Welcome to the charming and enchanting region of Minho in Northern Portugal.
Minho is a mountainous region in northern Portugal that borders Galicea, Spain. On the west coast Viana do Castelo nestles on the Atlantic. Its sanctuary, perched on a hill top, offers one of the most breathtaking panoramic views worldwide according to National Geographic. Valenca further north is a smaller city that has transformed its fortress into a bustling, active, busy tourist city within its stone walls built during the 12th and 13th century to defend border crossings. Ponte de Lima is Portugal’s oldest city (1125 A.D.) and recognized as one of Europes most enchanting with its river trails, romanesque pedestrian bridge, converted 14th century jail Art Gallery, elegant manor homes and buildings and its 18th century fountain in the city square. In mid province lies Braga, Portugal’s 3rd largest city and a great destination for shopping. Close by is Guimaraes, former capital of Portugal and 2012 European Capital of Culture. Barcelos lies west and is the birthplace of the famous Portuguese rooster that is a national symbol of luck and love and found in every souvenir shop, home and restaurant in the country. Peneda-Geres National Park – Portugal’s only National Park – is a vast rocky and pristine mountain range. Within 40 minutes, you’re elevated to 1400 metres above sea level to witness incredible views of rivers, gorges, dams, fauna, wildlife and landscape. Arcos de Valedevez and Ponte da Barca are quaint river villages with river trails and cafes and perfect for relaxing over a glass of vinho or espresso. There is no other region in Portugal that can offer this type of diversification.
Surrounding areas of interest
Oporto is the 2nd largest city with a population in excess of 1 million and famous for it’s Port Wine houses, Eiffel designed bridge, arts, culture and of course, host to one of Europe’s top soccer power houses – FC Porto – “O Clube do Dragao”. In Spain, there is Baiona, a beautiful coastal beach city where news of the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus was first received, an event celebrated every year in a replica ship of the era. Further north is the spiritual capital of Santiago de Compostela, a Unesco World Heritage site, with its impressive sanctuary built in the 11th century and expanded in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. There is no denying the power and sense of history when you place your foot on a cobblestone and walk those streets!