INFO TOURS - PORTO
We begin by picking you up very early in the morning (it is a 3 hour drive from Lisbon to Porto). On the way there our guide will give you an overview of the city and tour. It is a good chance to learn a few points about the city you will later visit.
- PORTO: The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen in the many and varied monuments, from the cathedral with its Romanesque choir, to the neoclassical Stock Exchange and the typically Portuguese Manueline-style Church of Santa Clara.
First things first we’ll take a stroll through the city center. You’ll be delighted with the architecture of the multi-colored buildings and old cafes near the river. It was considered a few years ago as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From the iconic neighborhood you have a perfect view of the Luis I bridge.
- Dom Luís I: The Dom Luís I Bridge is a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. At its construction, its 172 metres (564 ft) span was the longest of its type in the world. It has been confused with the nearby Maria Pia Bridge, a railway bridge that was built 9 years earlier, that is similar in aspect to the Dom Luís bridge.
Next up we’ll visit the “Clérigos Tower”, a baroque architectural building with an incredible panoramic view of all of Porto. We head on to visit the main Cathedral, another incredible piece of ancient architecture and a religious landmark.
TOWER: The architectural complex of Clerics, considered a National Monument since 1910, is one of the main points of interest for its Tower, Museum and Church, and a must-see location for all those who visit the city of Porto.
The church and the Tower are part of a baroque-inspired building from the 18th century, which marked the city's urban configuration, located on an uneven street, but brilliantly used by Nicolau Nasoni, who managed to create a landmark building. The Church and the Tower are adjoined to the House of the Brotherhood, which since 2014, after it became a museum, is open to the public.
CATHEDRAL (Sé do Porto): The Porto Cathedral is one of the most important tourist sights in Porto and a historical and architectural landmark of the city at the same time. It is generally deemed one of the most impeccable embodiments of the Romanesque style, though, if truth be told, it is rather a mix of styles and influences with a notable overall Romanesque dash.
But this is no surprise, given the age of the cathedral. The edifice was built between the 12th and the 13th century and in time it suffered structural and decorative additions and alterations, reflecting, as some might tend to believe, the way the architectural tendencies influenced the development of Porto itself in time. The most significant alterations were carried out between the 17th and the 18th century, though earlier modifications of the original patrimony can definitely be pointed out.
Thus, the Gothic cloister was built in the 14th century, and its ceramic tile (azulejos) decorations, which depict scenes inspired by the Song of Solomon, were added even later. The 16th century saw the construction of the Chapel of Saint Vincent, which can be entered right from the cloister. The north facade was added in the first half of the 18th century (1736), a work by Nicolau Nasoni. The Italian architect is also the author of the cathedral’s loggia.
We highly recommend that our stop for lunch includes the famously renowned Porto dish “Francesinha”. It is probably the most famous Portuguese dish and came originally from this part of Portugal.
- FRANCESINHA: Francesinha (meaning Little Frenchie or simply Frenchie in Portuguese) is a Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries.
In the afternoon we will visit the stunning train station, “São Bento”. It is a must-see for all visitors. The train station’s walls are covered with over 20.000 hand painted tiles. It was built to cement trade.
SÃO BENTO: The transportation hub located in the heart of Porto does more than shuttle people back and forth. The French Beaux-Arts structure holds within 20,000 magnificent azulejo tin-glazed ceramic tiles depicting Portugal’s past - its royalty, its wars, and its transportation history. The blue and white tiles were placed over a period of 11 years (1905–1916) by artist Jorge Colaço.
Built in 1900, the beautiful station was named after a Benedictine monastery that once occupied its space back in the 16th century. Destroyed by fire in 1783, the house of worship was rebuilt but by the 19th century was torn down to make way for the expanding railway system. Built by architect José Marques da Silva, the very first stone was laid by King Carlos I himself.
Five years after the station was built, the intricate tile work began. Included in the landscapes and ethnographic displays are the Battle of Valdevez (1140) and the Conquest of Ceuta (1415) along with several other important events and places that created the vibrant city that this unusual and beautiful station resides in.
Another very important stop during our visit is the “Majestic Café”, founded almost 100 years ago. Among others, this café has had many renowned visitors, such as JK Rowling, the writer behind the Harry Potter book series. It is said she wrote part of the first book on that very café.
Our visit could not be concluded without first taking a tour through the wine cellars and tasting Port Wine. Here you will learn all about Port wine history and production process. There are many other things to see in Porto but likely there won’t be time. Don’t worry because if there is we will have suggestions for you!
- CAVES FERREIRA: Founded by a family of winemakers from the Douro, in 1751, Ferreira possesses a rich tradition and a prominent role in the history of Porto Wine.
Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira contributed significantly to the consolidation of the brand. A legendary woman with a unique personality, who became a myth and a symbol of strength, facing the adversities of the nineteenth-century Douro.
Ferreira cellars invite you to discover a brand over 250 years old, a symbol of the highest quality that captures Portugal’s heart and soul.