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Northern Portugal

Northern Portugal
While Lisbon has now earned the spotlight  as one of the top destinations of Europe, Northern Portugal not only should be highly considered, it holds some of the more traditional and authentic characteristics true to Portugal and its vast history.  You'll find a country brimming with interesting local crafts, world class cuisine, fascinating monuments, natural beauty, and residents who welcome you like you're an old friend.

Around each corner you'll find something new. The picturesque city of Porto hugs the Douro river and is a fantastic place to start your visit to Northern Portugal as many low cost airlines serve this area. Here you can take a river cruise or join our Porto walking tour to experience the eclectic architecture in the company of our friendly guide. This area is famous fo
Bridge Dom Luis I Porto
r its Port wine which is produced from grapes grown nearby in the fertile Douro valley around Pinhao. A quaint Portuguese village, Pinhao, is covered in grape vines along the terraces leading down to the Douro River. Don't miss this opportunity to sample the port which is still an important part of the economy for this area. If you are visiting during harvest time, attend one of the Pinhao festivals where you may get to crush grapes in the traditional way by stomping on them with your bare feet to really appreciate the process.

No trip to northern Portugal would be complete without a trip to Guimaraes. Museums and cultural events throughout the city proudly highlight Guimaraes historic prominence as the birthplace of Portugal.

Get out of Porto and off the beaten track and you can still see a way of life which no longer exists in many European countries. Find farms where they still cut the hay with a traditional scythe. If you're lucky you may see the skilled workman removing the cork from trees, leaving behind an orange trunk. Cork production is an integral part of the economy and you will gladly find many artisan crafts made with cork.

In the Minho region you'll find Braga cathedral which is considered one of the most important buildings in Portugal due to a long and influential history. This should be on everyone's must see list as it highlights the ever evolving history of the Minho region and of Portugal. Take the water powered funicular to the top of Braga for stunning views.

Whether you choose to visit Northern Portugal for the architecture, the landscape or the long stretches of beautifully clean beaches, you'll have a vacation which is both memorable and relaxing.  We have only touched on a few of the many places to visit including Obidos, a walled medieval city and Coimbra, home of an ancient University. So next time you consider Portugal for your tourist destination, be sure to include the north of Portugal as a vital part of your trip.

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  • Carlos Galvin
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