« PORTUGALDiscover Portugal • Porto

Discover Magical Porto & Northern Portugal

The Alto Douro (upper Douro) east of Peso da Régua is a harsh, hot landscape heavily refashioned by two millennia of pumping out wine. Terraced vineyards wrap around every precipitous, crew-cut hillside, and whitewashed port-wine quintas (estates) dot the valley.

Magical Journeys to Porto, Northern Portugal

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» Amarante

Amarante, Porto, Portugal

Allegedly established by a Roman centurion named Amarantus, Amarante is situated between the steep sides of Serra do Marão and the curves of the river Tâmega, the longest tributary of the river Douro. Modern Amarante is actually rooted in the 13th century, when the Benedictine monk St. Gonçalo settled in the area after completing a pilgrimage to Italy and Jerusalem. He is said to have commissioned the original bridge over the river Tâmega, located in the same spot as modern times. In addition to its centurion, saint and bridge, Amarante is known for its sweets and cakes …

» Aveiro

Aveiro, Northern Portugal

In Roman times, Aveiro was known as Aviarium, which in Latin means 'gathering of birds' due to the large number of birds inhabiting the city's lagoon area. Today, Aveiro is known for being one of the largest metropolitan areas in Portugal (when associated with nearby Ílhavo). It's also known as the 'Venice of Portugal,' as its city is crossed with canals on which boats called barcos moliceiros ferry passengers to and fro. Aveira's fortunes have always been tied to the Ria (estuary) and the sea …

» Avenida dos Aliados

Avenida dos Aliados, Porto, Portugal

This bustling promenade lies at the heart of Porto, a Beaux-Arts beauty stretching between the imposing, landmark bell tower of the marble-and-granite City Hall and Liberdade Square to the south. As the boulevard makes its way downhill, it is lined with majestic civic buildings, luxury hotels and cafés, including the historic Guarany, where specialties include sweet pastries, strong coffee and a tradition of live music. Porto's main tourist office sits right by City Hall, and the courtyard statue in front honors Portuguese writer Almeida Garrett …

» Barcelos

Barcelos, Northern Portugal

Barcelos is a city in the Braga district of northern Portugal. The city is well known for the place where the unofficial symbol of Portugal, the cockerel, originated. Legend has it that a pilgrim was arrested for a crime he did not commit, and as he was about to be hanged, he claimed that a roasted cockerel would crow if he was innocent. Supposedly the cockerel stood up and crowed, and the man was released. Today visitors will find ceramic versions of the Galo de Barcelos throughout the city …

» Braga

Braga, Northern Portugal

Originally founded by the Romans, 2,000-year-old Braga later became the first Christian settlement in Portugal. Today, it's a lively university town with a thriving nightlife and a compact yet beautiful Baroque heart. Most of ancient Braga's main attractions are centered on the arcaded Praça da Republica, strewn with fairy tale churches and focused on the lovely Arcada fountain. The centerpiece of all this architectural majesty is Portugal's oldest cathedral, built in the 11th century and now showing off a variety of styles from Romanesque to Baroque …

» Douro

Douro, Northern Portugal

The Douro region in Northeast Portugal is near the border with Spain. Even with the advent of modern civilization, this area is characterized by a sort of frontier spirit that tenaciously preserves a traditional way of life handed down through many, many years. Thinly populated and remote, the Douro is not unlike Galicia in Spain in that its people speak a dialect that is markedly different than the rest of the country; in the Douro, it is closer to Latin vulgate than Portuguese …

» Douro River

Douro River, Porto, Portugal

The Douro is one of the Iberian Peninsula's major rivers, flowing from Duruelo de la Sierra in northern Spain and emptying itself into the Atlantic at Porto. It has been shaping the harsh landscape of the Douro region since time immemorial, sculpting and irrigating its riverbanks to sustain the tradition of viniculture that has produced fine port wines for centuries. On its 557-mile run through northern Spain and Portugal, the Douro meanders through steep-sided valleys laden with regimentally straight stripes of vines …

» Guimaraes

Guimaraes, Northern Portugal

The city of Guimaraes was originally settled in the 9th century and is widely regarded as being 'the cradle of the Portuguese nationality.' It served as center of government for the historic county of Portugal after the Moorish invaders were pushed out by the Kingdom of Galicia in the 10th century. It was also the site of the Battle of São Mamede in 1128, and may have been the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese king. Today the historic city center of Guimaraes is a UNESCO World Heritage site …

» Guimarães Castle (Castelo de Guimarães)

Guimarães Castle (Castelo de Guimarães), Northern Portugal

Guimaraes Castle is a medieval castle in the city of Guimaraes in the northern part of Portugal. Built in the 10th century to defend against attacks from the Moors and Normans, it was expanded during the early Gothic period of Portuguese architecture. The walls of the castle form a pentagram, with eight rectangular towers, a military square and a central keep, which was added in the 13th century. Visitors can walk along the castle walls and visit the chapel of Sao Miguel inside …

» Liberdade Square

Liberdade Square, Porto, Portugal

Lying at the southern end of Porto's majestic Avenida dos Aliados, Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade) started its life in the late 18th century when the city began to expand beyond its medieval walls, which are now long gone. The geographical and social importance of the square grew in the early 19th century with the building of both the main railway station and the Ponte Dom Luís I across the Douro River. The equestrian statue of King Pedro IV by French sculptor Anatole Calmels was placed in the center of Liberdade Square in 1866 …

