The city of Porto, in the north-west of Portugal, is situated on the River Douro estuary and along a section of the Atlantic coast, the point at which the estuary drains into the ocean. In the Douro Valley there are extensive vineyards where the grapes intended for the production of port wine are grown. The famous wine produced from the valley’s vineyards is transported by river to Porto for storage, domestic sale and shipment to foreign markets.
Established during the period of Roman rule in Iberia, Porto possesses a rich heritage and is one of the oldest European cities. If you are planning on visiting Portugal’s second-largest city, with a metropolitan area housing around 1.8 million people, you should purchase suitable holiday insurance to protect yourself from the various difficulties one can encounter when venturing abroad.
Port Wine Museum.
The fortified Portuguese wine known as port is named for Porto, its city of origin, and today a museum exists in its honour. The Port Wine Museum, housed in a seventeenth century warehouse in the riverside Cais district which is home to many port houses, highlights the history of the production and trade of the product, with emphasis on how the lucrative business shaped the city.
Sé Catedral do Porto, or Porto Cathedral, was built in stark Romanesque style and is almost fortress-like in its appearance. This monument of Porto’s religious heritage, built between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, stands like a bulwark in the historical city centre and at night can be seen illuminated by floodlights. Admission to the cathedral’s is free and visitors will be amazed to see an interior surpassing its exterior in sheer magnificence.
Porto, like many towns and cities, emerged around the banks of a river which, in the days before decent roads, was the most efficient route of transport. Rivers allowed a settlement to expand its trade networks and in turn benefit from an influx of incoming wares. Visitors to the stretch of the River Douro passing through Porto may be interested in taking a river cruise or angling for both freshwater and marine fish.
Cais da Ribeira.
The district of Cais da Ribeira, located on the Douro waterfront in the medieval city centre, contains a network of narrow lanes and alleyways cutting between an array of old multicolored buildings in different states of repair. The Casa do Infante, also known as the House of the Prince, is a notable building in the district. Home to various bars and cafes, UNESCO has designated the district a World Heritage Site.
Igreja dos Clérigos, or the Church of the Clergy, was designed by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni and built during the eighteenth century in the Baroque style that was fashionable at the time. The Torre dos Clérigos, or the Clérigos Tower, is the church’s tall bell-tower and a prominent feature of the Porto skyline, with a summit accessible via a winding staircase of 240 steps.