What to do

Outdoor activities in Porto and northern Portugal

Tabogã CC BY-NC-ND

If you are a fan of outdoor activities, you can’t miss exploring the best that Porto and northern Portugal have to offer. Here we present some options, whether you prefer walking, exploring archaeological sites, practicing sports, or simply relaxing. Here you will find all of this.

At the beach and in the sea

The coastal region has outstanding beaches, such as Moledo and Afifie, gastronomy centred on fish-based dishes, fishing communities with genuine locals such as Vila do Conde, markets and fish markets, beach houses and lively summers.

There is so much to do, from a simple walk along the beach to adrenaline inducing sports. In northern Portugal there are beaches for all tastes, despite the water being colder than in the rest of the country. Due to the unique characteristics of the beaches of northern Portugal, most of which have large waves, there are many places to practice all types of water sports. Northern Portugal is known for its choppier seas; you can go deep-sea fishing, practice surfing or bodyboarding, the greatest exponent of the seas.

Archaeology and Geotourism

In Vila Nova de Foz Côa you can discover the mysteries of Stone Age art, in an open-air art gallery where our ancestors tell you about how they lived; it is considered the largest complex of Stone Age rock art in the world. Classified as a World Heritage Site, the rock faces are an art gallery of works decorated with paintings and engravings like you have never seen before. There are 17 kilometres of open-air art gallery which will show you the creative genius of our ancestors, from the Late Stone Age to the Iron Age.

There are guided visits available in all terrain vehicles that take you to the engravings. Only three parts of the complex are open for visitors, but the experience is unique nonetheless. You can visit the following areas: Canada do Inferno, Ribeira de Piscos and Penascosa. In the last of these, you can also visit at night. You can check the park’s website for the latest prices and other details.

Geotourism in Portugal is a unique offering that has ever more followers. In the north, you can’t miss a visit to Arouca Geopark which, in 2010, received an official award of recognition upon being admitted to the Global Network of National Geoparks, sponsored by UNESCO. Here there are more than 30 points of geological and/or mining interest mapped along the Route of Mines and Points of Mining and Geological Interest of Portugal.

Walking trails are just one of the options in Arouca, an area where everything is happening. You can also go mountaineering and hiking and, for the more daring of you, there are tourism companies that organise more radical activities.

For Golf lovers

Plan an unforgettable holiday and put your skills to the test in northern Portugal. The proximity of the sea and the environmental quality that the country preserves attract the most discerning golfers, who enjoy different courses and levels of difficulty, whilst the pleasant climate allows games to be played for days on end throughout the year. In northern Portugal, there are golf courses in Vidago, Amarante, Ponte de Lima, Esposende, Espinho, Póvoa do Varzim and Vila Nova de Gaia.

In Porto and northern Portugal you will find all of this and more. Discover the best places to stay and don’t miss out on trying the best flavours of the north of the country. Contact us for an itinerary that includes all of these attractions, to enjoy the holiday of your dreams in northern Portugal.

 

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