When you visit Minho, located in the north of Portugal, you will encounter a wide variety of activities that will make your days here unforgettable, especially if you come in the summer.
Minho not only has a beach, but also mountains, rivers, an ocean as well as lush and exotic landscapes that are perfect for adventure sports, hiking and other special and unique experiences.
What's more, Minho is also home to the Vodafone Paredes de Coura Festival. This festival has been held on the banks of the Tabuão river for more than 20 years, showcasing the best of the national and international music scene. Whether you are considering visiting this region for the Festival or just to explore, join us to discover how you can experience days of authentic adventure in Minho.
The wild sea of Northern Portugal is famous for deep-sea fishing, surfing and bodyboarding. The Parish of Afife, in Viana do Castelo, features beaches that are renowned for the excellent conditions they offer surfers and bodyboarders. The beach in Arda, or Mariana as it is called by the locals, is without a doubt the best known and has been the venue of several events in these sports.
Although not quite as popular as surfing or bodyboarding, kitesurfing is also starting to become a tradition on the northern coast. Ofir beach, in Esposende, Cabedelo beach, in Viana do Castelo, and the Moledo do Minho beach are locations that provide excellent conditions for kitesurfing in Minho.
On the river
Not only can you hunt and fish, but you can also canoe down the Minho, Lima, Cávado, Ave and Coura rivers in the Minho region.
Challenge the rapids and strong currents of the Minho river or the Tâmega river, or both. These rivers are ideal for rafting in an inflatable boat as you float past green banks and circumvent various obstacles at a mind-boggling speed.
Canyoning is also an excellent way to experience nature's true touch. The Peneda-Gerês National Park is one way to enjoy this activity in which participants make their way through the terrain following water lines and conquering the crystal waterfalls of Peneda-Gerês.
Near Castelo de Paiva, at a distance of about 6 km, you can feel the full force of the Paiva river current, the cathedral for whitewater sports in Portugal. A magnificent landscape, herons and even kingfishers accompany you as you descend the river.
Cruise down the Coura river in a kayak. We recommend that you do this in the summer and at night by the light of the full moon. There are local companies that organize this type of trip, so your only obstacle will be the moon's mood. Rest assured that this trip is worthwhile because rowing down the Coura river and ending up on the Minho river, at Camarido beach, is truly a unique experience.
Another option for a river adventure is to canoe down the Lima river. Previously called the "river of forgetfulness", this waterway runs through the protected land areas of the S. Simão and Bertiandos lakes.
Escape your routine, scale a mountain and climb to the top of a peak. Hike and trek the trails of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. As you relax and reinvigorate your mind from daily stress and work, you can see dolmens, vestiges of the Roman presence, wild horses and birds of prey.
Discover the park at your own pace, from the mountains of Peneda, Soajo and Amarela to Gerês mountain range.
South of Gerês, near Vieira do Minho, the Gerês mountain stands in complete harmony and balance, rising up the Cabreira mountain range. This scenic climb means hiking through granite rocks and exploring streams and shepard shelters. Breathe in the pure air of the birch forest and other noble trees.
Regardless of your preferences, you will need a touch of courage, some skill and the desire to have fun. And don't forget: there are several companies in the area that rent equipment and provide information about safety, routes and locations where you can engage in the sport of your choice.
Stay in Minho as long as you like, enjoy the scenery and all the region's other attributes, such as the culture and the delicious cuisine, including some of the region's most famous dishes such as caldo verde, a green soup made of kale, potato, garlic, onions and oil. Minho also offers fresh fish such as lamprey, sável (alis shad), cod and trout or sarrabulho, a traditional Portuguese meat dish served over corn porridge or rice; or a Clara Penha style leg of pork served with green wine.
Stay the night in one of the region's manor houses and have a unique experience. The old and rustic homes as well as the farms and estates of Minho have been adapted for tourists and provide quality service that goes hand-in-hand with tradition, history and heritage. These places offer lodging for tourists, including rural and agro-tourism, with all the amenities so that you can relax after a long day of adventure. And don't forget, you can always rely on us to help you make these exciting days of adventure a reality: contact us!