Discover one of Portugal’s most historic regions on a full-day tour of Guimaraes and Braga from Porto. Founded in 16 BC by the Romans, Braga is one of Portugal’s oldest cities and is steeped in history. Over the course of the day visit ancient monuments like Guimaraes Castle, the Braga Cathedral, and the Dukes of Braganza Palace, and much more to learn about the history of the Braga district.
Explore the historic cities of Guimaraes and Braga
Learn about the region’s rich history from your guide
Visit the Guimaraes Castle, Bom Jesus do Monte, and more
The Castle of Guimarães (Portuguese: Castelo de Guimarães), is the principal medieval castle in the municipality Guimarães, in the northern region of Portugal. It was built under the orders of Mumadona Dias in the 10th century to defend the monastery from attacks by Moors and Norsemen.
The castle is a military fortification grounded primarily in the late Romanesque period, and elaborated during the early Gothic epoch of Portuguese architecture. Its area is delineated by walls forming a pentagram, similar to a shield, that includes eight rectangular towers, military square and central keep. Originating in the foundations of a Roman structure, from the writings of Alfredo Guimarães, it was later elaborated on the French model, in its current the form of a shield, with reduced central yard and difficult accesses. It includes several Gothic characteristics, owing to its remodelling at the end of the 13th century, when the keep and residences were constructed (possibly over pre-existing structures).
The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza (Portuguese: Paço dos Duques de Bragança) is a medieval estate and former residence of the first Dukes of Braganza, located in the historical centre of Guimarães (Oliveira do Castelo), in the north-western part of Portugal.
It was initiated between 1420 and 1422 by Afonso, Count of Barcelos, the illegitimate son of John I of Portugal (and future Duke of Bragança), after his marriage to his second wife. His prodigeny would occupy the space until the Dukes of Braganza moved to Vila Viçosa, abandoning the palace. The 16th Century marked the beginning of period of ruin, which was aggravated during the 19th century, when the local population used the palace as a personal quarry. During the Estado Novo regime, a controversial restoration restored the Palace, while implying a grandeur that may not have existed. The Palace of the Dukes was classified as a National Monument (Portuguese: Monumento Nacional) in 1910, and has been an official residence for the Presidency.
Historic Centre of Guimarães is an urban space of the city of Guimarães, in Portugal, tracing back to medieval age covering an area of 16 hectares and retaining many buildings from the medieval age until 19th century. Since 2001, it is declared as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
Guimarães is closely linked to the formation of national identity and of Portuguese language in 12th century. It is the native city of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, who in 1139, declared independence of the country.
The Cathedral of Braga (Portuguese: Sé de Braga) is a Roman Catholic church in the northern city of Braga, Portugal. Due to its long history and artistic significance, it is also one of the most important buildings in the country. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Braga and of the Primate Archbishop of Portugal.
The Cathedral has been classified as National Monument since 1910.
Bom Jesus do Monte is a Portuguese sanctuary in Tenões, outside the city of Braga, in northern Portugal. Its name means Good Jesus of the Mount.
The Sanctuary is a notable example of pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 meters (381 feet). It is an important tourist attraction of Braga.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Sameiro is one of the places most visited Marian cult in Portugal, attracting many devotees every year during pilgrimages from 1st Sunday of June and the last Sunday of August.
Its construction was initiated in XIX century, by Father Martinho da Silva, in neoclassical style. Artistically not have much interest except the silver tabernacle that we can see on the main altar and the image of the patron saint, held in Rome by the sculptor Eugénio Maccagnani and brought to the sanctuary in 1880.
But his visit is justified by the fact that we have here one of the most spacious panoramic Region, as the Shrine of Our Lady of Sameiro is 566 meters.