Porto, an ancient city named by the Romans, is a UNESCO world heritage site and a city not to be overlooked.
Historically significant for its role in launching Portugal’s Age of Discovery (it’s here that Henry the Navigator was born), Porto is a welcoming city with hospitable people, delicious food, and even better wine.
The Douro River, which flows into Portugal from Spain, brings with it a climate that’s perfect for growing grapes. From these grapes, with the help of a centuries-old alliance with England, the people of Porto have created the sweet wine that brought wealth to this beautiful region. Fittingly, they named their wine ‘port’. We recommend a visit to any of the numerous ‘port wine lodges’ and adegas (wine cellars) in the area.
We enjoyed the history and port of the one remaining Portuguese family-owned lodge, Ferreira, across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Porto is referred to as the ‘city of bridges’ and two of the most spectacular structures are Ponte Dona Maria, a rail bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel who also designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Ponte Luís I, the bridge designed by Téophile Seyrig, that connects Porto and the city of Gaia. Like Eiffel’s tower in Paris, these bridges mark the landscape and create impressive city views.