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Northern Portugal recommendations

Anyone on here recommend places to go? We are going to spend about a week travelling between Vigo in Spain and ending up in Porto and looking at a few places in the Minho and Douro areas. Anyone got experience round this area? Charlton Life has helped me out lots with previous destination tips - cheers!


  • Porto is one of my favourite places, the Douro Valley is a must especially by boat.
    edited July 2017
    Essex_Al said:

    Porto is one of my favourite places, the Douro Valley is a must especially by boat.

    Just come back from Porto, absolutely loved it, the port reserves, bars in hills, would recommend this place to anybody.
    Viana do Castelo is a lovely costal town as well, but maybe too far north, both Viana and Porto have amazing Eiffel bridges.

    edited July 2017
    Touring in a motorhome I came across these:

    Boats at Aveiro on way to Costa Nova do Prado (striped houses) south of Porto - don't look them up first or it will spoil the surprise.

    Hot Chocolate at top of Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga - you can stand your spoon up in it. Loved the sun setting behind the statue's hand.

    Stayed at Peso de Regua mini Porto - Sandeman cut-out on the hill - did the train trip to Pinhao (Azulejos).

    Miradouro Sao Domingos - didn't make it to this one.

    Loved Porto :smile:


  • Amarante is worth a trip, not far from Porto
  • edited July 2017
    Probably further south than you'd want to travel as it is near to Lisbon, but Sintra is one of the best places I've ever been. Well worth the effort of getting down there.
  • Cheers - very useful. Anyone else been to Braga?
  • If you are thinking of staying in Peso de Regua, then stay here. My review is one of the many apparently unbelievably good ones, most of them gushing about the hostess Manuela. On the first evening when she wasn't offering a dinner on the premises (and when she did, it was wonderful) she offered to run us into Peso (its about 1,5kms away) to a place she recommended. The same for a garrulous young Finnish couple, and afterwards we noted how she dropped them at a sort of swanky modern place, and then took us to this tiny little place. This was 2014, and on the night it was clear that the "waitress" was also the chef, but it was all wonderful. She told us how she had been a primary school teacher who had lost her job in the crisis, and this was her way of fighting back. From the reviews, looks like she made it. I guess by now she has fixed the music. After a while we realised it was "Nothing compares to U" stuck on a loop. We couldn't bear to tell her. And then when we left, and headed off to find a taxi, we "bumped into" Manuela. She said "well I heard you had finished so I thought I'd come down and pick you up". Her wines are top quality too, they have a mention in Hugh Johnson's book.

    Just about everything about Portugal was better than we ever imagined. Hot meals on TAP. The espresso. The wines. The talent of the kids playing footie on the beach. The motorways. The 3G (doubtless 4G by now, as it was in Lisbon already) that never breaks, so you can navigate on Google Maps even through the desolate areas. You will have a wonderful time wherever you go. But if anyone deserves your custom, it's Manuela.
  • Brilliant - thanks! Will definitely try that place if we can.
  • Miranda do Douro was nice for a couple of nights when we were there in 2013.
  • Brilliant - thanks! Will definitely try that place if we can.

    It's not big, so book asap. Lucky you though that if you do visit, you can buy some of her wines at wholesale price, as I guess that is your own car you are using.

    By the way it will be too far south for your trip but @WSA made a great call for Aveiro. We stopped there for lunch on the way up from Obidos to the Douro. They have a cool looking footie stadium too. I think if we go back, that's a place I'd look at for a stay.

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  • As others have said, the Douro Valley is spectacular, and provides the wines that are known as "port" downstream at Porto. If you follow the Douro close to the eastern border with Spain there are some wonderful Palaeolithic rock art carvings at Vila Nova de Foz Coa. Bit of a hike without your own transport but the Douro railway goes as far as Pocinho.

    Porto itself is a great city with a "working" feel like eg Newcastle; busy but small enough to get around on foot and take everything in. Be sure to walk across the spectacular Eiffel bridge for great views back to Porto itself.
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