Porto is a city of postcard views - the colorful houses and old rabelos vessels of the Ribeira quarter; Gustave Eiffel’s iron bridge over the Douro river; the sunset views looking across the river...
Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? But there are many more layers to an old city like Porto if you’re in the right company. For every ‘ooh’ gazing at the famous azulejos tiles of Sao Bento Station, there’s an ‘oh’ reserved for something unexpected, like a bit of local street art so easily missed.
For the classic Baroque of catholic churches you have the contemporary architecture of Alvaro de Siza for contrast. For every trendy restaurant there’s a humble Francesinha sandwich at a local café to be munched down with nods of approval.
That’s a big part of our job here, to not just tell you where to get the postcard views, but to go beyond them to give you the proper texture and stories of the neighbourhoods, monuments, wineries and cuisine.
Another part of our job is to talk wine. When in Porto...
Porto's port houses Porto has long benefited from commerce, whether providing provisions to medieval crusaders on their way to the Holy Land, importing goods during Portugal’s famed Age of Discovery, or exporting its fortified port wine to Britain. The grand yet unpretentious architecture you’ll see was built on that wealth.
These days, it’s the latter - the wine - that Porto is most closely equated with.
Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river, is the main recipient of the barrels of wine from the heart of the Douro production area. The winery names stand proud here; from the distinctive hat and cape of Sandeman, to the more austere signage of Graham’s, you’ll see a number of famous names, which are particularly striking as night falls.
But it’s no good being left on the outside looking in. We need to get you inside, in the company of expert winemakers, and a glass in your hand. We have our favourites, which we’ll share in good time.
How to visit Porto with Pura Aventura We’d love to introduce you to Porto as part of a tailormade self-drive or walking vacation, which also gets you out into the countryside and smaller towns and villages of Portugal. If you’re a particularly keen walker, then Porto links neatly with our exclusive self-guided walking route through the timeless landscapes of Minho, in the far north of the country.
If you want to explore further afield, we could weave together Porto with the timeless landscapes of Minho and the winelands of the Douro into a bespoke driving vacation of around one week. If you like the sound of that but have more time or want to keep exploring, you could carry on down into Alentejo and up the wild coastline to finish in Lisbon.
If we can help you work through your options, or if you want more details on any of our trips, please reach out to us.