Your private day trip to Guimarães and Braga kicks off from your Porto hotel. Meet your guide, step into your air-conditioned minivan and begin a 45-minute trip listening to medieval lure of Guimarães. Arrive in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Guimarães Old Town and learn how the city was recognized in 2012 as the European Capital of Culture. Enjoy the thriving modern art and culture scene as you wind through a maze of slender corridors and small squares.
Continue to the medieval Guimarães Castle where the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, was born. After admiring the 10th century towers, climb the hill to visit the stately Palace of the Dukes of Braganza (own expense). Inside, see an array of antique tapestries and regal armor creating an atmosphere where dukes once resided.
Stop for lunch (own expense) at a place recommended by your guide. Then, venture to northern Portugal’s historical Christian city, Braga. Enjoy this youthful city home to illustrious Christian architecture and an abundance of religious images.
Stroll to the 12th-century Cathedral of Braga, one of the city’s most important monuments as it’s the seat of the Archbishop. Observe the artistic Romanesque, Manueline and Gothic architecture which has been amended for centuries by famous architects. Finally, enjoy an excursion up a sophisticated Baroque stairway to the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary. At the top see fantastic garden views and learn about this pilgrimage site.
As the late afternoon approaches, hop back into your minivan and journey to your Porto hotel where your tour ends.