Getting To Know
A Lively yet affordable city break
Ribeira, vila nova de gaia
A Boat cruise up the Douro river, stopping at port houses in villa nova de Gaia
The country's second city, Porto has never sat in Lisbon's shadow. Its remarkable cityscape, wedged into Douro Valley, has been granted UNESCO world heritage status, while its range of museum, churches and port wine lodges have put it firmly on the city-break circuit. Porto is also a hub for architecture and many of its once-crumbling mansions have been given a makeover, leaving an alluring mix of faded grandeur and sharp .
Here is a suggestion of how to get the most from your visit to this amazing region of porto
In Northern Portugal
morning: after arriving to porto, explore
Ribeira, the iconic riverside area with is
warren of of pastel-hued buildings.
the largo do terreiro is a pretty spot for a coffee while you watch traditional rabble boats floating down the Douro.
Afternoon: Taste modern dishes at the cantina do Avillz, then climb the Torre dos Clerigos for amazing views. You'll easily see how J K Rowling was inspired by livrarcia Lello bookshop, where you can almost imagine the staircases moving of their own accord. In the evening, catch an event at the innovative Casa da Musica.
morning: walk across the top of the ponte de Dom Luis to villa nova de Gaia. the view from circular mosteiro da Serra do pilar is simply stunning. take the teleferico de Gaia cable car along the riverside and lunch at one of the Douro-facing cafes. the yeatman is ideal for special occasion.
Afternoon: the steep hillsides of villa nova de Gaia are punctuated by famous port wine lodges, each a perfect spot to sample the city's eponymous spirit. return to porto for the evening
morning: Drive to Guimaraes via de a7 and explore the beautiful old town, which was the country's first capital
Afternoon: travel the bom Jesus de monte, a famous pilgrimage church. the town of braga, Portugal's religious capital, is surprisingly lively, making it great place to send the evening. try livrarcia many - a bookshop which has been converted into an art-festooned bar
morning: peso da reggae is easily reached by car or by the Linda do Douro train, which winds through the valley. the town's Museu do Duoro details the history of the river and the wine trade, making for an enlightening visit before you head to one of the wine states.
Afternoon: Take a boat ride on the river and then visit - or ideally stay the night at one of the many vineyards that do the surrounding hillsides. Our pick is Quinta Nova da Nossa Senhora do Carmo.
morning: a little under an hour's drive away, on the n103, is the parque nacional da peneda-geres. inside the country's only national park, seek out the tranquil, alpine-esque spa town Caldas do geres.
Afternoon: spend the afternoon hiking one of the area's many trails. the trill da citadel da calcedonia walk starts and ends at covide, and climbs to a fortified Iron Age village which offers amazing panoramic views
morning: the village of soajo, in the northern section of the park, is known for its peculiar espigueiros or granaries. you'll pass plenty of these strange tomb-like structures on the 4km long trill de rail trail. have a picnic lunch on a route, stopping somewhere with a good view
Afternoon: after tiring yourself out exploring this ripe hiking territory stay in one of the renovated village houses in soajo.
morning: it's a scenic drive back to porto on the ic128 and n203 along the lima valley via the handsome town of ponte de lima, which makes a good stop for a coffee. we recommend tasca das fodinhas, an authentic cafe-bar.
Afternoon: make a detour to stop for lunch in historic Viana do Castelo. this picturesque town also has a fine local beach. the fast a28 motorway will take you back to porto.
Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar
Largo de Avis
220 -142 -425
Apr - Oct: 10am - 6:30pm Tue-Sun
Jardim do Morro
Av. da Republica
Teleferico de Gaia cable car
May-Sept: 10am-8pm daily
Rua de Texeira Lopes 32
351 22 375 1224
9am-noon, 2-5pm tue-fri,
10am-noon, 2-5pm sun
THIS SWANKI HOTEL BAR OFFERS SOME OF THE BEST VIEWS OF THE DUORO RIVER. THERE'S A LONG DIRNKS MENY, INCLUDING, OF COURSE, PORT BASED
IF YOU ONLY WANT TO BUY A ONE WAY TICKET ON THE TELEFERICO, CHOOSE TO RIDE THE ASCENT TO SAVE A STEEP UPHILL CLIMB.
TERRACE LOUNGE 30
AN OPEN AIR ROOFTOP BAR OVERLOOKING THE RIVER,
TERRACE LOUNGE 360 IS A GREAT SPOT FOR A SUNDOWNER. ORDER A GLASS OF WHITE PORT
WHERE TO EAT IN
Taberna de Santo Antonio
All in Porto
Cantinho do Avillez
Flors dos Congregados
- O Diplomata
- Urban Cicle Cafe
- The Bird
- Traveller Caffe
- Hungry Biker
- Chocolateria das Flores
- Leitaria da quinta do paço
- Gelateria Portuense
- Flor dos Congregados
- Cantinho do Avillez
- Casa Agricola
- O Carac