Day 1: Porto
Start in Portugal’s second city, capital of the north. Wander the waterside Ribeiro district. Marvel at Baroque architecture and gilded churches. Jump on a tram, or
hire a bike and pedal, to river mouth Foz do Douro suburb.
Walk across the top of double-decker Dom Luís I Bridge to the twin city of Vila Nova de Gaia, home of the port wine lodges and the new World of Wine district.
Day 2: Historic core
From Porto, travel north first to Guimarães, cradle of the nation and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle and Paço dos Duques palace are twin gems, crowning a hill like a theatre backdrop to the tightly-packed medieval centre.
Day 3: Heaven’s above
Braga, ecclesiastical capital of the country where every other building seems to be a Baroque church. Except that Braga is also a university town fizzing with the youthful vim of student life.
Days 4-5: Coast & hinterland
World class views unfurl from hilltop Basilica de Santa Luzia above the port of Viana do Castelo. Beyond Viana, swathes of wind-harassed sand unfurl, backed by dunes. Caminha, facing Spain at the mouth of the Minho, is defended by defiant stone walls.
Head on into the wilds of Peneda-Gerês NP. Discover the mountainous region of port wine-growing fame in and around Pinhão. If you still have a head for high culture, drive on along the river to Lamego and its collection of paintings by Portuguese master Grão Vascoin the regional museum. Stop at Amarante for the photogenic São Gonzalo bridge, and to eat egg-sweets of the same name.