I recently visited Portugal for the first time ever. Not only did I explore Porto itself (as our flights arrived and departed from there) but I also had the opportunity to visit the Alto Minho region in the north of the country, bordering Spain. In fact, this region was for me the most beautiful and worthwhile part of the trip and its beauty reminded me a lot of my home province, the Western Cape in South Africa.
I was lucky enough to stay at Hotel Minho in Vila Nova de Cerveira, a hotel offering a totally unique design concept. I’ve never before been to a hotel that is so hip and happening (especially since it is located completely away from major cities and so-called hubs of innovation). This makes the space particularly charming and attractive for a getaway.
This was our room at the hotel. I really liked the red bed throw, overall decor and lightness here.
Fresh fruits were placed in the room as well as a range of booklets (the spa menu and other offerings and activities provided by the hotel).
The room had a private balcony, table and chairs perfect for sundowners or just for lazing around with a good book.
And from the balcony we could see the hotel’s outdoor pools and tennis court. They also have a fabulous spa with steam room, sauna, beauty treatments and more – not to be missed.
I must admit that I found it a tad bit difficult to set fingers to the keyboard to get a little bit of work in (especially with a view like that! Oh and did I mention the vinho distraction too?).
Let me not forget the gorgeous Portuguese sunset from the same balcony a short while later.
Moreover, Hotel Minho has a fully stocked wine bar and fabulous service by the staff here – we were given a delicious wine and cheese pairing together with an explanation of the wines in the region (the famous ‘vinho verde’ wines that are exported to many parts of the world).
And I shall not forget the food! Hotel Minho offers a great breakfast – an excellent variety of cheeses, cold meats, cereals, fruits and pastries. One morning I was craving scrambled eggs and bacon and they even whipped that up for me within minutes. The hotel, however, does not offer dinner.
No problem at all because right next door there is a terrific restaurant, Braseirão do Minho, which offers a range of local specialities so we had dinner there every evening. I must be honest – I’m not the most adventurous type when it comes to food but the restaurant even managed to leave an impression on me! And let me tell you – these were really special dishes at excellent prices.
My favourite was the deer meat (a real local cuisine in the Alto Minho region). It was super tender and delicious.
Just look at that presentation!
And everything is prepared so freshly and served right at your table by these young Portuguese lads. This was a real, authentic Portuguese experience, no doubt.
After visiting Hotel Minho and Braseirão do Minho, you’d swear I’ve been transformed into a lifestyle and food blogger (almost!). Don’t despair – watch this space for culture posts coming soon – there are plenty of cultural things to do and see in the Alto Minho region and lovely little towns just waiting to be discovered.
And with the lovely shelter of Hotel Minho over your head and a full stomach of hearty food from Braseirão do Minho you’ll be well-fueled to see the rest of the region or even hop on a mountain bike provided by the hotel and explore the area from the well-designed bike paths. What more can a person want!
Take a look at the video below for a 360 degree impression of the hotel and restaurant: