The Vinho Verde Route, in northwest Portugal, has so much more to offer than simply the pleasure of this unique, elegant, fragrant and refreshing product that is the Vinho Verde wine. Awaiting you are World Heritage cities, a valuable collective of period monuments, a unique landscape with beaches and mountains, valleys and rivers, and a gastronomy of exquisite flavours surrendering to the Vinho Verde wine. You have every reason to visit this region.
Take a weekend to visit the region, its vineyards, farms and wine cellars. You will be impressed by the natural and ancient beauty of this territory in northern Portugal, home to friendly people, who not only know how to, but enjoy welcoming visitors in the best possible way. Join us and discover how the Vinho Verde wine is produced and learn more about the rich cultural diversity and heritage wealth.
The Vinho Verde Route, which, in 2008, celebrated one hundred years of its demarcation, offers different but complementary itineraries. From the beaches to the monasteries and the visits to the farms, whichever you choose, you can count on a rendezvous with nature, history, traditional flavours and, of course, good wines and good Portuguese food.
Early in the morning, to enjoy the sun, relax in one of the sea or river beaches that this region has to offer. If you are a fan of kite surfing and windsurfing, you will enjoy going to the beaches of Moledo and Cabedelo, with excellent conditions for the practice of these sports.
If you are not a fan of this kind of adventure, go up to the mountains. The mountains of the region – d’Arga, Aboboreira, Freita, Montemuro, Alvão and Gerês – offer beautiful landscapes, also worth for their cultural and urban heritage.
The fresh air of the Serras will work your appetite for what comes next. At lunch, try the local food and enjoy the cod, the lamprey, the trout or the Allis shad. If you enjoy meat dishes, taste the famous sarrabulho and the rojões. To drink, ask for the charismatic variety Alvarinho. The most appreciated Portuguese vinho verde wine is made in Monção and Melgaço, in Minho.
Don’t worry about your senses or your diet. The Vinho Verde wine has a low alcoholic content, being less caloric, and it is a fruity wine, easy to drink.
In the afternoon, visit one of the numerous farms where the great Vinho Verde wines are produced and see the remarkable work that, in the last decades, has transformed ruined estates and manor houses into beautifully recovered and productive spaces.
Stay at the Carmo’s Boutique Hotel, in Ponte de Lima, one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Here, guests can feel at home and enjoy the pleasures of modern life in rural areas.
On the next day, set off to discover the cities, villages and monasteries of the region.
Two of the itineraries in the Vinhos Verde Route invite visitors to get to know some of the main cities and villages of the region. The itinerary “Três Cidades de Encanto” will take you to Guimarães, Braga and Amarante, whereas the route “Do Cávado ao Lima” will introduce you to locations on the banks of the river Lima – Barcelos, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Ponte da Barca and Arcos de Valdevez.
Walk around the historical centre of Guimarães, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, visit the castle, the chapel of S. Miguel and the Paço dos Duques de Bragança. All this can be enjoyed in a carefully preserved complex of spaces and buildings.
Have lunch in the city that was at the origin of Portugal’s foundation. Ask for polvinho assado (roasted octupus), bacalhau cozido (codfish) or the traditional cozido à portuguesa (Portuguese stew). Finish your meal with formigos or rabanadas.
In the neighbouring city of Braga you will find the Monastery of S. Martinho de Tibães, one of the many monasteries preserved in the Vinho Verde Region and, for centuries, one of the most influential in the north of Portugal.
Founded nearly one thousand years ago, around two decades ago it received major refurbishments. Both the monastery and the church show visible characteristics of the late Mannerism to Rocaille styles.
Braga has so much more to see. Located in the heart of the lush Minho region, it is one of the oldest cities in Portugal and in the Christian world, with over two thousand years of history. The Cathedral, the Episcopal Palace and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte are places you can’t afford to miss.
Besides these two cities and Ponte de Lima – the centre of the oldest village in Portugal is only a five minute drive from Carmo’s Boutique Hotel – it is worth visiting Amarante, Viana do Castelo, Monção and Melgaço. Well, you must save some places to go to the next time you visit the birthplace of the Vinho Verde wines.
In the region, the monasteries of S. Pedro de Arouca, S. Bento (Santo Tirso) and São Miguel de Refóios (Cabeceiras de Basto) are also well worth a visit.
We know there will be a next time!
How to get there
There are flights from Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Munich, Dortmund, Zurich, Liverpool, London, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Dole, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rodez, St. Etienne Toulouse, Tours, Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and New York.
The best way to go from the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro to the city centre is to take the underground. The trip takes about 30 minutes.