7 dazzling places to discover in the North of Portugal

The North of Portugal is rich in natural destinations where magical and dazzling places abound that captivate us and make us want to return whenever possible. They can be quase secret waterfalls, refreshing lakes in the summer or rivers of pure and crystalline water. There is a little bit to know in this region that it is the berço of the nation.

But it is not just the landscape that impresses. Some of its two monuments, small or grandiose, blend perfectly into the nature that surrounds you, creating a magical and captivating atmosphere. One example is the medieval bridges or the small water fountains that are found along the banks of two rivers.

A trip to the North of Portugal is not complete if it is limited to the big cities or the most famous tourist attractions. For that reason, venture into the most unknown and dazzling side of this region and discover all or its potential.

1. Ponte da Misarela

Ponte da Misarela

Also called Ponte do Diabo, this bridge is located on the Rabagão River, about 1 kilometer from its mouth, on the Cávado River, in the Ruivães parish, Vieira do Minho municipality. A link to the parishes of Ruivães à de Ferral, já in the municipality of Montalegre.

A Ponte da Misarela It is found implanted at the bottom of a steep gorge, sits on the penedos, and has some altitude in relation to the riverbed, being supported by a single arch with about 13 meters of rail. The Ponte da Misarela was erected in the Idade Média and rebuilt in the beginning of the XIX century.

2. Bestanza River

Bestanza River
Bestanza River

O Bestança rises at an altitude of 1,229 m, in the heart of the Serra de Montemuro, and has a dimension of 13.5 km. It drains into Porto Antigo, on the left side of one of the largest lagoons in Douro, located between Oliveira do Douro and Cinfães. Their name is called “beasts”, alluding to the fact that they run naturally in areas of wild fauna and flora.

This is two rivers with the best environmental quality in Portugal. Once the entire river course is well preserved and with a sustainable ecosystem, the Bestança River was integrated into the Natura 2000 Network and was classified as Corine Biotope, thus assuming a national and international ecological importance of great value.

3. Sanctuary of Santa Luzia

Northern Portugal
Viana do Castelo

This is one of the main attractions of Viana do Castelo, located at an altitude of 228 meters, on Mount Santa Luzia. The construction of the temple, dedicated to Santa Luzia and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, began in 1904 and ended in 1959, being the project authored by the architect Miguel Ventura Terra.

The sanctuary has Romanesque-Byzantine inspiration, and its roses are the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and the second largest in Europe. To get here, you can use either your car, or the funicular, or go up the escalator. No mole, you will have an incredible view over the Vale do Lima and part of the maritime border, just like the verdant mountains.

4. Lady of Salto

Lady of the Jump
Senhora do Salto (moody.antonio)

It belongs to Rota do Românico and refers to the course of the Sousa river, second by two peaks and forming a narrow road known as hell. We talk to the park Lady of the Jumpideal place to spend a day with the family very pleasant.

In addition, there are two geological and scenic attractions, the park is also a place of choice for those who enjoy mountain sports, and for those who love a beautiful landscape.

5. Branda da Aveleira

secret villages in Portugal
Branda da Aveleira

It finds the gates of the Peneda-Gerês National Park and perfectly demonstrates that the resilience of people has no limits. It was used for centuries as a temporary residence for shepherds, who came here for centuries, and was about to disappear in the past century. No entanto, he managed to reborn the cinzas and awaits now for your visit.

A Branda da Aveleira Today there is a group of houses destined for rural tourism, which are carefully recovered and maintain the original layout, conserving the essence of the village and providing at the same time the comforts that are required in our days.

6. Peneda Sanctuary

Waterfall and Sanctuary of Peneda Gerês
Waterfall and Sanctuary of Peneda (António Cunha)

Built at the end of the 18th century, judging by data inscribed on the existing column at the top of the access ladder, it is proven that in this place there was a small hermitage built to commemorate the appearance of Senhora da Peneda, whose cult grew and was the reason for construction of the sanctuary.

Um two great reasons to visit or Peneda SanctuaryIn addition to religious devotion, it is to be able to observe its imposing waterfall. If you want to observe it in its fullness, it is advisable to visit this place a few days after falling quite rainy.

7. Pincho Waterfall

northern portugal
Pincho Waterfall

It is located a little more than twenty kilometers from Viana do Castelo, more precisely in Serra d’Arga, which constitutes one of the most emblematic areas of Alto Minho, not only for its immensity of green landscapes, but also for its natural values ​​and cultural heritage. At the highest points, it is possible to come across some natural areas with a rare beauty and an enormous diversity of flora.

Besides its privileged location, Pincho Waterfall It is the most exuberant among all the water falls of the Âncora river, due to its crystalline waters and some of the most beautiful in the North of Portugal.