favourites is Graham’s Port Cellar whose tour includes a short film, museum visit and a tasting.

The Yeatman Hotel

Every Thursday, The Yeatman Hotel hosts a thematic wine dinner for guests, visitors to Porto and local residents. The dinners are designed to enhance the participants' understanding and appreciation of wine and to explore the pairing of wine with food.

The Yeatman, Portugal The Yeatman, Portugal

Lello bookshop in Porto

Livraria Lello has been selling books since 1881 and is considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world with intricate wooden panels, a grand staircase and stained glass ceiling. It was also an inspiration for JK Rowling when writing Harry Potter.

Beautiful railway stations

São Bento station in Porto is adorned with around 20,000 tiles alluring to the history of Portugal and train travel in the country. Pretty Pinhão station, in the heart of the Douro region, is decorated with ceramic tiles depicting scenes and landscapes of the surrounding area.

Vineyards

The Douro was the world’s first demarcated wine region and along the shores of the river, from which the area takes its name, there are hundreds of terraced vineyards and Quintas (many open for visitors). The scenery is second to none in Northern Portugal and ideal for a leisurely drive

Vineyards, Duoro Vineyards, Duoro

Basilica of Santa Luzia

From the church of Santa Luzia on the hillside above Viana do Castelo, you can enjoy uninterrupted views over the harbour town, river estuary and ocean. A funicular links the centre of Viana do Castelo to Monte Santa Luzia above (c.3 Euros).

Serralves Park

18 hectares of leafy forests, gardens, lakes, terraces and artistic sculptures unite harmoniously to create a haven in the centre of Porto. This is also the location of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the most visited attractions in Portugal.

Braga

The Baroque church of Bom Jesus do Monte is surrounded by woods on the outskirts of Braga and is famous for its ornamental staircase (over 600 steps), terraced fountains and for the view that unfolds from the summit.

Braga, Portugal Braga, Portugal

International Garden Festival

Each year from the last Friday in May until 31 October, Ponta de Lima hosts the International Garden Festival. As a celebration of gardens and green spaces, the town creates 11 themed gardens and visitors are asked to vote for their favourite. Worthy of a visit.

Rosanna Melaragni

By Rosanna Melaragni

17th April 2018



Talk to our Portugal expert

Rosanna Melaragni
Rosanna Melaragni

Rosanna is the head of our Discovery Department which covers tailor made holidays to Portugal and the Azores, Italy and Sicily, Scandinavia and the new programme to Spain. She is our longest serving member of staff having joined in 1994 after completing an honours degree in French and Italian and subsequently working for a tour operator in Yorkshire. She is responsible for brochure writing, contracting accommodation, programme costing, computer inputting and generally troubleshoots where necessary. She has global knowledge of our tailor made programme.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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