UNESCO World Heritage Site // Afonso Henriques // Birthplace of the Portuguese Nationality...

The historical city of Guimaraes can be found in the District of Braga in the north of Portugal and it’s centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Guimaraes is often referred to as the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality” and Cidade Berço (the cradle city).

There’s a sprinkling of history all around you when visiting the Minho region in Portugal. From the medieval monuments and historic chapels to an abundance of archaeological sites, Portugal’s illustrious past cannot be ignored.

If you plan on staying in the city then you may wish you check in to the Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães, a 13th Century Monastery set upon a hill amidst vineyards and cabbage fields. Do visit the medieval castle which dates back to the 12th Century when the country was under Arab occupation. Part of Guimarães World Heritage Site, it’s in the adjacent chapel where Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques, was born.

A short stroll takes you to the centre of Guimarães, a chocolate box town of alleyways, churches and boutique shops. You can’t help but notice the slow pace of life as women hang washing from their balconies and locals gather at park benches and al fresco cafés.

Drop into Museu de Alberto Sampaio – a former church and convent – for a fascinating look at religious artifacts. And get a taste of the region’s ‘green wine’ at an ancient ‘tasca’. You’ll be served sheeps’-milk cheeses, Portuguese ham and the vinho verde – which originates from the Minho province – in china bowls. It’s an acquired taste to say the least, but you don’t get much more authentic than this.

In the evening, enjoy cocktails in the historic surrounds of the Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães hotel before dining on traditional roasted codfish with corn bread in the restaurant.

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Photograph of The Cloisters at Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães

TAP Portugal flies from London Gatwick to Porto 14 times a week, with return fares starting at £120 including all taxes and surcharges. For further information, visit or call +44 (0)345 601 0932.

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