Unidade de Hemodiálise de Arcos de Valdevez

How to Plan the Northern Portugal Itinerary

This region with over nine centuries of history is the cradle of Portugal. Standing out, among the cultural and natural diversity, the abundance of castles represents for the Portuguese people, the resistance and the marks of the nation's foundation. These castles tell stories of battles, of defeats, of kings and forbidden love stories. They also help guide the perfect itinerary to the North. In Porto, the Muralha Fernandina (Fernandine Wall) has an average height of 30 feet. The city's inhabitants are known as “tripeiros” (tripe eaters) because, according to tradition, they gave away all the good meat to the caravels that left to conquer Ceuta in 1415. The people in the city were left with only the guts and tripe to eat, and so they created one of the most traditional local dishes, "Tripas à moda do Porto". Another typical local dish which you can taste in the restaurants of Avenida dos Aliados, in Porto is called “Francesinha”, a sandwich made with bread, wet-cured ham, spicy sausage, fresh steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries. The most iconic cafe in the city is the Majestic, considered one of the most beautiful cafes in the world. The Lello Bookstore deserves international praise, especially after the writer J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, revealed that she was inspired by this bookstore for the construction of scenarios of the work/film, such as the Hogwarts School. Porto is also known for the wine that goes from here to various corners of the world, and also by names like Álvaro Siza Vieira and Souto de Moura, both Pritzker Prize winners and both graduated from the Porto School of Architecture. The proof that the city combines antiquity with modernity is in spaces like Casa da Música and Museu de Serralves – both superb.

Thermalism is another destination in the North of Portugal. Thermal spas such as Vidago Palace and spas such those in São Pedro do Sul treat body and mind, in full communion with nature. 

"The Douro is an excess of nature", Miguel Torga (Portuguese writer, 1907-1995)

Vila Nova de Gaia is right there, across the Dom Luis I Bridge with a stunning view of the Douro River. This is the river of the landscapes of the upper Douro wine region, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This is the river of vineyards and wine that we follow to the Cellars of Gaia and taste aboard the cruises that discover the region.

Meanwhile, another great castle waits for us in Santa Maria da Feira: it is considered one of the most complete examples of Portuguese medieval architecture. Santa Maria da Feira is also home to the Medieval Journey, the largest medieval recreation event in Europe. It lasts twelve days and takes place in the historic centre of the city.

From the old Castle of Braga, only the keep tower remains, but the city is well worth a visit. The European Best Destinations list chose Braga, in the heart of the Minho region, as the “top destination to discover in 2021”. Braga is quintessentially a religious place. Every year, the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary receives millions of visitors every year - the bravest amongst them are invited to climb the enormous staircase on foot.

In the land of Dom Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal

The cultural heritage is sublime, but the gastronomy of the north is not far behind: the table is full of “Papas de Sarrabulho”, roast kid and meat from the Barrosã, Mirandesa, Maronesa and Arouquesa native breeds. Reserve dessert for Guimarães, where the tortas de Guimarães are a legacy of the rich Portuguese conventual confectionery. In the birthplace of the Portuguese nation, since it was in Guimarães that Afonso Henriques, who would become the first king of Portugal, was born, the Castle is a national monument and the its great walls provides the medieval atmosphere.

Fafe is located in Guimarães, Braga. The bus journey time between Guimarães and Fafe is around 25 min Here we can find the town of Fafe and many palatial houses dotted around the streets (mostly owned by emigrants who returned from Brazil), in contrast with places like Casa do Penedo. Recently considered the strangest house in the world, this house built between four large rocks is perfectly integrated into nature. Here you can observe the mountain and the stars.

You must also visit the Igreja Românica de Arões (Romanesque Church of Arões) and the Ruínas de Castro de Santo Ovídio (ruins of the Castro Santo Ovídio). Don't forget to visit the fluvial beach of the Albufeira da Queimadela, especially if you are traveling with family.

Arcos (de Valdevez), located in the Vez Valley, reveals the charm of Minho. Among century-old manor houses, towers and medieval bridges, we fall in love with the Water Clock, in the historic center. In Alto Minho, the portuguese border town of Caminha is a real surprise. Besides the medieval castle and the Clock Tower, there is the islet of Ínsua, where we can visit the ruins of the Ínsua Fort.

And there are beaches - Moledo or Vila Praia de Âncora (very popular for surfers) - and viewpoints. Use the North as a guide!


Связаться с нами
NephroCare Portugal, S.A. | Quinta do Paraíso - Ed. Vila Gerações
- Arcos de Valdevez

+351 258 510 120
+351 258 510 129