Take the little funicular railway to the to the pilgrim church of Bom Jesus do Monte
5 km east of Braga. The stairway leading up to it is impressive and still regularly used by penitents who climb up on their knees. From the top there are fantastic views of the Penedes Geres park in one direction and over Braga and the coast in the other. Take a picnic, or wander through the woods and delightful gardens which surround the site.
One of the largest Adventure Parks in Europe is very close to Casa do Lagar. There's mountain biking, painball, floating bridges, target shooting, water activities, paragliding and much much more. Fun for children and great excercise for adults too!
Citania de Briteiros
One of the most impressive archeological sites in the country lies between Braga and Guimaraes, at Briteiros. It consists of more than 150 foundations for huts, two of which have been rebuilt in the style of the Celtic settlers. There is a network of paved streets, two rows of town walls, a bathhouse and even a public fountain all of which can be easily identified. Built on a hilltop, the site has great views over the surrounding area.
Make sure you visit the Thursday market in Barcelos, one of the largest in Europe. There are stalls which sell everything, food, ducks and rabbits, clothes, pottery and handicrafts. You will not come away without bagging a bargain!
Visit the charming fortress town of Valenca
on the border. Drive through the ancient archway that leads the way through the impressive town walls to discover cobbled streets and a delightful range of local shops selling the beautifully embroidered linen and towels for which the town is famous.
Head to the coast for the day
and discover the beautifully unspoilt beaches that stretch north and south of Viana do Castelo.
Visit Guimaraes, 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 south-west of the house, it is well worth a trip.
National Park of Peneda-Geres
There are dozens of hiking opportunities in this magnificent park - everything from short strolls to long treks. You will be surrounded by fresh air, and a wide diversity of landscape and wildlife. Entry is free and lots of information on activities and maps are available from the visitors centres and main park office in Braga.
Pop into Porto
Visit Porto and call into 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.
The World Heritage city of Porto.
Also in Porto visit the Planetarium to plot some of those stars you have been watching. Walk down the steep higgledy-piggledy, tiny streets that tumble down to the river Douro. Cross the iron bridge built by Monsieur Eiffel. Visit the port caves to try that famous drink. Then rest your feet and take the Open Top Tour bus for a fabulous view of all the best landmarks
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.
Spend a day in Ponte de Lima, one of Portugal's oldest towns
Spreading lazily along the tree-line banks of the river Lima, this is a beautiful town, with fine buildings and pretty cobbled squares. Visit on a Monday morning and you may be fortunate enough to witness the local market, which is held on the sandy river beach every other week.
Go to the opera
in July, when the Ponte de Lima Summer Festival of Opera and Classical Music is held, something that is fast becoming one of Europe's top cultural events. Performances take place in several venues including historic manor houses, local churches and the Teatro Diogo Bernardes, a 19th century theatre in Ponte de Lima.
Water sports in the Canicada reservoir
Try your hand at windsurfing or water skiing a just take a stroll around this picturesque reservoir. Head for Rio Caldo, the best base for the reservoir just 30 minutes drive from Casa do Lagar
For fantastic views over the historic port of Viana do Castelo
take the funicular to the church of Santa Luzia. If you do not suffer from vertigo, climb the dome and look out from the very very top.
Witness a miracle!
The little town of Moure just south west of Braga has witnessed two miracles. Every May 18th since 1996, the shadow of the top half of Christ appears in the church. On another occasion the head of Christ wearing thorns appeared on a communion wafer. It may be a trick of the light, but the church has become a minor pilgrimage centre ever since.
Some of the best fishing rivers are in the Norlth of Portugal. With the River Cavado close by to the north and the River just to the south you're to have a catch! Licences are available from local Town Halls.
Visit the Artesan Centre in Barcelos if only to see the outstanding collection of witty and sophisticated ceramics produced by the descendents of Rosa Ramalho, the 'grandmother' of Portuguese ceramics. And of course you may be tempted to take home one of the famous Barcelos cockerels!
Bike around Braga
There's plenty to see and do in the beautiful old city of Braga, Portugal's 3rd largest city after Lisbon and Porto. A good way to get around is to hire a bike - visit 'Go by Bike' in Rua de Sao Marcos, near the central plaza. Or if you prefer take one of the Yellow Bus Tours around the town to see the best sights.
Take a wine tour
Pay a visit to one of the wine Quintas in the area and see how the local Vinho Verde is made. Of course, you can try some samples too..
Museu dos Biscainhos in Braga
For an interesting glimpse of how Portuguese nobles lived in the 17th and 18th centuries, visit this museum in the Palace of Biscainhos. You can look around the chapel, stables bedrooms and kitchen and then explore the lovely gardens.
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