Have you ever seen those breath-taking postcards with green sceneries and formidable rivers? Those pictures were probably taken in Minho due to its rich Nature landscapes and dreamy woods. Green, imposing, and magical, this is the perfect description of the Minho region.
This is the land of cold winters and green landscapes, the land of the best elegent “green” wine (Vinhos Verdes) ever made, and also the land of all things good. Minho is like a delicate flower where everyone gets impressed with all its beauty, but also a massive work of Nature. Here, tradition is kept to its most intimate detail and this tells a lot about the region and its people.
Located in the northwest of the country and surrounded by mountains, the weather in Minho is influenced by this natural layout, which makes this region one of the most beautiful of Portugal. And it has amazing treasures inside, amazing places that deserve a visit!
Known as the “Baroque City” and the “Archbishops City”, Braga is also the most ancient Christian city in the world. When the romans invaded this part of Portugal, Augustus decided that Braga would be a shorter representation of Rome, making it the most important city of the region and the house of great and powerful History.
Its beauty and transcendence are the climax of a place, where you feel the power coming from the ground right to your feet. Because it’s simply mystic. Come to Braga and take the chance to visit its extravagant and famous Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, the Cathedral, the Monastery of Tibães, and – please! – walk around the city centre and enjoy the colourful and old façades of the buildings. Braga is definitely an enchanting pleasure to everyone’s eyes and hearts.
Recognised as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2001, the birthplace of Portugal is your next stop. With a historical centre, welcoming people and a clean and wide city centre, Guimarães is also another secret of Portugal. You don’t need a car nor a bus to walk around the city because it’s so satisfying to walk on foot and one can easily reach the main interests that way.
The people who live and are born in Guimarães are extremely proud of their city and they have all the reasons for feeling it: there is a wide rage of fascinating spots in here that will make travel in time. When in Guimarães, plan a tour to the Castle, the home of the first king of Portugal, which is beyond amazing; the Oliveira Square and Largo do Toural in the centre; and – of course – the Duque de Bragança Palace. Do take the time to enjoy the medieval scenario.
And to enjoy the most of both cities, we suggest a Guided Tour through these simple treasures of the Portuguese History. Book our Group Tour or relax on our Private Package.
Viana do Castelo
The last town before Spain, Viana do Castelo is your next inspiration. Without it, the Minho region would just have been incomplete. Can you imagine a single place with an impressive architecture, mountains, and a beach nearby?
Viana will still your heart the moment you visit it. The Tavoras Palace, the Church of Nossa Senhora da Agonia, and the Church of Santa Luzia are those mandatory monuments that one really must see, but the Museum of Viana do Castelo, the carriage Museum and the Hotel “Fabrica do Chocolate” (“Chocolate Factory” Hotel that has the chocolate factory museum inside) are also very curious touristic sights.
Viana is just like this. Nobody needs to sell it, because everything is naturally incredible and it makes Minho even richer. On our Group Tour, our friendly guide can drive you through this lovely town and you can also have the opportunity to discover another impressive site: Ponte de Lima, considered the oldest village of Portugal and once a favored stop for pilgrims.
The real meaning of Minho comes from this park. Inside the Peneda-Gerês National Park its woods and wildlife can easily delight us. Not very far from the city, Gerês is the secret getaway for everyone who lives nearby, but it’s getting more famous among the Portuguese that come from the South of the country and that are looking for some days of rest and rejuvenation.
Ideal for hiking and extreme sports, it gets even more exciting in summer mainly because of the waterfalls that enrich the whole landscape and that also help the tourists refresh in hot summer days. Long and patient walks may lead you to a fortunate glance at the Iberian wolf, the Golden Eagle, or the Pyrenean desman, which may be interesting for those who are more adventurous and curious.
In Gerês there is a real contact with Nature, either by car or on foot. In addition, and as the Romans decided to leave a great heritage in this region, don’t forget to visit the castles in Castro Laboreiro and Lindoso that completely deserve to be seen.
And – of course! – the Food & Wine of Minho Region
The Minho Region probably has the most complex and varied Gastronomy in the whole country. If you really want to have a meal like a “minhoto” (name of the locals) you should start with a “caldo verde” (khale soup) or any other vegetable soup with cabbage. For the main dish choose a delicious “Narcisa codfish” (typical from Braga), a “Sarrabulho Porridge” for the brave ones (it’s made with pig’s blood and various types of meat), or a “Naco à Conquistador” for meat lovers (Conqueror, the name of the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques). And finally sweeten your stomach with the “Abade de Priscos pudding” or “Toucinho do Céu”, all made with a generous quantity of eggs that will take you to Heaven in a magical cloud.
Obviously, a “minhoto” always chooses the best to accompany these dishes – the elegant green wine (Vinho Verde), which is also known as Young Wine. This wine has low alcohol but high acidity and the white wine is ideal for summer days, because it refreshes the soul and it goes pretty well with almost all kinds of dishes – salads, fish, codfish, or even fruit. Alvarinho, born in Monção, is the most renowned wine due to its excellence and high quality.
As you can see, Minho Region is an immense place where everything combines just exactly the way they are supposed to: it’s the food and the wine, Nature and love, the people and culture. Just pack your bags and travel now!