Explore Northern Portugal’s Culture, Heritage & Nature – 10700G

Small Group Sightseeing

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

The North of Portugal features an appealing combination of charming historic cities, sleepy villages, lush countryside, and an extensive and wild coastline.

This escorted tour is based in two lovely cities of the Minho region: Viana do Castelo, known as the “Pearl of the North”, and Guimarães, known as the birthplace of Portugal.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

The North of Portugal features an appealing combination of charming historic cities, sleepy villages, lush countryside, and an extensive and wild coastline.
This escorted tour is based in two lovely cities of the Minho region: Viana do Castelo, known as the “Pearl of the North”, and Guimarães, known as the birthplace of Portugal.

Viana do Castelo is nested at the mouth of the river Lima, on the Green Coast. It’s a seaside town with opulent Manueline and baroque buildings, crowned by the basilica of Santa Luzia, from where you get amazing views. The longest funicular in Portugal will get us there.

The charming medieval center with narrow winding streets has churches and impressive buildings and former manor houses. The city’s charismatic traditions and culture are present in colorful arts and crafts, and in the gold filigree jewellery.

From here, we head to Vila Praia de Âncora, to a landscape of wild beaches, with endless sandy stretches backed by dunes and pine forests.

Caminha, one step away from the Spanish coast, is visible on the other side of the river Minho with the Santa Tecla Hill looking back. Caminha’s traditional stone-walled houses and flower decorated squares will be a treat!

Braga is an ancient city – was a stronghold of the Roman empire – with baroque buildings and a small-town warmth. The town has a reputation of religious destination, with its almost four dozen places of worship, like the Bom jesus de Braga monumental staircase and sanctuary, which we’ll have the opportunity to visit. The large student population gives Braga an eclectic vibe, bringing life to the old cobbled streets.

We then transfer to Guimarães, known as the birthplace of Portugal. The city has a well-preserved medieval center, enlisted as a Unesco Heritage Site. It’s a scenic entanglement of alleys and plazas, with chapels, churches, a 15th-century palace, and a castle with a 1000 years old.

We’ll get the chance to climb the verdant hills surrounding the town to visit Senhora da Penha, a pilgrimage site accessible by narrow tracks, perched between large granite boulders.

Fafe will be another stop, a historic city blessed by the proximity of the rivers Vizela and Ferro.

On top of all of this, we’ll have some of Portugal’s finest cuisine! The Minho region offers mouthwatering dishes, from fish straight out of the sea to earthy meat dishes and a numerous other tasty delights. For the wines, try the refreshing and summery vinho verde!

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival to Porto

Arrival to Porto Airport and transfer to Viana do Castelo. If time allows an introductory walk will be offered before dinner.

 

Day 2 – Viana do Castelo

Today we start by dedicating our time to explore the town that welcomes us for the next days. We’ll meander through the narrow streets of Viana do Castelo and enjoy the local life and traditions. Later on, we’ll visit the magnificent sanctuary of Santa Luzia area, which we reach by funicular, the longest in the country.

 

Day 3 – Vila Praia de Âncora, Moledo & Caminha

Today we head north, to Vila Praia de Âncora. Our magnificent coastal stroll will bring us to the nearby villages that still keep their traditional traits, but have been evolving and improving the quality of life of their populations.
Vila Praia de Âncora and Moledo were in the past, small local fishing communities. Nowadays, they’re vibrant coastal beach areas that thrive on local businesses.
Caminha is one step away from the Spanish coast, visible on the other side of the Minho River with its Santa Tecla Hill looking back. Caminha’s traditional stone walled houses and flower decorated squares will be a treat at the end of our day!

 

Day 4 – Braga

Today we visit Braga and the beautiful Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary. Braga is one of the most innovative and sophisticated towns of the North of Portugal, a major hub that conserves its traditional and historical importance.
During the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula, the town was known as “Bracara Augusta” and was the capital for the settlement of “Gallaecia”.
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte is a notable example of pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 meters (381 feet), classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Day 5 – Guimarães

Today we transfer to Guimarães. The town that will welcome us for the next days is a mix of experiences, whether you prefer historic monuments and exquisite lanes, or green lush valleys and scenic viewpoints.
Its attractive medieval centre has the charm of a movie set, and you can lose track of time just sitting and observing life going by.

 

Day 6 – Guimarães

Today will be entirely dedicated to Guimarães, a charming and historic city, regarded as the birth place of Portugal. It is a World Heritage Site, the proud birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first independent king of Portugal.
We’ll visit one of the town’s ex LIBRIS – the Senhora da Penha, a pilgrimage site perched between large granite boulders.

 

Day 7 – Fafe

Today is a day that sums all the experiences of the week. We visit Fafe, a town located only 30 minutes away from Guimarães. This town, as many in the country, became the home for a majority of immigrants that returned from Brasil with large fortunes, ready to invest in big palaces and the textile industry, blessed by the proximity to the margins of the rivers Vizela and Ferro.

 

Day 8 – Departure

We say our goodbyes and head to Porto airport.

 

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax

4 nights in Viana Do Castelo
3 nights in Guimarães

  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 7 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the Airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Activities according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.