Arrival Airport: Porto
Departure Airport: Porto
Total Distance: 323 kms
Pousada of Viana do Castelo – 1 night
From Porto airport, the Pousada of Viana do Castelo is easily reached in under one hour by car. Viana do Castelo is a pretty town with historic buildings, including an old fort, excellent restaurants and good shops. But the main atttraction in this town is the church of Santa Luzia, high up on a small mountain overlooking the town, and the Pousada of Viana do Castelo is immediately behind it offering fabulous views of the church, the town and out to sea.
Approximately one hour’s drive from Viana do Castelo, you will find Baiona. Due to its unique location at the mouth of the Spanish Rias, the town has been of significant strategic importance throughout history, both in terms of defending the country from invading forces and pirates and also during the Age of Discovery – former inhabitants of Baiona were the first to hear the news of the discovery of the New World. Nowadays, Baiona is a beautiful town with excellent fish restaurants.
There is a small beach in the town, however we would recommend getting the ferry to Islas Cies (approx 45 mins), a stunning archipelago of three small islands with amazing beaches (one of which was voted the best beach in the world in 2007 by The Guardian newspaper).
Porto is approximately 1.5 hours from Baiona by motorway. Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is probably most famous for its port wine lodges and, whilst these are a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, there is so much more to see and do in Porto, including beautiful churches with gold covered altars, a 12th century Cathedral and a hugely atmospheric medieval district on the waterfront (Cais da Ribeira).