Spend three days in Porto and in the North of Portugal and boost your energy for yet more weeks at work. Surrender to the pampering of the best spas and enjoy thermal baths in historical places and idyllic settings.
In Porto, stay at The Yeatman hotel (Rua do Choupelo, Santa Marinha, Gaia), a 5 star hotel chain offering quiet and elegant comfort, while at the same time welcoming its guests according to the best Portuguese traditions and having one of the seven Caudalie spaces across the globe and the first wine spa in the country.
In the Vinothérapie Spa by Caudalie, the view over the Ribeira and Porto’s historical centre – enjoy it from the indoor swimming pool with a 20 metres wide glass wall – competes with the quality of the treatments.
Choose the exfoliation with crushed Cabernet grapes – the “product” is freshly prepared and does wonders for your skin, leaving it more luminous – or to take a bath in a barrel filled with a red wine of your choosing. Finally, relax with a cup of tea with extracts of vine and cinnamon, a Caudalie exclusive.
In the city, it is imperative to visit the historical centre, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and downtown. The exquisite S. Bento train station marks the passage from the old city to downtown, which over the last years has gained a new and very interesting life, by day and by night. Enter the Lello bookshop, one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, enjoy the old groceries and the new gourmet shops, designer shops, nice cafés and signature restaurants. All this in an area where you can easily walk around and that has developed around two streets: Cândido dos Reis and Galeria de Paris.
Nearby, visit the Mercado do Bolhão and the Café Majestic, one of the most emblematic places of Porto and one of the best examples of the city’s Art Nouveau – the building is from 1916 and the café opened in 1921 – in the lively Rua de Santa Catarina.
Still in Grande Porto, with time and opportunity, you can visit Espinho and go to the salt water swimming pool of the Municipal Baleário Marinho, where hydromassage, algae therapy and sauna are other possibilities.
Relaxing in the birthplace city
On the next morning, go to Guimarães, where thermal baths and Taipas Termal Spa combine the traditional and classic thermal baths with a recent idea of comfort. The goal is to relax and regain energies after walking around in the capital.
The waters of this spa, situated in the birthplace of Portugal, are recommended for the treatment of respiratory, rheumatic, muscular or bone conditions, as well as skin conditions.
Besides classic treatments, such as hydromassage and bubble baths or nozzle and Vichy showers, there are extremely appealing programmes to pamper body and mind, such as the geothermal massage, with the use of hot stones.
In Guimarães, a city UNESCO also listed as World Heritage, it is worth visiting the historical centre, the castle – where, in the 12th century, the first king of Portugal D. Afonso Henriques was born – and the Paço dos Duques de Bragança.
By the end of the afternoon, hit the road so you can arrive in Chaves by dinner time. Stay the night in Vidago Palace Hotel & Spa, a unique and unforgettable place about an hour away from Guimarães, almost always by motorway.
An invitation to tranquillity
Surrounded by mountains and 100 hectares of park and forest, Vidago Palace is the perfect location for a relaxing and revitalising stay, and Cave de Vinhos is the ideal place for a light meal at night.
Located in a quiet corner of the wine cellars of Vidago Palace, this bar invites you to taste the best products of the region. Ask for a glass of wine from the neighbouring Vale do Douro, or a glass of Port wine, and complement it with slices of smoked ham from Chaves and a selection of regional tapas.
We are sure you will have a quiet night. In the morning, get up early and enjoy the hotel spa. The natural mineral water from Vidago, bottled to drink, is renowned for its healing properties and used for treatments and health programmes in this spa, designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira and with treatments signed by Aromatherapy Associates & Clarins.
And because Chaves is not merely known for its enchidos and smoked ham, before returning to Porto you must visit the city, which, at the time of Roman occupation was known as "Aquae Flaviae" – its waters spring at a temperature of approximately 73ºC and are still the reason of attraction for extremely desired thermal baths.
Walk inside the medieval city’s walls and enjoy the castle and its tower keep.
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 metro. The trip takes about 30 minutes.