It’s been over 30 degrees celsius (around 90F) here in Lisbon in the last few days, and with July and August approaching many travelers are already looking to head to the shores of Algarve. We suggest you consider heading in the opposite direction and explore the north of Portugal instead this year. It will be less crowded, it will be cheaper, and there are plenty of attractions to discover, including beaches for sunbathing. After a stop in Porto, continue north and you’ll soon be in the Minho region. The greenest of all Portuguese provinces is home to some of the country’s most elegant and best-preserved cities, and one of them is Viana do Castelo. That city has just opened a brand new hotel, a contemporary, slightly futuristic space that’s already been mentioned in Wallpaper magazine. That is the Axis Viana Hotel (which you may book through GoLisbon), the city’s best accommodation for both business and leisure travelers. It’s also a SPA hotel, and has quickly become a city landmark. You can walk to the beautiful historical center in just a few minutes and the beach is not too far away, although you can always stay at the pool in the outdoor terrace. The price is also incredibly reasonable, and for those staying some extra time in the area can also stay at the pousada nearby which offers wonderful views.