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Costa Verde - Natural beauty and life's simple pleasures

It may be small, but the beautiful Costa Verde region, tucked away in Portugal’s northwest corner is a delightful medley of contrasting landscapes, historic monuments and wonderfully atmospheric towns. Named the ‘green coast’ for its lush, emerald forests and thriving vineyards, the Costa Verde is also loved for its long stretches of white sand beaches, wild Atlantic surf and dramatic mountain scenery. With everything so close to hand, your stay here can be as varied as you like; watch the fishermen bringing home their catch, ride the waves like a windsurfer, spot royal eagles on a walk through the national park, or head into Porto for a gourmet supper on the bustling riverfront.

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Ponte de Lima

Named after the bridge that leads to the town over the River Lima, Ponte de Lima is a small, rural destination located slightly inland on Portugal’s stunning Costa Verde. Old streets, lined with elegant buildings and architectural gems, lead to a central square where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine in one of the cafés that spill out on to the pavement. Not only one of the prettiest towns in the north, Ponte de Lima is also famed for the hospitality of its people, good food, locally produced Vinho Verde and more recently the addition of an 18 hole golf course.

  • 50mins fromPorto Int


Caminha is a small port town located on the River Minho, towards the north of the Costa Verde. Historically a town of industrial importance and known for its exports, the town is now simply a pretty market town steeped in history and character. The main square retains several 15th and 16th century buildings as well as some delightful cafés and restaurants with tables and chairs outside on the cobbled streets. From Caminha, there are a number of great sandy beaches within easy reach; including the blue flag beaches of Modelo and Vila Praia do Ancora.

  • 1hr fromPorto Int


Sitting 35 minutes north of Porto, the popular coastal resort of Esposende is enviably bordered by a choice of sandy beaches. The town itself has a lovely selection of restaurants, cafes and a small selection of bars, both facing the coast and in the quaint historic centre. From Esposende, the best of the Costa Verde can easily be enjoyed, with the interesting cities of Viana do Castelo and Braga within a 30 minute drive.

  • 35mins fromPorto Int


Afife is a quaint, old village in the north of the Costa Verde. Blessed with a three kilometer stretch of beautiful sandy beach, Afife has become a popular beach destination in this region. The village itself has a bakery, supermarket and a good range of cafés and restaurants both in the centre and along the beach. However, if you would like to explore further afield, the slightly larger town of Caminha with its cobbled streets and elegant buildings is just a short drive away.

  • 1hr fromPorto Int


Located close to the bustling city of Braga, Amares is a small rural town, hidden by citrus trees and known for its production of oranges. For dining out, the centre has a varied selection of restaurants offering international cuisine as well as local dishes. Reasonably centrally located within the region, Amares is a great place from which to base yourself and explore the Costa Verde. Nearby Caldelas Spa is famous for its thermal waters and provides an interesting day out or why not take a scenic drive to La Guardia in Spain, another famous wine producing region.

  • 1hr fromPorto Int


The picturesque riverside town of Barcelos enjoys a quaint medieval centre, lined with charming buildings, adjourned with Portuguese tiles, narrow streets and pretty squares, dotted with a selection of shops, restaurants and pavement cafes. The impressive square at the centre of the town, the Campo de Feira, is truly enormous, home to a large weekly open-air market where you would be hard pushed to not find something you would want to buy. From Barcelos, some of the beautiful beaches of the Costa Verde are within a 25 minute drive.

  • 40mins fromPorto Int

Cabeceiras de Basto

Cabeceiras de Basto is a small village located inland on Portugal’s stunning "Green Coast". Here, like many of its neighboring towns and villages, you will more than likely be blown away by the breathtaking scenery and architecture. Two popular attractions in the village are the Monastery of Saint Michael whose dome reaches an impressive thirty three meters high, and the ancient granite statue of a roman warrior. There are also a handful of restaurants worth visiting, serving both seafood and regional cuisine. Alternatively, the cosmopolitan city of Guimaraes is within a 40 minute drive and provides an extensive range of amenities and eateries.

  • 1hr fromPorto Int

Paredes de Coura

Surrounded by beautiful countryside and vineyards, the town of Paredes de Coura offers a selection of bars, restaurants and shops. In a fantastic position for exploring this stunning region, with the coastline within a 50 minute and the attractive towns of Ponte de Lima and Vila Nova de Cerveira within a 35 minute drive, which are both well worth exploring. Activities such as horseback riding in the mountains and water sports on the Minho river are available nearby.

