It was in Porto and the north that Portugal came into being as a country, which is why the region has such a rich and fascinating heritage.
This is a mountainous area of Portugal with rivers, natural parks and steep, sloping hillsides covered with leafy vegetation.
Holidays Guides List of the Porto Region.
Work on the Roman "Bracara Augusta", a regional juridical capital, began during the reign of emperor Augustus in 27 bc. It was part of the Empire´s network criss-crossing the Iberian peninsula to link it with Rome. Demonstrating the importance of the settlement, Emperor Caracala raised it to the status of capital of Galician province in 216. In the same century, the Diocese de Braga was established under the rule of Bishop Paterno.
During the time of its occupation by the Romans, the city of Chaves was known by the name of "Aquae Flaviae", given to it by the Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Vespasian), who recognised the excellent quality of the thermal springs located here. The healing properties of these waters, the warmest in Europe with a temperature of roughly 73º C at their source, are still greatly appreciated and the spa is an extremely popular one.
On 13 December 2001, UNESCO inscribed the historical centre of the city of Guimarães, Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2012, on the list of World Heritage. A distinction that is fully merited by this city, one that is full of historical memories and has so carefully preserved its heritage and public spaces for the pleasure and delight of its visitors.
Roughly 12 kilometres from the banks of the Douro, Lamego enjoyed a period of great prosperity in the eighteenth century when the city produced the so-called "fine wine" that later gave rise to the world famous Port wine. It is a very ancient city, having been raised to a bishopric by the Visigoths, under the name of Lamecum, as early as the seventh century.
Capital and gateway to the north of Portugal, Porto is both the city that provided a nation with a name and a fortified wine known world-wide: port.
Standing on the border with Spain and overlooking the River Minho, Valença is surrounded by walls and displays all the characteristic features of a town that was fortified in the seventeenth century in the style of the French military architect, Vauban.
This fortified city on the bank of the River Minho, home to spas and the Alvarinho wine, was once the backdrop to the many battles between the kingdoms of Portugal and Castile... Its Sueve name Orosion was translated to Latin as Mons Sanctus that subsequently evolved into the Portuguese Monção. In 1291, Portuguese king Afonso III granted it a royal charter and in 1306, king Dinis ordered the construction of the old defensive castle. Its walls still welcome the visitor.
Situated close to Galicia, the original settlement developed around the castle built in the twelfth century at the orders of the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques.
Founded in the 14th century by Dom Dinis, on the condition that one hundred residents would be brought together to form the community, the town took the name of Cerveira due to the colony of deer (cervos) that were to be found in the region.