The country´s second largest city, is in itself full of interest, but the district it heads, though largely industrialized, offers the visitor plenty to see. Along the coast, holiday resorts like the cosmopolitan beach of Espinho, busy ports like Matosinhos, with splendid seafood, or traditional fishing towns like Póvoa de Varzim, but where there is also an animated casino. Inland, for example, the quaint charm of Amarante, with 17th century mansions overlooking the river and famous for a kind of sweet egg pastries called "papos de anjo" (angel bellies). Right next to Porto you can visit, in Vila Nova de Gaia, the lodges where Port wine is blended and aged and where you can taste the different varieties, or you may choose to take a river cruise along the Douro. The whole district is filled with prosperous towns, as commerce and industry thrive there, but you can drive along many calm roads with wonderful views over the river or enjoy a rugged and still unspoilt coastline.
Cosmopolitan holiday resort with beaches and a Casino
Matosinhos is, in spite of its industrial port, renowned for its gastronomy based on seafood and also popular for its coastline of small beaches enclosed by rocks beaten by the sea. Matosinhos also boasts of a valuable patrimony visible in monuments such as the Monastery of Leça do Bailio, the first headquarters of the Order of Hospitallers in Portugal and with a 14th-century fortified church exhibiting Gothic arches and a beautiful rose window.
(+351) 913 462 904 ( Ellen )
(Call or Text Me anytime!)
Póvoa do VarzimThe ancient town of Póvoa de Varzim received its charter in 1308 and has developped over the ages from a poor fishing village to a resort popular for its sandy beaches and amusements, including a casino which animates the local nightlife.
Crossed by the river Tâmega and surrounded by mountains, this pretty town proudly displays its 17th century mansions, with colourful balconies of painted wood brightly decorating the narrow streets, its restaurants with terraces overlooking the river or the beautiful bridge of São Gonçalo which leads to the great monastery of the 16th century that bears the name of the same saint.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Seat of a country of commercial and industrial importance and
facing Porto across the river Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia is the main
centre of Port wine production. Thus, the heart of the city is dominated
by the Port lodges with their characteristic red roofs
emblazoned with well-known names, and over fifty companies based in narrow and twisting streets are engaged in blending and ageing the famous drink. Some of them offer guided tours so that visitors may see how Port is made and taste different samples.