The Minho is the Northeastern region of Portugal. It has a completely different vibe to Porto and the Douro Valley which is very nouveau-riche. The Minho is set in its ways, traditional, religious and old school glam. As a Portugal wedding planner, I will be going through the atmosphere, accommodation and accessibility in The Minho. I will also suggest 3 amazing wedding venues you should check out for a gorgeous destination wedding in Northern Portugal.
Photo by Piteira Photography
Whilst Porto has a cool, rich kid vibe to it, The Minho is old rich kid territory. Here are country manors, palaces and stately chapels. As this is the oldest part of Portugal and often cited as the birthplace of the nation. With this comes traditional ideals, wide open countryside and well cared for provincial towns.
The natural landscape is hilly and vast with green pastures as far as the eyes can see. Then going into the towns you have the stately Braga which almost has a Parisian feeling about it when you walk around the city, with the famous cathedral lording over it. Guimarães feels more posh and religious still, characterised by colourful medieval buildings and antique cobbled streets.
It’s best to stay in one of the major towns for your wedding or at the venue if possible as the wedding venues in Northern Portugal tend to be quite remote and rural. The Pousadas de Portugal group have hotels in the North and there are also smaller hotels available. There are far less AirBnbs here than in Porto, Lisbon and Sintra but you can also stay in Porto and journey to your venue from there.
Porto is the nearest airport to fly into which is just 30-40mins drive away from Braga and Guimarães. You can find out more about this airport here.
You can also get a train directly from central Porto to Braga, Guimarães and even Viana do Castelo. Uber and My Taxi also operate well from Porto to the more rural areas of Northern Portugal.
The best thing would be to stay at the venue or stay in one of the major towns and then arrange transport for your guests.
Pousada do Viana do Castelo | Photo by Branco Prata
Top wedding venues in Northern Portugal
Pousada de Viana do Castelo
Above Porto and Braga lies Viana do Castelo, which is a posh, seafront town. Here lies the historic hotel that towers over the countryside and has a gorgeous view across the open land and sea. It also has a plenty of accommodation on-site and the option to rent the hotel exclusively so if you are a glam couple who loves historical spaces, this could be the venue for you.
Casa do Egipto
Casa do Egipto is a sweet option for an outdoor wedding but also has some elegant interiors. It is located i the legendary Barcelos which is where the rooster symbol comes from - a key part of Portuguese folklore. An interesting option for the glamorous couple.
Paço dos Duques da Bragança
The Duke’s Palace in Guimaraes is fit for a Royal wedding and will truly wow your guests if you dress it in a grand way. There is no accommodation on-site but as the palace is located in the centre of Guimarães, there are plenty of options nearby.
A wedding in Braga and The Minho is for you if:
You are a glamorous couple
You are enthusiastic about the countryside
You enjoy country manors and open spaces
You want an outdoor or luxury manor wedding
You love Braga!
I hope this guide to weddings in Braga and the Minho was helpful for you. Check out this link for more info on weddings in Portugal as I tackle the different regions for you.
Ta ta for now!