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 city town PORTO

city town

Excursions, points of interest and attractions close to OPORTO, PORTUGAL Braga


Loc. BRAGA - BRAGA  Navigatore
45 Km from PORTO
  Area Lobios, Porto

Known as the Rome of Portugal, Braga's compact centre is packed with splendid baroque churches. Baroque churches, and the clamouring of their bells, are a constant reminder of who's in charge here. Indeed, Braga has been a religious power centre since the conversion of the Visigoths in the 6th century. Its cathedral &built in the 12th century as Portugal was still being wrestled from the Moors & is the oldest in Portugal. The hand of God even extends beyond the city to the area's biggest attraction, the hillside sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, just to the east. But don't come expecting piety alone: the pedestrian streets of the compact centre are lively with cafe's and worldly concerns, and students from the Universidade do Minho add much youthful leavening.

Excursions and attractions in PORTO close to OPORTO, PORTUGAL Braga: 'BRAGA'  


Porto, the country´s second largest city, is in itself full of interest, but the district it heads, though largely industrialized, offers the visitor plenty to see. Along the coast, holiday resorts like the cosmopolitan beach of Espinho, busy ports like Matosinhos, with splendid seafood, or traditional fishing towns like Povoa de Varzim, but where there is also an animated casino. Inland, for example, the quaint charm of Amarante, with 17th century mansions overlooking the river and famous for a kind of sweet egg pastries called papos de anjo (angel bellies). Right next to Porto you can visit, in Vila Nova de Gaia, the lodges where Port wine is blended and aged and where you can taste the different varieties, or you may choose to take a river cruise along the Douro. The whole district is filled with prosperous towns, as commerce and industry thrive there, but you can drive along many calm roads with wonderful views over the river or enjoy a rugged and still unspoilt coastline. Espinho Cosmopolitan holiday resort with beaches anda Casino. Matosinhos Matosinhos is, in spite of its industrial port, renowned for its gastronomy based on seafood and also popular for its coastline of small beaches enclosed by rocks beaten by the sea. Matosinhos also boasts of a valuable patrimony visible in monuments such as the Monastery of Leca do Bailio, the first headquarters of the Order of Hospitallers in Portugal and with a 14th-century fortified church exhibiting Gothic arches and a beautiful rose window. Povoa de VarzimThe ancient town of Povoa de Varzim received its charter in 1308 and has developped over the ages from a poor fishing community to a resort popular for its sandy beaches and amusements, including a casino which animates the local nightlife. Amarante Crossed by the river Tamega and surrounded by mountains, this pretty town proudly displays its 17th century mansions, with colourful balconies of painted wood brightly decorating the narrow streets, its restaurants with terraces overlooking the river or the beautiful bridge of Sao Goncalo which leads to the great monastery of the 16th century that bears the name of the same saint. Vila Nova de Gaia Seat of a county of commercial and industrial importance and facing Oporto across the river Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia is the main centre of Port wine production. Thus, the heart of the city is dominated by the Port lodges with their characteristic red roofs emblazoned with well-known names, and over fifty companies based in narrow and twisting streets are engaged in blending and ageing the famous drink. Some of them offer guided tours so that visitors may see how Port is made and taste different samples.