In the extreme north-east of Portugal, between the Alto Minho and Trás-os-Montes, the Serra da Peneda and Serra do Gerês constitute the only Portuguese protected area that has been classified as a National Park. It is a world apart, where human activity is integrated in a harmonious manner with nature, preserving ancient values and traditions that can be seen in the community villages of Pitões das Júnias and Tourém.
To reach the Bom Jesus Sanctuary, you can go by foot, car or even take the vertical tram, an impressive piece of 19th century engineering. This was the first of its kind to be installed in Portugal in 1882 and continues to use its water-powered system to power up the 300-metre slope in just 3 minutes.
The Braga Cathedral, the oldest archdiocese in Portugal, is the most important monument of this city. Indeed, this is its crowing glory. The current building dates to the 12th century and was built on the wishes of Henrique and Teresa, parents of the first king of Portugal Afonso Henriques. Their tombs are to be found inside.
The city of Guimarães will be Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2012. Come and visit the town, where you will find a vibrant creative energy, the place where anything can happen.
Set in an area of great natural beauty by the mouth of the Minho river and surrounded by the pines making up the Mata Nacional do Camarido protected area, Caminha or Camarido Beach is located at the most north-westerly point of the Portuguese mainland.
Part of the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape, Apúlia Beach covers a large expanse of sand surrounded by dunes that serve to protect the Beach from stronger winds. The dunes are also home to former windmills that have now been converted into holiday homes.
With its substantial area of sand flanked by dunes separating it from the adjoining fields, the beautiful Cepães Beach is part of the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape.
To the south of the Cávado river mouth and part of the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape, Ofir Beach, surrounded by dunes and pine trees, covers one of the most beautiful stretches of the northern Portuguese coastline. One natural phenomena is the rocks emerging out of the sea at low tide and which form shapes known locally as the horses of Fão.
Surrounded by dunes and pines, Suave-Mar Beach is to be found next to the mouth of the Cávado river and within the Litoral de Esposende Protected Landscape.
Located on the Protected Landscape of the Azibo Albufeira, this river beach offers excellent conditions to enjoy nature with all the security and tranquility.
Inserted in the beautiful natural setting of the Azibo Albufeira, river beach of Ribeira is a very nice entertainment space where the water during the summer normally reaches a temperature above 24 ° C. With a large multi-purpose pitch, this beach is suitable for people with reduced mobility and has several additional features such as playground or playing fields which are sometimes the scene of beach volleyball championships.
The Praia Azul has a beautiful sandy beach where the tourists can enjoy a pleasant holiday moments. A beach of great natural beauty, where the sea is very restless and should only be bathed with great caution.
Praia de Agudela is a very popular beach in the Porto region. This beach is surrounded by dunes and crossed by wooden bridges. With many rocks that are exposed at low tide, this beach has a good support infrastructure and provides the ideal setting to spend the whole day at sea.
Previously known as Arenosa or Ladrões Beach, this area of sand became known as Memória Beach following the erection of a commemorative obelisk on the spot where liberal troops led by Pedro 4th (1st Emperor of Brazil) disembarked in 1832 in order to expel his absolutist brother, Miguel from the Portuguese throne.
The beach "Praia Quebrada" lies in a small bay, protected by dunes. The wide beach with many rocks while swimming requires increased attention, because the sea has strong currents here. The small fishermen's houses in the vicinity give this beach a picturesque touch.
Surrounded by rocks, small and wind-protected beach "Praia da Senhora" is ideal for windy days.
Defined by two breakwaters, and accessed by a seaside walkway next to the centre of Espinho, Baía Beach is the most popular in the city.
Located right by the oldest Golf Club in Portugal, Paramos Beach covers a huge area of sand but which can only be reached by crossing the Espinho Air-Club and paying careful attention to the signalling.
Located to the south of Espinho while still a continuation of its sands, Silvalde Beach adjoins the similarly named settlement, a parish whose origins stretch far back into history and whose inhabitants long ago took up agriculture and fishing.
With a pleasant climate and some 8 kilometres of fine sands facing these immense blue seas, Espinho is one of the main tourist resorts of northern Portugal. Only the long seaside pedestrian walkway separates the sands from the city.