A Portuguese road trip – Part 1: North
Most people traveling to Portugal do so for one of two main (tourist) reasons: either to bathe in the sun on the shore of the Algarve, the southern seaside part of the country, or to visit the beautiful Lisbon, the capital city of the country. But the country has more to offer and perhaps too few of us consider going on a Portuguese road trip.
If, however, you are one to think outside the box, here are some of the places you shouldn’t miss and a path you could follow!
If you are entering Portugal through the northern border with Spain, you will first alight in the industrialized, rich region of the country. Before stopping in Porto, we suggest a short trip to Braga. Known as the religious center of Portugal, “the Portuguese Rome” Braga is one of the oldest cities, most probably founded by the Celts. Having been the seat of the country’s archbishops, it hosts the most festive and colorful of all religious celebrations in Portugal, the Holy Week festival. Among the sites to visit in Braga, don’t miss the Cathedral (locally known as “Se”), the Sacred Art Museum, the Dom Diogo de Sousa Archaeology Museum and, just outside the city, the most impressive Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary.
Next stop: the invincible city of Porto. Known for its Port wine, the beautiful riverfront of the Douro and its beautiful architecture, Porto (actually Oporto for the locals) is the industrial heart of Portugal. Praca da Ribeira, just by the riverfront, is the most lively side of the town, among others, the best promenade and the place where you can take a boat cruise on the Douro. The Cathedral, the Music House and the Dom Luis I Bridge are other spots to tick on your “to visit” list in Porto.
Also, you’ll need a vehicle for your Portuguese road trip, so you can book one with car rental Portugal.