The region hides ideal scenarios for live sports and adventure days. From the practice of kitesurf and observation of horses in the Wind Farm in Viana do Castelo, to golf in Ponte de Lima, through walking in the hills of Serra de Arga in and climbing the hills of Serra da Cabreria, Minho has everything to raise the adrenaline of any traveler.
- Natural landscape
- Gastronomy and Wines
- Water sports
- Adventure sports
In the sea
The North of Portugal, with a bravest sea has in the deep-sea fishing and in surf and bodyboard, its exponents.
The parish of Afife in Viana do Castelo, offers well-known beaches that provide the conditions for the practice of surf and bodyboard. Arda or Mariana, as it is known by locals - is undoubtedly the best known and has been the scene of several tests of these.
Included in the environmental interpretation trail of Praial /Bico, this natural beach holds the Blue Flag award since 1996 and has wind of N /NO and O /SO, blowing at an average speed of 8 miles per hour.
Although with not the same disclosure, kitesurf also starts to have tradition in the north coast.
The beaches of Ofir, Esposende, Cabedelo in Viana do Castelo, and Moledo do Minho are locations that provide conditions for the practice of kitesurf in Minho. They are, therefore, venues of kitesurfers around the north, which, with generous hospitality, not only share the wind with tourists eager for adventure as well as provide help to the visitors when necessary. There are schools that teach the sport at both beaches.
What you need to know
- In the region there are several companies that rent equipment and offer advice on safety, routes and places where you can practice each sport
- In the spring or summer, always bring a bathing suit with you.
- The Portuguese Federation of Mountaineering and the Portuguese School of Mountaineering and Climbing can provide you more information about where to climb safely
- You can visit Peneda-Geres at any time of year
- The golf course of Ponte de Lima is inserted at a hotel where you can stay.
On the river
Minho, Lima, Cávado, Ave and Coura Rivers are in the Minho region where you can hunt and fish, or just down the board in a canoe.
The bravest are challenged to beat fast, whitewater and current practicing rafting.
Challenge the whitewater and the strong river currents or river Minho or river Tâmega - either one or the other, with its green banks, are ideal for the practice of rafting - an inflatable boat and go around the various obstacles to a breakneck speed.
The National Park Peneda-Gerês is an option to practice this activity in which participants progress through the territory by water lines, winning cascades - crystal clear water, in the case of Peneda-Gerês.
Close to Castelo de Paiva, for a distance of 6 km, feel the full force of the current of the river Paiva, the cathedral of whitewater sports in Portugal. A magnificent landscape, herons and kingfishers accompany on the descent.
Go down the river Coura in kayak. We recommend that you do in the summer and in a full moon night. There are local companies that organize this kind of tour, so you will not have other problem rather than being dependent on the mood of the moon. Believe is worth it, because paddling down Coura and finishing already on the river Minho, on the shore of Camarido, is a unique experience.
In rivers, another alternative is to walk by the river Lima in canoe. Formerly called the river of forgetfulness, this course of water flows in the areas of protected landscape of ponds S. Simão and Bertiandos.
You can fish in the rivers Coura, Lima, Ave, Tâmega, Minho and Cávado. Nestes dois últimos, In this last two, take beautiful specimens of catfish and trout. These fish are part of the vast gastronomic culture of Minho.
Dams and reservoirs are ideal locations to within the limits of species and hunting areas, look for the mallard, hen-of-water, coot and trumpeter duck.
Escape the routine, climb a mountain and climb to the top of a mountain. Tread the paths of the Peneda-Gerês and make it walking. While relaxing and rescues your mind from a day-to-day work and stress, you can see dolmens, vestiges of the Roman presence, horses and birds of prey.
You will like
- Gastronomy of Minho. The cuisine of this region is considered one of the best of Portugal.
- To climb to the Castle Lindoso and sighting the valley of river Lima
- Natural waterfalls of Peneda-Gerês
- To rest of much adventure in the spa of Caldas do Gerês
Discover the park at your own pace. On one hand, you have the mountains of Peneda, Soajo and Amarela. On the other hand, the mountain of Geres.
