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About Costa Verde
Once you enter this region, on Portugal's northwest coast, you'll see where the name comes from - this land is a lush emerald green, producer of a bounty of delicious riches, and home to some astoundingly beautiful stretches of sandy, Atlantic coastline. The Costa Verde is also rich in historic and cultural treasures, and there's some charming architecture, and these elements are some of what makes the best place to stay on the Costa Verde stand out.
The Costa Verde's abundance has made it wealthy, and that's fuelled the building of beautiful manor houses, aristocratic palaces and grand civic buildings - you'll even find some impressive examples in some of the smaller towns.
The seaside resorts boast their own charms, and this stretch of coast has a number of beaches worth mentioning - Moledo, Apúlia, Fão and Vila Praia de Âncora. And inland is the Peneda-Gerês National Park, and many fertile valleys lined with vineyards and green farm land. And among its delicious specialities you'll find Vinho Verde, the slightly raw tasting white wine growing in popularity internationally, and here at least, drunk not from a glass, but from a clay bowl.
Our pick of the best places to stay in the Costa Verde include a eco-friendly wine and design hotel on the banks of the Minho Estuary in Carminho and a magnificent manor house close to the beach in Viano do Castelo.
- Casa Melo Alvim is a magnificent manor house close to the beach, yet also right in the heart of Viana de Castelo, one of the prettiest town on the Costa Verde. The accommodation is simple, but elegant: think whitewashed walls and antiques, surrounded by lovely gardens, and there are just 20 rooms.
- Sitting above Viana de Castelo, near Ponte de Lima, Paco de Calheiros is a stunning Portuguese country house surrounded by beautiful gardens. Rooms are elegant and the public spaces quite grand, with beautiful paintings and antiques. There's a pool and a tennis court associated with the hotel and then a private villa which sleeps ten and has its own pool and tennis courts too.
- Casa do Rio Vez is a lovely, contemporary B&B which has been converted from a mill. There are three rooms and one self-catering apartment, all of which have terraces overlooking the river. And the whole property is surrounded by pretty gardens. Romantic and great value.