» Matosinhos Beach

Matosinhos Beach, Porto, Portugal

Sitting north of Porto on Portugal's Atlantic coast, Matosinhos is the closest beach to the city, an easy and pleasant two-hour walk along the banks of the River Douro towards its estuary. At the southern end of the beach stands the squat Fort of São Francisco do Queijo, built in the 17th century as a turreted defence castle; to the north there is a busy container port. The broad sandy beach sweeps around the bay, backed by a promenade dotted with contemporary sculpture and low-rise apartment blocks as well as dozens of exceptional seafood restaurants …

» Parque Nacional Da Peneda-Gerês

Parque Nacional Da Peneda-Gerês, Porto, Portugal

The Peneda-Gerês National Park (or Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, or simply Gerês) is the only national park in Portugal (although many natural parks, protected landscapes, and reserves exist across the nation). It's located in northern Portugal, falling within the jurisdictions of the Viana do Castelo, Braga, and Vila Real districts. The park was opened in the spring of 1971 in an effort to protect Portuguese land, flora and fauna. Gerês' geography is largely inspired by several ridges of mountains, the Peneda, Soajo, Amarela, and Gerês …

» Ponte de Dom Luis I

Ponte de Dom Luis I, Porto, Portugal

The imperious, double-decker metal spans of Ponte de Dom Luís I stretch across the Douro River from Porto to Villa Nova de Gaia, and were designed by Téophile Seyrig, the student of Gustave Eiffel who also drew up the plans for the nearby Donna Maria Pia Bridge. When the Dom Luís I was finished in 1886, it was the longest single-span bridge in the world at 564 feet, and it supported 3,045 tons of steel in weight. The bridge marked a significant step forward in Porto's economic growth, as before it existed, the only passages across the river were boats lashed together …

» Porto Calem

Porto Calem, Porto, Portugal

Founded in 1859 by António Alves Cálem, Porto Calem is one of the most celebrated wineries in the Porto region. It is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south bank of the Duoro River. While modest beginnings saw the winery export to colonies in Brazil through private marine fleets in exchange for exotic woods - as depicted in the winery's logo, a caravel - Porto Calem now boasts a very positive international reputation. It has remained in the Cálem family for over four generations. The winery regularly arranges guided visits, including a visit to the museum and cellars …

» Porto Se Cathedral

Porto Se Cathedral, Porto, Portugal

Originally a Romanesque church from the 12th century, the Porto Se Cathedral was rebuilt with a Gothic style about 600 years later. Like other major churches in northern Portugal, this twin-towered cathedral boasts remodeling design by the famed Italian architect and painter Nicolau Nasoni. Perhaps this is why the western façade and interior are undeniably Romanesque. Visitors should take note of its gilded main altar and its silver Altar of the Sacrament. On the left hand aisle is the statue of Oporto's patron saint, Nossa Senhora de Vendoma …

» Ribeira District

Ribeira District, Porto, Portugal

Many of Europe's great cities have an "old quarter," the original part of town from which centuries of cosmopolitan evolution spread outward. In Porto, the old town is known as The Ribeira, as it looks out onto the River Douro. In days past, it was once the major entrepot for international shipments, but its modern waterfront is now lined with restaurants, bars and cafes, making it a popular leisure hub and nightlife destination. The main drag, Cais da Ribeira, leads to Praca da Ribeira, a square dominated by two large fountains (one is bronze cubist monument and popular with pigeons) …

» Torre & Igreja dos Clerigos

Torre & Igreja dos Clerigos, Porto, Portugal

One of the symbols of Porto is the Torre dos Clerigos, the bell tower adjoining the Clerigos Church, a baroque church built between 1732 and 1750. The church was one of the first Baroque churches in Portugal. Its Baroque adornments reflect the city's seaside way of life, as its façade is carved with shells and garlands. More iconic than the church however, is its bell tower. Standing at 75 m (245 ft) high, the tower offers an amazing, panoramic view of the city, the Duoro River and the Atlantic coast. Completed in 1763, this granite tower is based upon a Roman Baroque design …

» Viana do Castelo

Viana do Castelo, Northern Portugal

A modern town with ancient roots, Viana do Castelo is in the very north of Portugal, crushed between the estuary of the River Lima and the wild surf of the Atlantic Sea. The Praça da República, its beautiful fountains and the Church of the Misericórdia -a three-story melange of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture - form the medieval heart of the city. Along with the 15th-century cathedral, the ancient piazzas and Manueline mansions all contrast neatly with the area's modern-day seafront marina. But Viana is best known for its Santuario de Santa Luzia, a church perched on a hilltop overlooking the Atlantic rollers …

« PORTUGALDiscover Portugal • Porto

Porto Tours, Travel & activities
Portugal Hotels & Accommodation

Porto Tours, Travel & ActivitiesPorto Travel,
Tours & Activities

Porto Tours, Travel & Activities

Portugal's second-biggest city, Porto (Oporto to foreigners), has a brawny beauty all its own. Built on granite bluffs above the Rio Douro, its heart is a tangle of World Heritage-listed lanes tumbling steeply down to a medieval waterfront. The Alto Douro (upper Douro) east of Peso da Régua is a harsh, hot landscape heavily refashioned by two millennia of pumping out wine. Terraced vineyards wrap around every precipitous, crew-cut hillside, and whitewashed port-wine quintas (estates) dot the valley …

» PORTO Tours, Travel & Activities

Places to Stay in PortugalPorto Hotels
& Accommodation

Places to Stay in Portugal

The District of Porto (sometimes Oporto in English) is located on the north west coast of Portugal. The district capital is the city of Porto, the second largest city in the country. It is bordered by the Aveiro and Viseu districts to the south, Braga district to the north and Vila Real district to the east …

Places to Stay in Porto, Portugal

» PORTO Hotels & Accommodation

Portugal Travel Guides

Portugal Travel Guides