Visiting the Costa Verde and Minho region of Northern Portugal is like taking a step back in time. Black-clad women herd goats along country lanes, and farmers in horse-drawn carts ride through the cobbled market square. Vintage Travel is the leading UK villa operator to Northern Portugal. All our villas have swimming pools and are within easy reach of uncrowded, dune-backed beaches.
Many of our larger quintas boast thick stone walls, vaulted ceilings and traditional wooden furnishings. We also offer country cottages beautifully maintained by local owners.
Many of our houses in Costa Verde and Minho are equally accessible from Porto or from the airports of A Coruña
and Santiago de Compostela, widening the choice of flight possibilities.
Nowadays, the variety and choice of flights from UK airports to European destinations is considerable.
We do not tie you in to a package holiday with prearranged travel; you are free to choose flights from your closest airport using any charter,
scheduled or low cost airline.
We always recommend booking your flights and hire car as soon as you have decided on your holiday accommodation.
You will find that fares are usually lower and the choice of flight times is wider.
Airport parking and hotels
Up to 60% discount with Vintage Travel and 'Holiday Extras'
At many UK airports you can pre-book Valet Parking or Meet and Greet service, either driving straight to the airport terminal where you hand the car over to
a representative, or to the secure parking area from where you will be taken in a shuttle vehicle to your departure terminal.
If your flight departure is an early one,
why not stay the night before at an airport hotel? Or View Parking at UK Airports.
Hotels with parking are often cheaper than parking alone and prices usually include transfers to and from the airport terminal.
Many hotels offer free child places, special meal offers and use of leisure facilities, so your holiday gets off to a stress-free start.
You may find that the Airport Car Hire service suits your needs; pick up a hire car,
up to 24 hours before your flight, drive to the airport and either walk or be transferred to the terminal.
On return you have up to 24 hours to return the car, and you can even fly out of one airport and into another at no extra cost.
Another option is to
book into an Airport Lounge
, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal and relax for up to 3 hours before your flight.
Please note that the above services are offered in partnership with 'Holiday Extras' and are available at most UK airports.
Details will show in a new browser window. Discounts can be up to 60% for Vintage Travel customers when booked online.
We are happy to research flights on your behalf and where we book flights for you there will be a booking fee of £30 per person.
Getting to Costa Verde and Minho by Sea Crossing/Ferry
Just as you have taken great care with the selection of your holiday property and destination,
we believe that the choice of travel arrangements is equally individual:
Some may opt for a short hop across the Channel, perhaps taking a few days leisurely drive through France; others may prefer the relaxation of a longer crossing,
spending one or two nights at sea.
Vintage Travel does not tie you in to pre-arranged travel packages, so you are free to choose from any of the operators on these pages.
Whether your choice is for the shortest route by ferry or one of the new high speed craft, or by the longer 'mini-cruise' sailings to Spain,
our staff will be happy to guide you through the options and help compare prices for your journey.
Click here for a table of approximate
mileages from the ferry ports to towns near to our properties.
The information is based on the route planning facility on www.viamichelin.co.uk,
using the mileages given as 'Recommended by Michelin'.
Crossings to Spain
Brittany Ferries operates luxurious cruise ferries to Spain with a choice of routes from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander and Bilbao.
The Cap Finistère and sister ship Pont-Aven offer comfortable cabins, stylish lounges and plenty of onboard entertainment including cinemas,
swimming pool and a choice of quality restaurants.
Air conditioned cabins, two-berth, four-berth with own facilities, the choice varies from ship to ship.
On certain routes there are also luxury Commodore Class and De Luxe cabins - these are very popular so book early.
Portsmouth - Bilbao
DEP Fri 1700 hrs
ARR Sat 1800 hrs
DEP Sun 2315 hrs
ARR Tue 0730 hrs
DEP Tue 1030 hrs
ARR Wed 0930 hrs
DEP Sat 2045 hrs
ARR Sat 2045 hrs
Portsmouth - Santander
DEP Wed 1200 hrs
ARR Thu 1300 hrs
DEP Tue 1700 hrs
ARR Wed 1800 hrs
DEP Thu 1530 hrs
ARR Fri 1430 hrs
DEP Mon 1500 hrs
ARR Tue 1400 hrs
Plymouth - Santander
DEP Sun 1530 hrs
ARR Mon 1200 hrs
DEP Wed 2100 hrs
ARR Thu 1600 hrs
Crossings to France
Sailing from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth, directly to the western Channel ports of Caen and Cherbourg, St Malo and Roscoff, as well as Cork to Roscoff,
Brittany Ferries offers a great choice for travellers to make the journey part of the holiday.
Passengers on this route have a choice with up to 4 daily crossings, on either the Fastcraft taking just under 4 hours, or a classic cruise ferry with both
daytime and overnight crossings. From Caen, there are excellent road links to the Autoroutes to the south and west.
The longest Channel crossing, sailing direct into Brittany and giving the shortest driving distance to the south-west.
Average sailing duration is 8¼ hours, with daily crossings (overnight from Portsmouth / daytime return from St Malo).
Portsmouth and Poole-Cherbourg
Brittany Ferries shortest crossings, with a journey time of 2-3 hours on one of the high speed services, or a more leisurely crossing by cruise ferry.
Brittany Ferries only route to France from Plymouth brings you direct to Brittany in a 6-8 hour journey,
with a choice of daytime and overnight crossings.
Cork-Roscoff Flagship cruise ferry Pont-Aven sails overnight from Cork once a week (Saturday), returning from Roscoff on Friday overnight.
Flagship cruise ferry Pont-Aven sails overnight from Cork once a week (Saturday), returning from Roscoff on Friday overnight.
Train travel to Costa Verde and Minho
Whilst all of our destinations are easily reached by flights from the UK, a growing number of travellers are considering the alternative of train travel.
Compared against flights, the train has many advantages:
30 minute check in for Eurostar's London departures
Transfer to high speed train in Paris is straightforward
Depart from and arrive in a city centre (not an airport miles away)
Comfortable, spacious train carriages that you can move around in, or couchettes when you travel overnight
Unrestricted luggage allowances (but remember you have to carry it!) and no risk of your suitcase ending up somewhere else without you
Choice of first or second class
Fares generally compare well with flight costs
Children under 4 years of age go free
On-board café / bar for snacks and drinks
Enjoy the passing scenery as you travel (or sleep your way through France overnight in a comfortable couchette compartment)
Reduced carbon footprint
Like airline tickets, the best prices are to be had as soon as they go on sale, usually 90 days before the date of travel.
There may be several different combinations of route (for example, via Paris or via Madrid) and it can be worthwhile comparing fares for both the
combined route and for each sector separately.
Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais
Eurotunnel's fast, smooth and frequent service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
With up to three departures an hour at peak times from Folkestone and a crossing time of just 35 minutes platform to platform (45 minutes at night),
it's the quickest way to cross the Channel.
Folkestone is easily accessed from the M20 at Junction 11a and on arrival in France, drive straight onto the A16 Autoroute with connections to all parts of Europe.
Boarding is straightforward - just follow directions and drive on then you can relax in your vehicle or stretch your legs.
Eurotunnel's Standard Fare gives the best value when booking well in advance, or for travel at less busy times.
Whilst only valid for the booked departure time you can, at no extra charge, transfer to a space on the next available shuttle if you arrive at check-in
within 2 hours of your booked departure time.
Standard fare is non refundable and amendments are subject to conditions and charges. Alternatively, upgrade to FlexiPlus, the premium travel service,
where you can enjoy priority check-in and boarding, pick up a complimentary light meal and use the FlexiPlus Lounge.
With this fare, you can alter your departure date or time, without charge, if your travel plans change.
FlexiPlus fare is fully refundable and amendments are free of charge, subject to availability.
Standard and FlexiPlus fares can be combined to make a return booking.
If you wish to travel by train, Vintage Travel recommends the following websites:
www.seat61.com - is a good general guide to routes, train times, how to get the best fares