In Country Kids/ Minho/ North/ Portugal

Visit Minho Portugal : Get Lost in the North

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The Minho region of Portugal is vastly underdeveloped tourism-wise, allowing those who do visit to experience its stunning verdant scenery, authentic  culture, lush countryside, pristine beaches and generous portions of delicious food. There is also something quite special about the people (Minhotos), who are some of the friendliest I have ever met.

We are very lucky to have been invited by one of my grandmother’s best friends to spend a long weekend at her beautiful country house in Arcos de Valdevez, in the Minho region of Portugal. I had come here once, a long, long time ago when I was 9  and still remembered it as if it was yesterday.

After a fairly easy 4 hour drive north from Lisbon, we arrived in the town of Arcos where you immediately get an enormous sense of Minho’s beauty; the river Lima tagging along with you for the ride, both sides of the riverbank lined with tall trees and a beautiful promenade.

The house sits in the most idyllic spot you can imagine, overlooking a vineyard and as you delve further down the hill, you find a small wood, where you can meet the odd wild horse, before you reach the gorgeous river bank. It’s perfect, and it brought so many memories back – I felt like I was 9 again, running down the hills towards the glistening river, the dogs running along us and jumping on the made-up tree swing… I really hope the house has instilled similar memories onto Charlie.

As we were only here for the weekend, we spent the majority of the time exploring trails nearby, swimming in the river and sipping on green wine, the refreshing local drink of choice. We also visited the beautiful nearby town of Ponte de Lima and the protected Bertiandos Lagoons – but that’s a whole other post!

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It’s incredible just how little tourism this part of the world sees, considering its sheer beauty, friendliness and affordability! I hope this post inspires you to visit Minho in Portugal with your family – I couldn’t recommend it more!

WHERE TO STAY IN ARCOS DE VALDEVEZ

Last time we came here, we stayed at a fantastic rural hotel called Quinta do Olival which was well over our expectations.

HOW TO GET THERE

BY CAR: Arcos is roughly 40 minutes’ drive to Porto, or 4 hours to Lisbon.

BY AIR: Arcos is about 30 minutes from Porto airport or one hour from Vigo (Spain).

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  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    It looks totally unspoilt and beautiful here, no wonder you love it so much. I have only been to Portugal once on a work conference to a tourist area, this looks so much nicer. I should think a weekend is hardly enough but what a lovely offer from your Grandmother’s friend. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

    • one tiny leap

      Thanks Fiona – it’s a real gem of a place with so much potential. I really hope it manages to stay off tourism developers’ radar! x

  • Em

    Oh my – this looks like paradise! No kids to haul around on this end, but I would be all over that green wine 😉

    • one tiny leap

      It really is, the food is delicious too, and the portions very (but very) generous!

  • Mummyconstant

    Beautiful photos. I love the dogs and horse 😉 Gorgeous x

    • one tiny leap

      Thanks Sonia, the wild horses were the most wonderful surprise! x

  • What a gorgeous area! Once in awhile you just need to get away and escape. This looks like the perfect place to just get back with nature.

    • one tiny leap

      I feel that too often…I’m very quickly realising I’m not the city girl I thought I was 😉

  • This place does look fantastic and I didn’t realize it’s possible to still see wild horses nowadays, I’ll go just for that reason alone! We don’t have a car, do you think we could reach Minho with public transport?

    • one tiny leap

      Definitely – you can just catch a train to Braga (Minho’s biggest city) and then take a smaller train/bus to your destination. If you’re going from Lisbon then you can catch the alfa train to Porto & connect to Braga from there (after spending a good weekend in the city as it’s worth your time :)). I don’t think it’s easy to explore Geres without a car, unless you join an organised tour, or hike it out. It’s a really beautiful region, with so many unspoilt villages and gorgeous food – we’ve really fallen for it 🙂