6 places to visit in the north of Portugal.

The north of Portugal is a gem - patchwork landscapes, tasty Port, medieval tales, breathtaking views and fairytale villages.

Here are our top 6 places to visit in the the north of Portugal!

On the slopes above the Douro Estuary, Porto is a historic merchant city. The charming centre is a World Heritage site, and you’ll be struck by how rich and varied this heritage can be: medieval walls, gleaming Baroque churches, the narrow streets of the Ribeira district and Romanesque Cathedral. You can wander the charming neighbourhood of Cais da Ribeira, admire the Luís I Bridge, visit Clérigos Church and Church of Santa Clara, enjoy a Port wine tasting and experience the stunning and unique Livraria Lello bookshop. Must-see monuments include Porto Cathedral, Bolso Palace and São Francis Church.

During the foundation of Portugal it was Guimarães that was briefly the capital of the country. This fascinating northern Portuguese city has many narrow streets and medieval plazas to wander amongst and get lost in. Rua de Santa Maria was one of the first streets formed in Guimarães in around the 12th century. Praça de São Tiago is a beautiful and charming square where you can relax at one of the cafes. You can explore the 10th century castle and the must-see Monte da Pena. Grab the cable car from the city up to the top of the forest-covered hill and admire the modern church on the hilltop, as well as the views! 

The Cathedral of Brag is the oldest religious monument in Portugal and its construction building began in the year of 1070 and lasted for over a century! Walk the historic centre and visit the small shops and cafes. A must-see is a very special place; the Sanctuary of Bom JesusThis sanctuary is located just outside Braga and is famous for its 116-meter Baroque staircase. You can choose to climb the mountain by foot, take the water-powered elevator (!) or drive to the top. We think the walk up is worth it. The staircase is said to symbolize a Christian’s ascent to heaven and before Fatima it was here that was the most prominent pilgrimage site. Marvel at the wonderful views over Braga from the summit.

Pinhão is a beautiful village located right on the Douro River. The terraced hillsides which circle the village produce some of the regions finest Port. You will stop at the delightful train station and admire the ´azulejos´ (hand-painted Portuguese tiles) depicting the grape harvest. This is a perfect location in the Douro Valley from which to go vineyard hopping. There are many beautiful Quinta´s nearby where you can taste the regional Port wine and table wines. You can also take a beautiful boat ride up the Douro River from here and admire the fantastic landscape from the water.

If you are visiting the Douro Region a perfect stop is the picturesque town of Amarante. Founded in the 4th century, Amarante lies in the region which produces the grapes of the vinho verde –  a young semi-sparkling ‘green’ wine unique to Portugal. The River Tâmaga runs through the town with the unique, arched bridge, the ´Ponte São Gonçalo.´ You can take a pedalo down the river for the best view! Be sure to see the ´Igreja de São Gonçalo´- a beautiful fairytale-like 16th century chapel and monastery. And fun and quirky is the doce fálico (penis cake)! These cakes are thought to date back to Celtic days and were given out each January to welcome in a new and fertile year!

Viano do Castelo, Portugal
Viana do Castelo

Viana do Castelo has an important maritime past as it was here that Portugal exported wine, fruit and salt to the world. Visit the unique hospital-ship museum, Gil Eannes. Because Viano do Castelo was a bustling fishing town, fishing for the much loved codfish, the hospital-ship served the fishermen. Here you will explore the kitchen, infirmary and more. An important landmark is the Ponte Eiffel; a road and railway bridge designed by the famous French engineer, Gustave Eiffel. Be sure to visit Catedral de Viana do Castelo, the stunning Igreja da Misericórdia and the beautiful square, Praça da República.

Why Portugal and why us?

If you are thinking of coming to Portugal for vacation, then we hope Classic Portugal Tours will be your choice of tour company. We offer private tours in Portugal, multi-day tours and bespoke tours. If you are still wondering whether to plan a trip we wish to share just a few of the things we love about Portugal…

 

Beaches in Portugal are some of the best in Europe. Explore stunning Lisbon secret beaches, the serenity of Comporta or go see the big waves of Nazare. Sightseeing in Portugal could not be better. Enjoy cultural guided tours including the Sintra moorish castle, grand monuments of Lisbon and the charming village of Obidos. We offer bespoke tours all over the country including Aveiro, Monsaraz and Coimbra in Portugal. Just tell us where you want to go and we create perfect bespoke tours in Portugal.

 

As a leading Portugal private tour guide with high quality tours, our number one priority is customer service. Our Portugal private tours include certified tour guides who will enter all monuments with you. There are many places to visit from Lisbon. Learn the history and culture of Portugal and impress your friends back home!

 

Enjoyed this Portugal tours from Lisbon blog post? Check out our full day Portugal private tours or you may like our blog posts Portugal Tours for Seniors and Where to spend 4 days in Portugal

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