Porto and its surrounding areas open up a great variety of activities and tours. The center of Porto and many other historic cities in the region offer cultural, culinary and urban highlights as well as many other sights to explore. If you like sports, the Beach Lodge, the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, the river landscape of the Douro and the mountainous hinterland with its forests and parks give you countless opportunities to practice your favorite sport in the great outdoors.
Full day or half-day tours – the north of Portugal offers a wide range of historical, cultural and very special scenic highlights.
Porto, also called Oporto, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the oldest cities in Europe. Built in the Middle Ages around the estuary of the Douro River, the city is also known as the "capital of the north" of Portugal. The terraced structure of the old town of Ribeira with its narrow streets and typical Portuguese architecture has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. In Porto, maritime ambiance and ancient tradition meet modern way of life. The city offers a unique cultural diversity, attracting more and more young and active people from all over Europe every year. The city owes this popularity to its title of "Best European Destination", achieved in 2012, 2014 and 2017, beating 18 other major European cities.
Distance: 20 km / 20 min. by car / 30 min. by metro.
Don't miss the opportunity to explore Porto and its highlights! In Porto you will find a large number of different providers offering guided tours through this beautiful metropolis. Among the most popular tours are the Six Bridges Boat Tour, Street Art Tours, Medieval Tours, museum tours, Porto At Night Tours and scooter tours.
Take a bike and explore the coastal town of Vila do Conde, only 3 km away from the Beach Lodge. The town has a long and varied history that reached its economic and maritime peak in the 16th century. Many monuments from different eras can be found in the historical centre as well as some interesting museums. The parks and the promenade alongside the harbour with its many bars and restaurants invite you to stay not only during the day.
Distance: 3 km / 10 min. by bike
On a tour to Braga and Guimarães, two of Portugal's oldest cities, you'll see how both religion and history go hand in hand with modernity. Both cities are marked by a rich cultural-historical heritage. Explore remaining medieval monuments, many symbolic squares, and beautiful churches and enjoy a unique historical atmosphere.
Distance: 50 km / approx. 40 min by car
Enjoy a wine tasting in the vineyard-lined hills of the Douro Valley, a World Heritage listed region famous for its port wine production. Visit the picturesque village of Pinhão, whose historic center has listed sacred buildings, bridges and chapels, and try regional culinary specialties and local grape varieties on its wineries. Both on the train trip to Peso da Régua and on a boat trip with one of the traditional Rabelo boats along the river you will enjoy fascinating panoramic views of the green Douro valley.
Distance: 120 km / approx. 1.5 hrs. by car / 2.5 hrs. by train
South of Porto lies Portugal's answer to Venice: Aveiro. Get to know the historic coastal city with its colorful houses, typical Portuguese tile art and ancient buildings and experience the magic of this place on a relaxed tour on one of the traditional Moliceiro boats through the winding canals of the Ria de Aveiro. Stop off in Costa Nova and see why this fishing village is worldwide known for some famous and colorful photo material.
Distance: 75 km / approx. 1 hour by car / 2 hours by train
The Peneda-Gerês National Park is Portugal's only national park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2009. This National Park is known for its untouched landscapes far away from civilization, its breathtaking views of the mountains and river valleys, its crystal clear waterfalls with natural pools for swimming and its wild ponies. You can easily explore the park on numerous hiking routes, but MTB tours and horseback riding excursions are also very popular and possible all over the year.
Distance: 100 km / 60 min by car
To the water or on land – outdoor lovers and those who are always looking for some sporting challenges and love to be active will find a huge range of activities of all kinds in the north of Portugal.
Whether beginner or professional surfer – according to your level, you will find the right wave in the North of Portugal! The coast has numerous first class breaks for all surf levels and shows off with mostly uncrowded line-ups at even well-known spots like Matosinhos, Azurara and Aguçadoura. Miles of unspoiled surf beaches and various piers towering into the Atlantic Ocean offer the best conditions for Porto's constant surfing all year round. Just a stone´s throw away from the Porto Beach Lodge, between the beaches of Labruge and Azurara, you'll find loads of beach breaks lined with fine sand dunes and pine forests, where also our surf lessons take place. more ...
The lush green hinterland of Porto, the Douro Valley and its fascinating natural landscape is best explored with a SUP board under your feet! On our Douro Stand-Up Paddling Tour, professional and local guides will teach you the balance and paddling techniques of this enjoyable water sport. Whatever your age and level of fitness, EVERYONE can take part and explore the unique nature of northern Portugal on a relaxed tour across the Douro and its small tributaries. more ...
Yoga has many positive effects: It strengthens and stretches the muscles, mobilizes the spine and harmonizes body, mind and soul. Thus stress is reduced and the energy of the body is brought to flow. Our Yoga Deck is situated in a quiet forestal area. During the main and middle season, the yoga classes take place from Monday to Friday in a well spoken English and can be booked on site. Whether you are an advanced yoga student or have never done it before, the classes are adapted to each level. If you want to do yoga on your own, you can use the yoga deck any time as well.
