The rural Minho region is a patchwork of small vineyards and picturesque landscapes. A region as sparkling as its signature wine, vinho verde.
Your experience trip starts with a dash of nostalgia in Porto, at the mouth of the Douro. Old quarters, sloping streets, cosy squares... Get lost in a rich past.
Via the impressive fortifications of Valença do Minho, the lovely Monçao and the beautiful church of Arcos de Valdevez, you also cross the border into Spanish Galicia to visit the beautiful medieval centre of Baiona.
The last part of your journey takes you to Braga, the "capital of Baroque", to the former Portuguese capital Guimarães and to Amarante, one of the jewels of the southern Minho region, among others. End your stay on the banks of the Tâmega River, in one of the many cosy restaurants with terraces over the water.
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Day 1 : Departure to Porto
Today is finally the day, your adventure in Portugal is about to start! After the outward journey to Porto, you will stay two nights in an excellent Caractère hotel.
Day 2 : Porto
Explore nostalgic Porto, located at the mouth of the Douro River. Stroll through the old city districts with their sloping streets, squares and cosy corners. Discover the city's rich history in churches and museums and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Porto is also a city full of creativity, with modern art galleries and studios. Don't miss the futuristic Casa da Música by Rem Koolhaas. Make sure to visit one of the port houses, known as 'armazéns'.
Day 3 : Viana do Castelo
In the afternoon, you will travel towards Vila do Conde and Povoa de Varzim, before exploring the charming town of Viana do Castelo. Visit the historic town centre, which bears witness to its colonial past, and reach the soaring Basilica Santa Luzia by cable car.
Day 4 : Valenca do Minho - Monçao - Ponte da Barca
Visit Valença do Minho with its impressive defences. Here you can find beautiful table, bed and bath linens and enjoy the medieval atmosphere and tranquillity along the river. Explore the picturesque town of Monçao, famous for Vinho Verde, and admire the flavoursome Minho wine influenced by its climate and granite soil. Continue to Arcos de Valdevez, where you can admire the impressive Nossa Senhora da Lapa church, a Baroque-style gem with a striking oval shape on the outside and an octagonal interior. In Bravães, admire the Romanesque sculptures of the 13th-century Mosteiro de Bravas.
Day 5 : Baiona
Cross the border into Spanish Galicia and visit the beautiful medieval centre of Baiona, located in the Bay of Vigo. Admire the well-preserved medieval castle Castelo de Montereal, which towers high above the town. Baiona also has a historical first: it was the first European city to hear news of the discovery of America when the Pinta, one of Columbus' ships, docked here in the harbour. A replica of the ship is one of the city's landmarks.
Day 6 : Ponte de Lima - Braga - Bom Jesus - Guimarães / Amarante
Enjoy the natural beauty of Ponte de Lima, an atmospheric town with historical treasures dating back to ancient times. Continue your journey to Braga, the "capital of Baroque". Visit the pilgrimage church Bom Jesus do Monte, famous for its gigantic Baroque zigzag staircase with 14 station chapels. Continue to Guimarães, which was once the capital of Portugal. The imposing Paço dos Duques de Bragança castle on the hill still bears witness to this history. Stay two nights at the Monverde Wine Experience Hotel.
Day 7 : Amarante
Discover one of southern Minho's gems. Stroll through the narrow streets with 17th-century houses and colourful wooden balconies. On the banks of the river Tâmega, enjoy the many restaurants that feature terraces over the water.
Day 8 : Going home
All good things come to an end. You will hand in your rental car at the airport and fly back home. Still can't get enough of all that Portugal has to offer? At Caractère, we happily extend your trip without any problem!
Why book with Caractère?
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