The Northern of Portugal, characterized by the green natural landscape, is full of mountains, plateaus and valleys and has a fauna and flora of great beauty and biodiversity. The first example that comes to mind is the Peneda-Geres National Park (PNPG) that extends to Trás-os-Montes and, together with the Spanish Natural Park of Baixa Limia - Serra do Xurés, constitutes since 1997 the Transfrontier Park Geres-Xurés and the Biosphere Reserve with the same name.
The North also contributes with other treasures to extend the list of the country's protected areas such as the Montesinho Natural Park, in the northeast of Trás-os-Montes, and the International Douro Natural Park, along the Douro River, the largest river in this region.
The vineyards, especially the famous Port Wine Demarcated Region, the hillsides and farms with corn, rye, barley and potato fields stand out in this unique landscape. The granite buildings and fabulous manor houses draw visitors’ attention.
The North of Portugal is also very rich in archaeological finds of all kinds, with remains tracing back to the Paleolithic period. Some of the greatest primitive jewelry discoveries were also made here.
In an urban context, Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage site and this fantastic city is a great starting point to discover all the region’s cultural and natural offerings. Braga - founded in Roman times as Bracara Augusta, one of the oldest Portuguese cities and one of the oldest Christian cities in the world, known as the "city of the Archbishops' - and Guimarães - considered the cradle of the nation, with a medieval historic centre, full of narrow streets, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - are two of the northern cities worth visiting.
The climate is mild on the coastside and typically Mediterranean inland. The coast mountains have some of the highest precipitation levels in Europe.
Valença, Ponte de Lima, Viana do Castelo, Bragança, Chaves, Braga, Guimarães, Vila Real, Porto.
Despite the cold waters, the beaches of northern Portugal are of great beauty and very rich in iodine. They’re ideal for kitsurf and windsurfing, among other water sports. Caminha, Viana do Castelo, Esposende, Póvoa de Varzim, Vila do Conde, Matosinhos, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia are popular beach destinations for surfers and visitors in general.
Basílica de Santa Luzia, Ponte de Ponte de Lima, Sé de Braga, Santuário do Sameiro, Santuário do Bom Jesus, Mosteiro de Tibães, Castelo de Guimarães, Espigueiros do Lindoso, Castelo de Bragança, Ponte Medieval de Mirandela, Gravuras Rupestres de Mazouco, Castelo de Miranda do Douro, Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Graça, Palácio de Mateus, Ponte da Misarela, Ponte Romana de Chaves (Trajano), Mosteiro de Pitões das Júnias, Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos, Palácio da Bolsa, Ponte D.Luís I, Catedral do Porto, Casa da Música…
Soups: Caldo Verde
Fish and Seafood: Several roasted saltwater fish, grilled fish (sardines, sea bass, bream ...), freshwater fish (trout, lamprey and shad), cod dishes (Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, Zé do Pipo, à Margarida (Viana do Castelo), à Narcisa (Braga)...)
Meat: „Oven-roasted“ lamb, rojões( braised pork chunks) , sarrabulho (pork rice cooked in pig blood), Porto-style tripe francesinha (a popular dish based on a sandwich), sausages, sausage from Mirandela, Mirandesa beef steak, game dishes and cabidela dishes (cooked in blood) ...
Fruit and Sweet: the Abade Priscos crème caramel (Braga), crème brûlée, toucinho do céu (“heaven’s bacon”, a convent dish made with eggs and sugar), rice pudding and aletria (sweet noodles), Easter cakes , Christmas sonhos (which means “dreams”) and rabanadas (a kind of french toast), cheesecake, honey cakes, Pão-de-Ló (sponge cake) from Margaride, candy from Régua ...
Other: Corn Bread, Corn Bread from Avintes, turnip greens, beans, mushrooms, chestnuts and olive oil from Trás-os-Montes