Sprawling across the north of Portugal, the Norte Region is a mountainous and culturally diverse region that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was settled by Celtic tribes before being visited by the Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans and is now the most populous region in the country.
Things to do in Northern Portugal
Whether you want to explore UNESCO World Heritage-listed vineyards or marvel at Portugal’s architectural wonders, the Norte Region never fails to impress.
See the religious landmarks of Braga. One of Portugal’s oldest cities, Braga has long been a seat of religious power and is home to a magnificent medieval cathedral with a Manueline baptismal font. A short drive east of the city is the hilltop Bom Jesus do Monte, a Neoclassical church that offers magnificent views across the region. It can be reached by climbing the 640-step staircase or riding the historic funicular railway, which was constructed in 1880.
Relax on the Costa Verde. Stretching between the mouths of the Minho and Douro rivers, the Costa Verde encompasses around 100 kilometres of sandy beaches and fishing towns. Discover the architectural riches of Viana do Castelo and learn about the shipbuilding history of Povoa de Varzim before exploring the wildlife-filled dunes of Northern Littoral Natural Park.
Explore riverside Porto. Cascading down the slopes of the Douro River, Porto centres around a UNESCO-listed medieval district clustered with centuries-old merchants’ houses. Discover the opulent Baroque interior of the São Francisco Church and see the Art Deco-style Casa de Serralves before admiring the cutting-edge works exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum. No visit to Porto is complete without sampling local port wine at one of the riverside cellar doors.
Getting around Northern Portugal
Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport near Porto is the main aviation gateway to the Norte Region and has flights to destinations across the globe. Trains connect major towns and cities while buses serve smaller destinations. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around the Norte Region.