North of Porto is remote and breathtaking. The Minho shoreline, home to vast sand beaches and quiet fishing villages has rich green landscapes.
Our journey to the north of Porto started with Ponte de Lime. Then visited the inland village Valenca where local markets and fairs have hardly changed for hundreds of years. Finally we ended our day trip at the Amorosa Beach near Anha to have some fun in dunes and breath in the breeze of Atlantic air.
Ponte de Lima
If you have read my itinerary you would know that our hotel is at the north of Porto. So it was easy for us to go to the north of Porto without the need to drive around Porto. Having followed A28 we drove straight to the north and then changed to A27, within 50 minutes we arrived at Ponte de Lima, one of the oldest and finest small town in Portugal.
Ponte de Lima has many imposing houses, pretty squares and religious buildings with magnificent gothic, baroque and neoclassic façades. Adding to the mixture of these architectures is the astonishing natural landscape.
The main site among many tourist attractions in this charming town is the old bridge. There are a few shops and cafes as well as a beautiful garden and old church on the other side.
The other public interest is the Tower of Cadeia Velha, once adapted as a prison during the 16th century. Currently it houses the Loja do Turismo (Tourism shop) and many temporary art exhibitions.
Valenca (north of Porto)
From Ponte de Lima we took A3 to Valenca. Before entered into Valenca we drove towards the Spanish border and visited the Spanish town TUI.
The inland place Valenca was historically the focal point for the defence of northern Portugal from Spain. But nowadays it welcomes Spanish to shop cheap clothes and other textiles. In the summer time there are many festivals to attract locals. It is said that weekly markets or weekend markets take place frequently.
Amorosa Beach (near Anha)
The last stop of the day was at Amorosa Beach near Anha. There was no single tourist on the beach. Fine sand dunes are everywhere and a nicely made long board walk lead us to the seaside. The long wooden walkway is made to protect the dunes in the surroundings.
The water was ice cold but the air was fresh. The beach was neatly maintained while looked very natural. It was quite windy. This place is perfect for windsurfers and playing kites.
How to get there
The best way to visit the north of Porto on your own is by cars. It offers the great mobility and flexibility to traveling around. You can visit some remote villages where public transportation is not frequent.
Join a tour
To join a tour can save much administrative efforts. Honestly, to plan a trip is not easy and required a lot of preparation and time. Luckily, there are some tours available at a reasonable rice.
Tickets & Tour