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Atlantic Islands Specialist

Discover the charm of Northern Portugal

Aveiro Portugal

Northern Portugal is a treasure trove of romantic landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the historic streets of Porto to the serene beauty of the Douro River Valley, this region offers a travel experience unlike other parts of the country. Northern Portugal has something for everyone, whether you're interested in charming towns, scenic landscapes, or historical landmarks.


Porto is a city renowned for its stunning architecture, beautiful blue-tile decoration, vibrant culture, and Port wine. As you wander through the narrow, cobblestone streets of the Ribeira district, you'll be captivated by the colorful buildings, varied styles of building designs, and the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge. Don't miss a visit to the Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world used as an inspiration for Harry Potter, and the Clérigos Tower, the highest bell tower in Portugal, which offers breathtaking views of the city. Not only does Porto offer a plethora of attractions and a charming riverside ambiance, but it also provides easy access to a multitude of captivating day trip destinations. Whether you're drawn to historic towns, scenic landscapes, or coastal beauty, Porto's strategic location makes it the perfect starting point for unforgettable adventures across northern Portugal.

Douro River Valley

Just a short drive from Porto, the Douro River Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. Known for its uniquely terraced vineyards and overall scenic beauty, this region produces some of the world's finest green, white, rose, port, and red wines, and a visit to one of the many Quintas (wine estates) for a tasting tour is a must. The Douro River is perfect for a leisurely boat cruise, where you can soak in the breathtaking views of the rolling hills and lush vineyards. 


Braga is a city that seamlessly blends ancient history with vibrant modern life—often referred to as the "Rome of Portugal" due to its numerous churches and religious heritage. The most famous of these is the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, a magnificent sacred building perched atop a hill. With its intricate statues and fountains, the Baroque stairway leading up to the church is a sight to behold, and it offers panoramic views of the city below. The city center is home to the Sé de Braga, one of the oldest cathedrals in Portugal, Palácio do Raio, a striking 18th-century palace known for its blue-tiled façade, and the vibrant Santa Barbara Garden. Braga's lively atmosphere, historical significance, and charming streets make it a must-visit destination.


Peneda-Gerês National Park is a nature lover's paradise and the country's only national park. Located in the northernmost part of Portugal and spanning over 700 square kilometers, Gerês offers stunning landscapes, including rugged mountains, verdant valleys, and crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls. Hiking trails abound, providing opportunities to explore the park's diverse flora and fauna. Don't miss the chance to visit the picturesque village of Lindoso with its ancient granaries and medieval castle. The park is also dotted with ancient Roman ruins, such as the Geira Roman Road, offering a glimpse into the region's storied past.

Gerês is also known for the therapeutic hot springs of Termas do Gerês, which are known for their healing properties. The charming spa town perfectly blends relaxation and nature with its mineral-rich waters and serene surroundings.


Coimbra is a city steeped in history and academic prestige.  The University of Coimbra, one of the oldest universities in the world, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the city's crown jewel. Founded in 1290, its historic buildings, including the stunning Joanina Library with its gilded baroque interior, are a testament to the city's long-standing academic tradition. 

Coimbra is also renowned for Fado de Coimbra, a melancholic and soulful genre of fado music traditionally performed by university students. Experience this unique musical tradition in the intimate settings of local bars and cafes. The Machado de Castro National Museum, housing an impressive collection of art and archaeological artifacts, offers further insights into the region's artistic heritage.

Coimbra's charm extends beyond its historical and cultural attractions. The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe, provides a serene escape with its diverse plant species and beautifully landscaped grounds. Coimbra may be less frequented by tourists than Lisbon or Porto, but its unique blend of history, culture, and youthful exuberance makes it a hidden gem worth exploring. 


Often called the "Venice of Portugal," Aveiro is famous for its picturesque canals and traditional Moliceiro Boats.  These brightly-painted, flat-bottom boats were once used for harvesting seaweed and now ferry visitors through the city's waterways, offering a unique perspective of Aveiro's stunning Art Nouveau architecture and quaint pastel-colored buildings from the perspective of the lagoons.

Beyond its canals, Aveiro boasts stunning natural landscapes. The Aveiro Salt Pans, where sea salt has been harvested for centuries, are a testament to the city's maritime heritage. The nearby Costa Nova beaches, with their iconic striped houses and São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve, offer pristine beaches, dunes, and bird-watching opportunities, ideal for nature lovers.

 Be sure to sample the local delicacy, ovos moles, a sweet treat made from egg yolks and sugar, traditionally wrapped in rice paper. This coastal gem offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, making it a must-visit destination in Portugal.

Viana do Castelo

Viana do Castelo, located along the Atlantic coast, offers natural beauty and historical charm. This city has captured the hearts of travelers worldwide, earning its well-deserved reputation as one of the most welcoming places to visit. Visit the Sanctuary of Santa Luzia for breathtaking views over the city and coastline. The historic center is filled with elegant architecture, including the Praça da República and the Basilica of Santa Luzia. Beyond its cultural charm, Viana do Castelo has breathtaking natural beauty, from pristine beaches and lush green landscapes to dramatic cliffs and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Whether hiking along the Camino de Santiago, surfing the waves at Praia do Cabedelo, or simply taking in the sunset from Monte de Santa Luzia, you'll find that Viana do Castelo's natural beauty is as welcoming as its people.

Northern Portugal is a region that captivates with its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture.  Discover it for yourself on a customized Quest Travel Adventures Itinerary.  Our most popular packages include the Porto Discovery, Lisbon & Porto Combo, Porto & the Azores, and Porto, the Algarve, and Lisbon.

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