There’s a region in the northern area of Portugal that’s so stunning, you need to see it for yourself.
The Alto Minho region in northern Portugal has everything you'd expect when in the Mediterranean. Its climate is slightly cooler given its geography in the north, but it’s perfect for cooling down from the sweltering temperatures of the south.
Here are some of the best things to do in the Alto Minho.
What to see in the Alto Minho
Santuário de Santa Luzia
The grand church of Santuário de Santa Luzia has some of the best views overlooking the capital city of Viana do Castelo.
The vista, along with the interior, has a real wow factor.
Praia do Cabedelo
Most of us appreciate the sight of a clean, sandy and uncrowded beach, and Praia ticks all 3 boxes!
Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy local activities such as windsurfing and surfing, which you can book at the local school, Viana Locals.
This is definitely one beach where you can truly appreciate its beauty, remoteness and tranquility.
In the Alto Minho is one town that has a secret, and historic, gem. The Igreja de Matriz in the town of Caminha may appear like any typical church from the outside, but once inside, it's pretty special.
A classic mix of Gothic-Renaissance styles, the church has a distinctive Moorish feel. If you look to the top of the church, you can see the Gothic influence from the stone gargoyles on the roof.
Fortaleza de Valença do Minho
The impressive Fortaleza de Valença do Minho is probably the most popular attraction in the city of Valença.
Valença has strong links to its medieval fortress that was built in 1200 under the order of the first king of Portugal, Sancho I.
Today, the fort is home to residential houses, shops, cafes and restaurants. Look out for the iconic blue house in the centre, whose tiles used on the exterior of the building are engraved not painted, unlike the neighbouring buildings.
Palácio da Brejoeira
The Palácio da Brejoeira is home to an impressive vineyard and winery, and is one of the oldest wine producers of the popular Alvarinho grape wine.
The huge palace has an indoor winter garden, library, a waiting room, and curtains over 200 years old!
The palace’s gardens are equally impressive with a Camellia garden featuring 20 different varieties. The design’s based on a classic English garden, complete with a clandestine lovers’ seat.
Ecopista do Rio Minho
One of the best ways of seeing the sights is by bicycle along the Ecopista.
It's a lengthy bicycle and pedestrian path that passes through several towns in the Alto Minho.
There’s plenty of signage directing cyclists and walkers, plus it's a relaxing way to see everything the Alto Minho has to offer.
All photos (aside from Fortaleza and Palacio) courtesy of Lisa Rivera