The purpose of thermalism is not only to prevent and heal the body from various ailments. It is also a great way to promote physical and emotional well-being.
Eighteen to choose from
There are 18 thermal spas in the north of Portugal! These well-being destinations are not overcrowded; they are set in quiet places boasting a high quality of life, and are well distributed in the region, corresponding to the tectonic faults crossing it. There are all sorts of thermal spas: city, mountain and thermal resorts, so you can choose the one which is more to your liking.
They all have a history and rich heritage most of these resorts and their leisure nature date back to the Roman empire period , so take your time to explore the region in which they are found. Learn more about heritage and local customs, and enjoy the outdoor activities.
The Melgaço and Monção thermal spas are 30 minutes away from the beach, in Minho. Set in the heart of the Minho region, in the council of Amares, between Braga and Gerês, you can also find the “miraculous” waters of Caldelas. Nearby, on the mountain and surrounded by vegetation, you will find the Gerês thermal spa. Other spas are found in Guimarães (Caldas das Taipas) and in the neighbouring council (Caldas de Vizela). You can also bathe in the Eirogo thermal spa, in Barcelos.
These thermal spas are the starting point for exploring important cities such as Braga, a reference in religious traditions, and Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal, with its historical centre classified as a World Heritage site. Be sure to visit the unique natural heritage sites in the Peneda-Gerês Natural Park.
In Trás-os-Montes, the Carvalhelhos, Chaves, Vidago, Pedras Salgadas and Carlão (Murça) waters have exceptional conditions and are pure. Green is still the dominant culture in this region. The good quality thermal waters will help you restore a much needed balance.
In Douro, you can relax in one of the Moledo spas (Peso da Régua) and Caldas de Arêgos (Resende).
If your destination is the metropolitan area of Porto, you will find spas closer to the city, such as Caldas da Saúde (Santo Tirso) and the Entre-os-Rios, S. Jorge (Santa Maria da Feira) and S. Vicente (Penafiel) thermal spas.
They say that the best food is found in northern Portugal, so be sure to try it! In Minho, try the papas de sarrabulho, the roast chicken and the charcoal-grilled octopus. In Douro, youll have to taste the smoked ham and the famous meat pie from Lamego, the roast kid with oven-baked potatoes and rice and the lamb stew, accompanied by a fine DOC wine. In Trás-os-Montes, taste the sausages, the Mirandesa veal cutlet, the Bísaro pork beef and the river trout.
For a healthy mind in a healthy body, include some physical exercise in your agenda unless, of course, your doctor advises against it. Promote your physical and emotional well-being the best you can.
Explore calm and beautiful sites while taking relaxing walks, cycling or on a boat. Practice canoeing along the Portuguese rivers and swim in natural pools or thermal spas.
If you play golf or tennis, enjoy a match or two and youll see how fully relaxed youll be.
In Portugal, you can always count on great hotels where you will experience our typical hospitality. Most thermal spas are associated to hotels and will offer you a thoroughly relaxing stay.
How to get there
There are flights from Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Munich, Dortmund, Zurich, Liverpool, London, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Dole, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rodez, St. Etienne Toulouse, Tours, Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and New York.
The best way to go from the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro to the city centre is to take the underground. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
To go to Viana do Castelo, 60 Km from Porto International Airport, take the A28/IC1 or the EN13. To drive to Guimarães, about 30 minutes away, take the A7 and A3. To go to Barcelos, take the A28 and A11, or the A3 and A11. The A3 motorway will also take you to Braga and, from here, drive to Gerês on the national roads.
If youre heading to Trás-os-Montes, take the A4 to Amarante and then the IP4 to Bragança. Youll be in the heart of the region!
To go to Douro, follow the national road 108 to Entre-os-Rios and continue to drive along the Douro River bank until you reach Régua alternatively, you can take the IP4 connecting the districts of Porto, Vila Real and Bragança, and then continue along national and municipal roads.