It is not my intention to write about the whole Portugal, the culture and customs of its citizens and the monuments. If you want to read about all of that, I recommend you read guides that offer more details about this beautiful country.

However, since Andalusia lies close to Portugal and I had some opportunities to drive alongside the coast from the Spanish border to Porto, I will try to tell you more about the most interesting places I visited there. 

It was one of the most beautiful family trips in a VAN. We set out from Malaga, then drove to Tariff and continued alongside the coast… In total, the meter showed that we travelled about 2500 km in 17 days.  

We travelled alongside the southern and western coasts of Portugal, as can be seen on the map below.

 

PORTO – WHAT TO SEE?

 

There are places in the world that made me feel the power chakra :) In those places, I feel especially good and their atmosphere improves my mood. If I could, I would stay there longer… Porto turned out to be one of such places… The city made a very positive impression on me. Ah! The sights… everything looks like on a postcard…

Our stay in Porto started on the RV parking lot near Cais do Cavaco 2 and close to Duero river and the city centre. Duero is one of the longest rivers of the Iberian Peninsula. It is famous for the vineyards situated on its coast – the oldest of them, especially from Alto Douro region, has been included to the World Heritage List. While walking alongside the coast, you can enjoy the view of the storied old town and a large congress centre building. We decided to eat in Mercado Centrual, which offers varied cuisine. It is a large building, so you will not miss it. The left side of the river (looking from the RV parking lot) lies within the range of a borough separated from Porto – Vila Nova de Gaia. There are many basements and wine stores. While walking the main promenade, you will see a long row of logotypes of port manufacturers. After you pass the many cafes, you will reach a railway station, thanks to which you can go to the upper deck of DOM LUIS I bridge (luckily, our dog wolf could come with us :)). We wanted badly to try port and learn more about this alcohol, but we were worried that with a large dog at our side, it would be difficult to achieve… Our worries were resolved by the members of Quinta dos Corvos, who let us degust – obrigada… :)

 

To get to the main part of Porto, you need to cross the picturesque and magnificent DOM LUIS I bridge, which is a symbol of Porto. It was built in 1886 by Teophil Seyrig, who was the co-worker of the famous Eiffel. 

To get to the other side, we can use the lower part of the bridge that the cars use or go to the upper tier, from which the view is amazing. 

 

What is worth seeing in Vila Nova de Gaia:

  • Streets between the basements and stores, where during the degust you can try the famous port
  • Logotypes of all manufacturers of port
  • A railway taking to the bridge

 

After getting off the bridge, we walked near the beautiful nineteenth century building of the central station, Porto Sao Bento, famous for its beautiful azulejos ornamenting the interior. 

Without the unnecessary description of the exact route we took, below is the list of the interesting places you should see in Porto:

  • Of course, the old borough of Ribeira
  • Church of St. Francis – the most famous church in the city
  • Palacio de Bolsa – the national monument built in the neoclassic style in 1842. Now, it is a conference centre. Inside, there are rich decorations, especially in the famous Arab Room inspired by Alhambra. 
  • Praca de Carlos Alberto
  • Jardins to Palacio de Cristal
  • The Porto Cathedral – its construction started in the twelfth century
  • Clerigos – a baroque tower
  • Livraria Lello Bookshop – the iconic bookshop located in a beautiful neo-gothic building. The opening of the shop took place in 1881 by Jose and Antonio Lello brothers. It became a meeting place of intellectuals and book lovers…
  • Carmo and Stanta Clara Churches (Igrejas)
  • Funicular dos Guindais – a railway line which was built in 1891. The citizens keep using it in order to avoid the crowds of tourists. The station is located at the base of Dom Luis bridge.
  • The charming Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina
  • Further from the centre – Serralves Art Museum

 

Feel free to use the map below, which highlights the main attractions of the city:

 

 

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USEFUL SPANISH:
el callejón aley
el laberinto maze
el rio river
el ponte bridge
el aparcamiento parking
el torre tower
el parque park
la botella bottle
dulce sweet
la bodega storehouse
PORTO Portugal
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