Rent villa Northern Portugal - Porto
Northern Portugal is known for its nature parks, long sandy beaches and friendly people. Here you can really relax, enjoy the surroundings and the delicious, fresh food. This region is less touristy, since it is not yet discovered by the masses. This allows you to really unwind. The area is crossed by several rivers, the Douro being the best known.
Grapes grow on the slopes along the river until they are ready to be harvested and processed into the best wines or the famous Port that this region is famous for. Enjoy a boat trip on the river, where lunch is provided, and view the beautiful slopes of the Douro from the water. The climate is mild, in winter and early spring (February and March) it can still be cool at night, but the temperature can reach 20 degrees during the day. Spring is an ideal period in this region for long walks or bike rides.
Porto is the gateway to this region. Flights arrive from Europe but also from outside Europe via Francisco Sa Carneiro. Porto is worth a visit. It is an old city with narrow streets. This used to be the most important trading city with a convenient location between Braga and Lisbon. With an area of over 41 km2, Porto is a relatively small city. All sights can be seen on foot. The beautiful Katedraal Sé rises above the roofs of the houses. This is definitely worth a visit. Another large church in Porto is the Igreja de S. Fransisco church in the old town. This is an old Gothic church, built around 1223. From the square in front of the church an old tram runs along the Douro to the beach. If you get off at the last stop you can take a wonderful walk along the sea. From the city center you can walk through the narrow streets to the cozy Cais Ribeiro where restaurants and bars line the terraces lined up on the waterfront. Enjoy the meal or a drink while the boats dock at the jetty, or sail past with tourists. Along the quay you can buy tickets for a trip to make. Across the Cais Ribeiro are the famous wineries where the famous port brands such as Sandeman, Taylors and Offley are located. You can walk over the Ponte D. Luis I (steel bridge) to get to the other side of the river. Most wineries organize tastings, which is really nice to try. The large market in Porto can be found on the Mercado de Bolao. This market has many stalls with flowers, food and herbs. It is a daily market from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on business days. The market is also open on Saturday morning. The real shoppers can shop on the Via Catarina. The shopping center is located on Rua Santa Catarina and has four floors.
Braga is a real university city. This city is also called the Rome of Portugal by the countless churches in the city. The best known is the Bom Jesus, which can be seen from afar on the hillside, about 5 km outside the city. This impressive church is located at the top of a baroque staircase, which brings you 116 meters higher to the church. Along the way you will come across all sorts of biblical scenes in the chapels between the various stairs, such as the Last Supper and the judgment of Pilate. Then you come to a terrace with the five senses with five sources that represent the senses. Finally you walk up the stairs of virtues with the figures that represent faith, hope and love. If this is too heavy for you to walk, you can also go up with a cable car, this is the oldest cable car in Europe. Opposite the church is a large square with a terrace, from which you have a panoramic view of the city. At the restaurant you can eat and drink something after the climb up. The church can be visited, as well as the gardens of Jardim de Santa Barbara. Braga is also known for its strong commitment to religion. During the important holidays processions held in the city. This is really a city for culture lovers, while it is a modern city that is fully equipped. Buses go to the city from the surrounding places, the train runs from Porto to Braga and the city is also easily accessible from Guimaraes.
Guimareas is located just 25 km southeast of Braga, and 60 km from Porto. The historical centre of Guimaraes was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001, because of the historical monuments in the city. This city was the first capital of Portugal and that can still be seen, the castle of Guimaraes, on top of the mountain is open to visitors. Besides the castle you can also visit the palace of the Counts of Braganca. There are several palaces in the city, all surrounded by beautiful gardens. To visit the city centre, follow the Rua de Santa Maria to the Largo da Oliveira. The medieval square is surrounded by Gothic arches and stately five-century old houses. The bells of the tower have been ringing their bells on the streets of the city for hundreds of years.
Barcelos has a special market, which is known in the surrounding area. Really everything is for sale here such as pets, clothing, household goods, food, bags etc. This market is every Thursday in the village, until about 16.0 hours. You can also visit the Cruzeiro, in the open air museum, decorated in the ruins of the palace of Bragancas, here are many archaeological finds to visit. There is also a palace with a Gothic, hexagonal pillory from earlier times, next to it are the remains of a church from the 13th century to be found. A beautiful baroque church in the village and the Nossa Senhora do Terco (the old city tower) make a visit to this place complete.
Viana do Castelo is beautifully situated at the mouth of the Lima River. This is about 70 km north of Porto and can easily be reached via the A28 motorway from Porto. The city has beautiful beaches in the immediate vicinity and the green nature in the hills in the hinterland, with lovely villages in the area. The old center is not large, but cozy with a square and restaurants. The beaches at Afife and Praia de Ancora are close by. Viana do Castelo has a miniature of the church in Braga, the pilgrimage church of St. Luzia. You can see the church from afar on the top of the hill on the outskirts of the city. From this hill, the Monte Santa Lucia, you have fantastic views over the city and the coast. If you want to go to the market here, visit the city on Friday.
Ponte de Lima is a market town on the banks of the Lima River. Both banks are connected by an old Roman bridge with low arches. The tranquility of the town, the location and nature in the area make this a wonderful vacation spot! There is still a lot of history in the town. The 15th century monastery is located across the bridge St. Anthony which is nowadays a museum. The old streets of the center are surrounded by elegant, old mansions. It is wonderful to walk through it. There is a market every Monday. The market takes place next to the river. On the central square is an 18th century fountain, here are also several restaurants and cafés with a view of the river. Various water sports are practiced on the river in the summer months. It is possible to rent canoes or explore the river by boat. In the fall there is also rafting on the turbulent parts of the river. In September there is a big festival in Ponte de Lima and in early June there is the Vaca das Cordas festival (festival of oddities). The village is also easily accessible by public transport.
Caminha is located on the river Minho, which forms the border between Spain and Portugal. The old town has many historic buildings, a cozy square and is very atmospheric. The central square offers many restaurants and conviviality, various shopping streets run from the square. A little further to the village of Villa Nova de Cerveira is a bridge to Spain, where there is a large market every Saturday. From Caminha you can take the ferry to the other side of the river. At the river beach it is possible to rent canoes and kayaks to explore the river. The sandy beaches at Moledo, Praia de Ancora and Afife are beautiful, well maintained and clean.