To explore the surroundings, to go shopping in the nearby fashion outlet or just to enjoy a few drinks and the night life of Vila do Conde, the Beach Lodge offers some fun beach cruisers for hire. Beach Cruisers are bikes with a curved frame and balloon tires that provide a very relaxed riding experience. However, they are not suitable for larger bike tours, but you can rent high quality MTBs on site.
Those who spend their holidays in the Beach Lodge and don't want to give up their routine runs during this time will be very happy here. Besides miles of fine sandy beaches, you will find the Camino Portugués, the 240km pilgrim path from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, winding its way along the coast through the protected dune landscape, dense pine forests and smaller villages. The paths are usually very well developed, offering relaxed walks and runs along wooden and sandy paths. The pleasant climate of the region is perfect for running lovers all year round, especially in the early morning hours and at sunset when the wind gets weaker.
The ornithological reserve Mindelo begins right in front of the doors of the Porto Beach Lodge. An area of around 600 hectares is home to more than 150 bird species through a series of fine sandy beaches, inland dunes, fields and pine forests. The reserve is the only coastal area in the Porto Metropolitan Region that retains its natural characteristics. As the subject of several scientific studies, such as the study of birds, it is as popular with amateur bird watchers as it is with professional ornithologists.
In the north of Portugal, you will find numerous fabulous golf courses surrounded by inspiring natural landscapes and the beautiful green hills of the region. Enjoying the fresh sea air, you can work on your handicap and find your favorite out of the many famous tees like Estela Golfe Club (Póvoa de Varzim), Campo de Golfe Quinta da Barca (Esposende), Oporto Golf Club (Espinho), Vidago Palace Golfe Course (Vidago), Axis Golf Ponte de Lima (Ponte de Lima), Amarante Golf Club (Amarante) or Golfe Quinta do Fojo (Vila Nova de Gaia).
While the north of Portugal already impresses with its beautiful nature on land, the colorful depths of the Atlantic Ocean will captivate you. A wealth of biological diversity fascinates divers of all levels from all over the world. Diving along fantastic rock formations near the coast or way out in the open sea, unique marine life and rare pelagic species, which can only be found in protected marine reserves, await you. Wreck enthusiasts will enjoy the variety of sunken ships and submarines looking back on Portugal's long maritime history.
On the back of the horses, lies the happiness of the earth - and you will experience this in Portugal. For all horse lovers, a visit to the north of Portugal is a very special experience. Countless farms, stables and ranches offer lessons, excursions, cross-country and beach rides for riders of all levels in the immediate vicinity of the Beach Lodge. Get in the saddle and ride through the enchanting scenery of Mindelo and Vila do Condo, pass its beaches, pine forests and ride along the Douros and its vineyards.
Viana do Castelo (50 km / 35 min. drive) is one of the most popular locations in Europe for wind and kite surfers. The pearl in the north of Portugal is not only convincing in the summer months with constant winds , but all year round with versatile wave and wind conditions as well as shallow water for windsurfers and kiters of all levels. Another very good windsurfing and kitesurfing spot, which is also particularly suitable for beginners, is located in the protected estuary near Esposende (35 km / 25 min. drive). If you are more experienced with your kite, you can just jump into the water directly in front of the Beach Lodge and benefit from the incoming winds and swells at our home beach.
Only 200 meters from your accommodation runs the Camino Portugues de la Costa, one of the spiritual routes – even the second most popular one – to Santiago de Compostela. As its name suggests, it runs through Portugal from south to north, towards Santiago de Compostela with a total length of 620 kilometers. Especially in autumn and spring the last 240km from Porto to Santiago de Compostela are very popular with pilgrims. Narrow cliff paths along the coast with an wide and open view of the ocean, wooden paths through dune landscapes, steep mountain paths in the terrain, lush green vineyards – with its variety of natural sight the Camino Portuguese attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
Trail runners from all over the world enjoy the climate and the varied natural landscape of the north of Portugal. Narrow paths through untouched nature, steep and demanding ascents and descents in the mountain regions, breathtaking panoramic views of Porto and the fresh air in the dense pine forests make the visit indispensable for every trail runner among you. More than 50 different trails stretch from Porto to the Spanish border, overcoming the various mountain ridges up to 1545m above sea level.
Distance: 100 km/ 1 hour by car
The northern regions of the country offer a decent amount of climbing areas for all levels. Among these is the Peneda-Gerês National Park, where you find plenty of climbing routes and trails as well as untouched steeper slopes and rock formations for boulderers, such as the Santo Tirso. Professional sport climbers and free climbers will be happy in the mountains of Serra da Estrela near the village of Covilha, the largest and highest climbing region in northern Portugal. If you don't want it to be quite as challenging, but still spectacular, then a guided bridge climb to the Ponte da Arrábida opens up a whole new perspective on the unique metropolis of Porto.
Distance: 40 km - 100 km / 30 min -1 hour drive by car