Soajo is the starting point to know the culture, heritage and nature of this beautiful mountain area. The old village retains a set of stone granaries to store grain, a building that can also see the Lindoso, where it is worth climbing the castle overlooking the valley of the river Lima.
A little further north, meet Castro Laboreiro sheepdog, an animal that makes the company the shepherds of the region that keep the pace of the cattle stations.
On the south is the Gerês Mountain. Start from Campo Do Gerês, leave the car at the entrance of Mata da Albergaria and follow the river walking until Portela do Homem. If you look carefully, you can see wild horses as Gerês like a pony or a buck, the symbol of the park.
Who really likes hiking cannot miss the visit to the Pitões das Junias, a village where old customs are kept. The tour is worth, by its waterfalls and small streams that cross the road or for the surprise of the former Monastery of Santa Maria that appear in the middle of the landscape.
South of Gerês, near Vieira do Minho, live the mountain in harmony and climb to Serra da Cabreira. To walk in this scenario means finding granitic streams and shelters of shepherds.. Breathe the fresh air of the forest of birch and trees of great nobility.
More to see
Explore Serra de Arga and walk part of the old ways that Dem pilgrims used to reach the Monastery of S. João d'Arga. Tread the path of the 300 garrano horses that exist in the mountains and of Encosta do Carvalho and note the Mount of Santa Tecla, in Spain.
Do not end this tour without visiting the workshops of traditional costumes which perpetuate the traditional techniques of weaving and confection of the wench costumes of Serra de Arga, whose traditional colors are black, red and blue.
What to do
- Go to the festival of S. João de Arga. The festival takes place from 28th to 29th of August and it takes every year, thousands of people to Serra de Arga.
- Watch concerts in Paredes de Coura Festival, 13-17 August (http://www.paredesdecoura.com)
In Ponte de Lima, scroll through the various paths of the protected landscape of the Bertiandos Lagoons, S. Pedro de Arcos and play golf.
Both lakes offer a mosaic of habitats, from wetlands to not humid forest clumps of natural vegetation, pastures and agricultural areas, irrigated by natural canals crossed by the river Estorãos.
With an appreciable landscape diversity and originality, are home to several species of fauna and record up to 80 plant species considered rare or endangered site.
The golf course of Ponte de Lima has more than 6,000 meters, making it a challenging territory for professional and enjoyable for amateurs. Opened in 1995, it is located in Fornelos and it is currently composed of two loops of nine holes.
Whatever your preference, you'll need a bit of courage, skill and a great desire to have fun. And do not forget: in the region, there are several companies that rent equipment and offer advice on safety, routes and places where you can practice the sport you love.
Stay as long as you want in Minho, enjoy the scenery and all the other attributes of the region, such as culture and gastronomy, where the caldo verde a soup made of sliced cabbage, potatoes, garlic, onion and olive oil , the lamprey, the shad, the codfish, the trout Minho style with ham, the sarrabulho, , fried kid, Leg of pork Clara Penha style e Vinho Verde from the region have a place of highlight.
The old houses and cottages, farms and estates of Minho are adapted for tourism offers a quality service, which goes hand in hand with tradition, history and heritage. Are units of rural tourism, rural and agri-tourism with all the amenities for you to rest of so much adventure.
How to get there
To Porto, there are low cost flights, for example, London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly and Charles de Gaulle Vatry), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat , Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca.
In the summer, there are companies low cost flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.
With normal rates, there are flight connections from London - Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris - Orly.
From International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro, the best way to reach the city center of Porto is by metro. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
To Viana do Castelo, which is 60 km from Porto Airport, take the A28/IC1 or EN13.To Caminha and Serra de Arga, continue to A28/IC1. To Ponte de Lima, arriving in Viana do Castelo, take the A27. To Gerês, take the A3 to Braga and then take the main roads.