Have afternoon tea in Santo Tirso
in the smart tea room that looks out across the town's park and offers an appealing selection of numerous different types of tea.
Mingle with the locals on market day
Head down into Santo Tirso early on a Monday and wander through the colourful market stalls that fill the centre of the town.
Go for a stroll
through the acres of woodland that lie within the grounds of the property.
For the competitive amongst you...
Play cards, billiards, table football and table tennis, all of which are provided at the house.
Visit the birthplace of the first king of Portugal
With its impressive medieval monuments, a charming labyrinth of narrow streets and general sense of grandeur, it is not hard to imagine that the attractive town of Guimaraes was once home to royalty. Situated a short drive east of the house, it is well worth a trip.
Have dinner cooked for you at home one evening. The housekeeper is happy to arrange this service for you (payable locally).
Pop into Porto and visit the beautiful, historic Majestic Café, in Rua de Santa Caterina, one of the best and busiest shopping streets in the city. Decorated in neo-baroque style, with lots of shimmering glass, it is well worth a visit and is open from breakfast throughout the day.
Explore the steep higgledy piggledy tiny streets of the Barredo quarter
in Porto that tumble down from the cathedral to the quayside of the River Douro.
Cross Porto's two level iron bridge
which was designed by Monsieur Gustav Eiffel then watch the world go by while taking an aperitif in a pavement café in the charming riverside area close to Cais da Ribeira.
Whilst in Porto, take a tour on the open top bus
for a fabulous view of all the best landmarks and an overview for orientation of the city. A chance to rest your feet after a hard morning of sight-seeing! Take your swimming costumes and get off the bus by the sandy beach on the edge of the city before it returns to the centre.
Sample the local port wine
in the port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, just the other side of the Douro river from Porto. There are numerous lodges here, including Taylors, Sandeman's and Grahams and most of them offer tastings and tours.
Visit historic Braga
.....The city that will get to heaven first. The cathedral is the seat of the Primate of all Portugal and his magnificent palace is at the heart of the town.
Walk in the footsteps of the pilgrims
up the steps of Bom Jesus do Monte, 3kms east of Braga. Set in the woods high above the city, this glorious ornamental stairway of granite is a monumental homage and is the object of devoted pilgrimage, where pentitents climb up the steps on their knees.
Relax in the pretty gardens that surround Bom Jesus.
Behind the church you will find wooded grounds, grottoes and miniature boating pools, which make this a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon or early evening.
Spend a day lazing on the beach
on the long white sands of Ofir, said to be the best beach between Porto and Viana do Castelo. Forests of pine trees form the backdrop to the spectacular dune backed beach.
Have a drink on the terrace of a beachfront cafe in Esposende
a chaming seaside town, popular with the Portuguese and blessed with a lovely dune-backed beach of fine white sand.
Head a little further up the coast and hire surfboards
at the beach of Afife, a favourite haunt for keen surfers.
Shop for ceramics
in the colourful Thursday market that is held in Barcelos. This is the largest market in Portugal, and is held every Thursday. The town is the birthplace of the 'Galo de Barcelos', the small cockeral, which is widely represented in traditional ceramic throughout the country and will no doubt be found on one of the stalls.
Have you visited Quinta de Sao Simao?
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