The emergence of Portugal as a state dates back to the 12th century, when the Portuguese nation was formed in the region of Porto and the North with the advent of the Portuguese.
Porto, a World Heritage City, is considered the start of a journey through this amazing country, a starting point for exploring the natural and cultural diversity of the region. The city is famous not only for its port wine, exported from here to all corners of the world, but also for its heritage, which harmoniously combines the ancient outlines of churches and monuments, such as the Cathedral of Sé or the Church of St. Francis (Igreja de São Francisco), with modern lines of famous buildings: the House of Music or the Museu de Serralves. Porto also became famous for its Architectural School, from which such famous architects as Alvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Soutu de Moura, winners of the Pritzker Prize, came out.
The Douro River flows through the entire region. From Spain, it enters Portugal in a relief that consists of ravines and mountain slopes, and then carries its waters across the entire picturesque landscape, included in the World Heritage List, where vineyards grow, from the grapes of which port and the famous Douro wines are produced. Here the route of the wine delivered to the wine cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia intersects with the routes of the cruise ships that call in the region.
In this area of mountains and natural parks, cultural heritage sites are scattered in the castle, such as in Guimarães, or in temples and churches, where religious processions take place in summer. Here, next to the village chapels, you can see examples of the Baroque architecture of Northern Portugal, created from granite and gilded carvings. In cities that have managed to maintain their authenticity, such as Viana do Castelo, Braga, Lamego, Chaves or Vila Real, or in the family castles and the manor houses you will feel the true spirit of the hospitable Portuguese people who gladly share their table, customs and traditions. In Porto and in the north of Portugal, people live at ease, accepting all earthly blessings with joy and gratitude.