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Regions of Portugal - North / Minho

The North comprises of the provinces of Minho, Douro and Tras-os-Montes. The Minho borders on to Galicia in Northern Spain, and there are many similarities in both culture and language.

The Minho is one of the lushest areas in Portugal, with a climate and landscape similar to that of a damp, northern European country. It's not surprising that its' coastal line is called the Costa Verde! (Green Coast). The area produces the popular 'green wine' (young wine) vinho verde, both red and white. The north is steeped in traditions, and traditionally has been considered religious and hardworking.

To the east, the Minho is flanked by the mountainous region of Tras-os-Montes (literally translated as behind the mountains). This is an area isolated geographically from the rest of the country, rugged in landscape, very poor, and whose towns and lifestyles are still somewhat reminiscent of Medieval Europe. Its people however are fiercely proud of their heritage, more Celtic in nature than much of the country, a legacy of northern invasions.

The North of Portugal offers some fantastic landscape, a friendly people and a good standard of living at a relatively low cost. Traditional homes are made from large blocks of granite stone, and can be found throughout the region. There are also plenty of more modern new homes available at a reasonable price.

However, the climate of the North may not be to everyone's taste as it gets its' fair share of rain, which of course gives the area such beautiful, green and lush landscape.

Nearest Airport - Porto.

Braga Church

Braga


Braga is one of Portugal's major cities and can be traced back to Roman times when it was given the name Bracara Augusta in 296 bc. It has one of the highest concentrations of churches in Europe and boasts an impressive display of architecture.
Befitting a large city, Braga offers a wide range of shopping, entertainment and eating establishments.


Vila Verde town square

Vila Verde

11 km far from Braga, you are travelling through the region of Vila Verde, one of the biggest and most picturesque in Minho. Vila Verde has two different zones: the south, with low altitudes and vales, and the north, with mountains. Their climates are different, too!


Roman Bridge, Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima

Ponte de Lima is an attractive town situated 25 km east of Viana do Castelo.

The Medieval Bridge is documented to have been started in 1368. It's 277 meters long with 16 large arches and 14 smaller ones. On the opposite side of the river is the Roman bridge, built for military use between Braga and Astorga.

Nearby are attractions such as the golf course and horse racing.


Viana do Castelo

Viana do Castelo

This picturesque fishing town lying at the mouth of the River Lima, on the Atlantic coast, is famous for its decorative filigree jewellery which dates back to the time of Moor's occupation.


Guimarães

Guimarães

When Dom Afonso Henriques was first proclaimed King of Portugal in 1139 he chose this attractive town as his capital. The elegant castle that has since always featured on the Portuguese coat of arms is reputed to have been his actual birthplace.


Check the weather in Viana do Castelo at the BBC website >

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