The starting place of the Portuguese Empire and home to the first Portuguese capital, Minho has an important place in Portuguese history. According to Conde Nast Traveller, Minho province is Portugal’s best kept secret! Located on the northern part between Douro River and Minho River, this beautiful lush green area is worth the visit whilst discovering Portugal. Dom Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, who was born here, built a fairy-tale castle with a central keep reached by a high bridge. Braga, Portugal’s third-largest city which was the country’s religious capital since the Roman times, is an elegant town with beautiful pedestrianised narrow lanes and array of historical buildings from different ages and baroque churches.
Continuing from Braga to the northern border, facing the Atlantic lies the beautiful town of Viana do Castelo provided ships and seafarers for the Discoveries. While Italy was reshaping its cities with Magnificent Renaissance, Portugal was creating a unique trend with its Moorish background, the Manueline style, influenced by the life at sea and discoveries. The opulent houses in this style with the influence of Renaissance and Baroque, was built with the wealth of trade from the colonies and cam be seen in most town centres across the region. Ponte de Lima is one of those with an exquisitely preserved medieval village of whitewashed houses decorated with Manueline ropework and lies by the river spanned by an old Roman bridge. Here in Ponte De Lima the Portugal's oldest market, dating back to 1125, still takes place every other Monday on the sandy left bank and would be worth your visit.