  • 1hr 15mins fromPorto Int

Povoa de Lanhoso

Located in the heart of the region, Póvoa de Lanhoso is a small traditional town within easy reach of the coast. Visiting the town you will notice the imposing castle of "Monte do Pilar" perched on the top of the hill, whose turrets offer fantastic views over the streets below as well as the surrounding mountains and valleys. Póvoa de Lanhoso also offers a range of facilities including a small selection of bars and restaurants serving regional dishes. For a greater choice of dining options and tourist attractions both the larger city of Braga and cosmopolitan town of Guimarães are just a short drive away.

  • 55mins fromPorto Int

Santo Tirso

Within half an hour of the sandy beaches at Vila do Conde and lively Pavoa de Varzim, Santo Tirso is a town typical of this region of Portugal. Wander through its narrow streets, marveling at the cultural heritage and sampling renowned sweet pastries and locally produced wine. The excitement and atmosphere of stunning Porto is also within easy reach; whether for an evening out, boat trip or sightseeing the thirty kilometer journey is well worth it!

  • 25mins fromPorto Int

Your Costa Verde Villa holiday

Outdoor pursuits in Costa Verde Image

Outdoor pursuits in Costa Verde

Lovers of the great outdoors are spoiled for choice amid this stunning and varied landscape. Many holidaymakers are drawn to the coastline’s wild and wonderful waves and there are plenty of opportunities to join the locals for a spot of fishing along the Minho and Tamego rivers or take a trip on a tram in Porto. Meanwhile, in the stunning Peneda-Geres National Park you’ll discover amazing backdrops in which to discover ancient ruins and wildlife, or for the more adventurous there are amazing hiking and climbing routes, with kayaking and fishing also on offer.

On the beach in Costa Verde Image

On the beach in Costa Verde

Whether you’re tempted onto a surfboard by the crashing waves of the Atlantic swell or content to just relax in the sunshine, you’ll find the fine sandy beaches along the Costa Verde are beautiful, easy to reach and rarely crowded. The resort of Vila Praia da Ancora at the far north of the region has a pretty, sheltered bay stretching between the town’s two ancient forts, while the neighbouring Blue Flag beach of Moledo, near Caminha, is famed for its strong waves and delightful sand dunes.

Hints of history in Costa Verde Image

Hints of history in Costa Verde

The ancient riverside city of Porto is simply brimming with historic buildings and monuments recalling its colourful past. It’s a great place to admire architectural gems such as the imposing Cathedral and decorative São Bento train station. Don’t miss a visit to the medieval seaside town of Vila do Conde and the famous Santa Clara Monastery with its 5km-long aqueduct, built on 999 arches. Or venture to the village of Cabeceiras de Basto where you can visit the Monastery of Saint Michael with its impressive thirty three meter high dome.

Local cuisine in Costa Verde Image

Local cuisine in Costa Verde

With the fruits of the sea on one side and fertile valleys on the other, it’s no wonder this region can hold its own when it comes to fresh, local ingredients. Traditional favourites include the hearty Caldo Verde soup, made with shredded cabbage, potato and garlic, tasty goat stew and fish dishes, from shad and whiting to the ever-popular balcahão (salted cod). Whether you’re dining at one of Porto’s atmospheric riverfront bistros, on the beach or in a rustic village café, a chilled glass of the region’s lightly sparkling Vinho Verde is a great accompaniment.

Weather Guide

For the Costa Verde holiday season.

Average monthly temperature and rainfall for the Costa Verde holiday season


Not to be missed...

  • Wander around Porto, the country’s charming second city, for a taste of its buzzing ambience, striking architecture and array of bars and restaurants.
  • Take a tour of the region’s famous vineyards and port estates to sample world-renowned vintage ports and delicious wines.
  • Take long, leisurely strolls along the stunning powder beaches, or try your hand at riding the waves.
  • Explore Portugal’s only national park, the magnificent Peneda-Geres, to savour breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife.
  • Head inland to Guimaraes, home to the country’s first king and now a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with oodles of cultural charm, great shopping and a tempting array of eateries.

Villas with Air Conditioning

3 villas found in Costa Verde
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Villas by the Beach

1 villa found in Costa Verde
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Villas Great for Privacy and Seclusion

4 villas found in Costa Verde
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Villas with Great Views

4 villas found in Costa Verde
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Villas Great for Barbecues

2 villas found in Costa Verde
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Villas with Infinity Pools

1 villa found in Costa Verde
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Villas with Tennis Courts

5 villas found in Costa Verde
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Views and opinions in these reviews are solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of James Villa Holidays (JVH). JVH provides no assurances regarding the accuracy of the information and cannot accept liability for complaints, loss or damage resulting from the article. It does not form part of the contract made when a holiday is booked with JVH and the information provided is not intended to be a rider or replacement to the booking conditions. Reference to the service or product of a third party, is not an endorsement or recommendation and JVH accepts no liability as a result of complaints, loss or damage arising from their use.
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