Discover the essence of Porto & North of Portugal
In Porto, you feel as if you were at home. People welcome you with open arms, the narrow and welcoming streets take you to places where the hustle and bustle of the city doesn't reach.
No wonder it was voted “Europe's Leading City Destination”.
Walking through the streets of this World Heritage city is a must, or going further with a Porto.CARD on a sightseeing bus tour. No one remains indifferent to the architecture of places such as the Clérigos Tower or the Palácio da Bolsa, to the importance of museums such as Casa do Infante or Serralves or the magnificent views provided by symbols like the Funicular dos Guindais or the Tram.
You can also take a boat trip, while trying to identify the six bridges on the Douro River, and explore the Port Wine cellars. And since you've crossed the Luís I Bridge, take a chance to go up the hill and take the most recognised photograph of Porto at the World of Wine, the new cultural district.
It is also from Porto, and from the fresh and rough Atlantic, that you can eat the world’s best fish and surf the best waves, or discover true gems of ancient art, such as the Route of the Romanesque or the filigree.
There is much more to Porto than a cosmopolitan city.
There is room for everyone in Porto, even those who enjoy nature, those who dare to go rafting under one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in the world, and even those who believe that touching the tomb of São Gonçalo de Amarante is a guarantee to get married and have a happy marriage.
Douro is a breath of fresh air for body and soul. In the oldest wine region in the world, time passes slowly. And it's good that it does.
Here, the terraces of the wine estates [quintas] are shaped, historical routes by boat and train are crossed and majestic palaces and shrines are imposing. After all, it is not by chance that the Douro is a World Heritage Site and will be the next European Wine City.
But Douro is not only wine. It is in the Côa Valley Archaeological Park that, amidst a landscape that is sometimes flowery, sometimes rocky, lie Palaeolithic engravings that date back thousands of years.
It is in places like the Douro Internacional and Alvão Nature Parks that an inhospitable immensity of green embraces us and asks us to stay a little longer. It is among pots and pans that the clay is kneaded which, after being fired “the old-fashioned way”, gives shape to a pottery that carries the name of a small village, Bisalhães, beyond borders. The viewpoints dotted along one of the most beautiful roads in the world – the N222, enrapture and inspire, to the rhythm of a docile river full of legends and flavour.
Between Minho and Trás-os-Montes lies one of the main sources of pride in the North. We are talking, of course, about the only National Park in the country - Peneda-Gerês - to which is added an immensity of green and freshness that does not facilitate the choice…. Mountain, sea or river activities, diving in hidden waterfalls or something even more extreme?
And if the North is known for being lively, an experience in the authentic Minho’s festival is really unmissable, who knows on the way to that magical corner of the North of Portugal, Trás-os-Montes.
It is in this region, with majestic plateaus that lead to vast mountains, towns and villages that seem untouched by time, that tables full of unique cuisine, with aromas of chestnuts and smoked meat, and customs that smile with the timid sweetness of honey.
In this part of the North, there are also charming places that are home to purifying thermal waters, such as Vidago, and ancient rituals, the Caretos de Podence, a heritage that is not just ours, but belongs to all Humanity.