We’ve been away and with the new addition to the Elf clan, we have also been very disorganized and didn’t get anything lined up on the site for our away time. So now we are back and back to business!
We’ve been in Porto and into the Port wine (especially the Tawny, my new favorite thing).
We arrive on a Friday morning and catch the metro from the airport into town before walking to our Air B and B. The metro is relatively easy to use and find within the airport. Have change with you for this, it makes it so much easier. You buy a card for 60 cents and then add trips to it. Two important things to remember:
1. Once you chose the type of trip (day travel or individual trips) that is the only type of trip you can use the card for.
2. When you use the machine for the first time remember you need a card per person. When you select 2 trips you will get one card with 2 trips on it. So best bet is to do them individually.
Right, boring information bit over.
We spend our first two day wandering in the streets of Porto. We walk up the hill into the Cathedral, which is lovely but not as nice as some of the little churches that we discover as we walk around. But the view from the Cathedral beside the Bishop’s Residence is lovely. This is a lovely area and well worth a visit.
We duck into 3-4 different churches which are beautiful all inlaid with gold our favorite is Igreja de Sao Francisco. Porto is a wonderful place to wander in and the views that open out as you turn a bend in a little alleyway. The tiled houses with their different colours and the terracotta roof tiles make this city lovely to look at.
Head across the big iron bridge called Dom Luís I Bridge built by Théophile Seyrig, there are two levels and you can walk across both. The view from the top level is spectacular. The bridge connects you to Vila Nova de Gaia, which is where the port cellars are. The view back across the river to Porto is fab.
Once you are in Vila Nova de Gaia, you will see all the signs pointing you along the water front to the different Port wine cellars. The different companies offer a variety of tours and tastings, tours only or tastings only. The best tour and tasting combination (as recommended by a local) is Crofts, to get to Crofts head along the waterfront and past Sandemans and you will see the signs.
For a good quality tasting head along to Quinta do Noval. If you want to tour here you will need to book well in advance, at the moment of publishing this blog, the next available tour is in September! But if you want a good tasting, this is a great place to start. It is a little more expensive than other options but the quality and different types of wines and ports that you will get to try make it well worth it. We split the 40 year old taster between four people at a price of 40 euros. The tasting comes with explanations of each of the wines and ports, how they are made, what the difference in ageing process is, bottling and so on. Also…wow, so tasty.
More information about Noval here.
More from our Northern Portugal adventure soon!