‘Beiras’ is the traditional name of a region running south of Douro river and north of Tagus river. The region is one of deep contrasts: the Atlantic coastline, where a temperate climate, white sandy beaches and the Atlantic pine forests are typical, and the interior where more forbidding mountains and rocks set the tone.
In the heart of this hinterland rises the Serra da Estrela (Estrela Mountain Range), the highest in continental Portugal. This is where the Mondego river rises, later running down through the city of Coimbra. Here, the river that over the centuries has had so many odes composed to it by generations of university students, flows out into the Atlantic ocean by the lengthy Figueira da Foz beach.
The Douro river is the longest in northern Portugal. It winds its sinuous way past mountains and cliffs until it reaches the Atlantic near the city of Porto. Many dams have been built to make the river navigable, which for the visitor means that plenty of pleasure and cruise boats depart from Porto to the Douro region. Between Mesao Frio and Pinhao lies the stretch where the valley sides are lined with terraced vineyards that produce the grapes for the famous Port wine.
Porto is without doubt the main city in northern Portugal. It has an international airport and all the charms of a riverside community. It also keeps alive traditional values while pushing ahead with a dynamic, innovative spirit in its commercial and industrial life. Along the coastline north of Porto runs a coastal road linking Vila do Conde to Valença. It takes visitors past beautiful beaches, summer resorts and enchanting villages. Two towns that set the tone for this charming area of Portugal are, lying upon the estuary of the Lima river; Braga, rich in ecclesiastical history; and the medieval Guimaraes.
If you want to visit another city or region not listed, please contact us. We will be happy to provide you a personal tour.
Beiras – Portugal Center Region Tours: