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A one-week North Portugal road trip highlight at its best


220 km



Recom. Days


Trip type

Cora Harrison

Freelance writer for Indie Campers, currently trying to find herself in Indonesia but without much luck. Enjoys exploring weird and wonderful world cuisine — the less identifiable, the better.

North Portugal Road Trip Itinerary

North of Portugal road trip map itinerary

Google Maps

What makes this North Portugal road trip truly brilliant? I think it goes something like this. Start off with a city full of energy, character, and unique urban charm. Then throw in some history, some majestic religious architecture, and some contemporary culture too.

Next up, nature in all its wild glory. And finally, time to relax with a return to beaten paths and an easygoing beachside town.

Begin with Porto before heading off to the religious capital of Braga. Then explore the Peneda-Gerês National Park, leaving just enough time for a stop in Viana do Castelo before heading back home. Sounds pretty good, right? 

Pick-up in
Porto Depot

Porto, the perfect beginning

Porto does more than impress. It entices, charms, and captures your heart forever. In a unique cocktail of history, tradition, and alternative flair, contemporary cool meets the prestige of the past at every turn.

With its colourful, hilly streets, filled with washing and graffiti, you’ll wonder why you ever settled for drab, monotone cityscapes before. Yet, despite being the dream destination on a North Portugal road trip, Porto never feels like one of Portugal's tourist hotspots. It feels like the real deal.

Art aficionados should head straight to minimalist Museu Serralves. Book worms are better off at the neo-Gothic Livraria Lello, the kind of bookshop Harry Potter might get his reading material.

Then visit either the Miradouro da Vitória or climb to the top of the Cathedral for some of the best views. Catch a performance at the Casa da Música. Then stroll between petiscarias or head to a port cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia to sample the region’s most famous export. 




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You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.


Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

Escape the city to this cliff-top, palm-lined garden

Foz do Douro

Take the antique tram out to this charming beach and lighthouse

Igreja de São Francisco

Church adorned with dazzling religious bling

Eat at

Café Majestic


Exceptionally ornate Belle Epoque tea room

Restaurante Cafeina


Arty crowd, Mediterranean cuisine, near the sea

The Yeatman


Part of a wine hotel and spa, two Michelin-starred

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Stay at




Next up, religious brilliance in Braga

On your way to your next North Portugal road trip destination, make a quick detour into Portuguese legend and lore with a stop at the imposing Castelo de Guimarães, perched on a hill in Guimarães. This is where Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born and it’s definitely a big deal.

But then so is Braga, Portugal’s third largest city and major pilgrimage site. Time your visit to coincide with Semana Santa with its torch-lit processions of hooded figures and you’ll see what we mean.

First up, visit the famous Baroque church of Bom Jesus do Monte. It’s utterly majestic with its 577 steps that pilgrims ascend, some on knee. Then, once back in Braga, head to Praça da República for a drink and some people-watching.

Because Braga isn’t just for the devout and well-behaved. There’s plenty of fun to be had among its narrow streets that come alive at night with the city’s young student population.




Recom. Days

Main route





You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.


Monastery of St Martin of Tibães

Known for its extravagant Rococo decoration

Sé de Braga

The oldest cathedral in Portugal


Cool new cultural center hosting music, screenings, and workshops

Eat at

Félix Taberna


Cosy retro vibes, full of vintage typewriters and photographs

Café Vianna


Iconic establishment located in the arcade



Popular gourmet dining with terrace overlooking park

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Minho Center


Free, partially covered parking, 2.90m height restriction

Stay at

Camping Braga


Short walk from Braga center


Pristine wilderness in Peneda-Gerês National Park

The next destination on your North Portugal road trip awaits in the northern tip of Portugal. A true wilderness where scraggy peaks, scattered with ancient boulders, meet deep valleys. Where wild ponies feed and forests are roamed by Iberian wolves.

Where granite-stone villages sit, untouched by modern life. Portugal’s only national park gives you the chance to breathe fresh mountain air, hike through a spectacular landscape, and swim in shimmering lakes and waterfalls.

One of the most impressive mountain villages is Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Peneda, where an majestic church sits against the backdrop of an even more majestic mountain — visit with your camera at the ready.

Then there’s the village of Soajo with its granite espigueiros, resembling enormous, eerie, stone tombs. They’re actually just corn granaries, but still. And finally, when the sun sets over the mountains, reward yourself with a cold carafe of the local vinho verde.




Recom. Days

Main route





You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.


Misarela Bridge

Medieval bridge purportedly built by the Devil himself

Mosteiro de Santa Maria das Júnias

Atmospheric monastery in a secluded valley

Cascata do Arado

Beautiful waterfall and natural pools north of Ermida

Eat at

O Abocanhado, Brufe


Traditional dishes, terrace with panoramic views

Tasca do Açougue, Montalegre


Iberian tapas in stone cottage

Espigueiro do Soajo


Modern setting serving local Minho meat

Stay at

Parque Cerdeira


Restaurant and shop on site


Traditions of times-gone-by in Viana do Castelo

Return to civilisation with your itinerary’s final destination: Viana do Castelo. But this city in Portugal’s Norte region is a place where the past is most definitely alive and kicking. Because why just travel abroad when you can travel back in time too?

With its medieval centre, beautiful riverfront, and sandy shores just beyond, Viana do Castelo is a charming place to spend the last day of your North Portugal road trip. Make sure to pick up a traditional embroidered costume. There’s no better souvenir.

Head to the neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia church on the hilltop overlooking town, climbing to the top for the best views. At the Museu do Traje, learn more about the traditional dresses worn during the famous Romaria de Nossa Senhora d'Agonía.

Browse the Friday market for ceramics, lace, and ornate jewellery. Relax in a cafe in Praça da República, making sure to sample the torta de Viana. More time to kill? Head to sandy expanses of Praia do Cabedelo. 




Recom. Days

Main route





You can find Indie Campers RV rentals in more than 40 different cities and destinations across Europe.


Museu de Artes Decorativas

Stunning collection of traditional azulejos

Gil Eannes

Restored naval hospital ship with sinister surgery equipment

Fábrica do Chocolate

Chocolate museum where you can make your own

Eat at

Casa Primavera

Characterful fisherman’s style cafe and restaurant

Confeitaria Manuel Natário


Popular bakery selling bolas de Berlim



Traditional Minho dishes unique to the region

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Parque de Estacionamento Campo d'Agonia


Short walk from center

Stay at

Parque de Campismo de Belinho


10 minutes from beach

Drop-off in
Porto Depot

74 km

Viana do Castelo

54 min


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