Along the coastline north of Porto runs a coastal road linking Vila do Conde to Valença. It takes visitors past beautiful beaches, summer resorts and enchanting villages, such as Caminha and Vila Nova de Cerveira. Inland, lies the huge national park area covering the mountains of Peneda, Soajo and Gerês.
Three towns that set the tone for this charming area of Portugal are Viana do Castelo, lying upon the estuary of the Lima river; Braga, rich in ecclesiastical history; and the medieval town of Guimarães. Mansions and manorial houses in this region are available as venues, offering visitors a rare privileged glimpse of aristocratic Portuguese traditions, combined with the best of modern hospitality.