Porto (or Oporto in English) is Portugal’s second largest city and capital of the northern region. Its Gothic, Renaissance, Roman and Baroque buildings cascade down a granite hill to the banks of the Douro River. Its old town called Ribeira is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site that can give you a true taste of the times long gone with its labyrinth of alleys and churches.
The city is a wonderful combination of popular monuments by renowned world architects, fantastic Baroque carvings and a world-famous sweet wine – everything placed by a grand river.
The Douro wine-making region offers breathtaking views and cities that invite exploring and the delight of discovering it all for yourself.
A Little Bit of History
It is believed that the first settlers in this area were the Celtics, but in terms of history ancient Romans were the primary settlers. The Moors reigned over it for a brief period and then it was reconquered by Alfonso III.
The colorful houses of Porto, Portugal
The region was reorganized as the county of Portucale with Porto as its capital. The land was granted to British born Henri of Burgundy in 1095.
Henri’s son Afonso Henrique, Portuguese hero, launched the Reconquista from this city and won Portugal the status of independent kingdom.
The Portuguese-English alliance was symbolized by the marriage of John I of Portugal with Philippa of Lancaster in 1387.
British wine merchants set up shop here, and their presence continues to this day. Over the following centuries this unique city acquired a well earned reputation for rebelliousness.
In 1808, when Napoleon’s troops occupied the city, the citizens arrested the French governor and set up their own junta.
The view from the river Douro
The British helped them to drive out the French, and then they started their agitation for a new liberal constitution – they got it in 1822.
The city gave birth to Prince Henry the Navigator, a historical legendary figure. Alexandre Quintanilha, Bruno Alves, Charles Albert of Sardinia and Henrique Hilario are a few among the famous citizens of Porto.
There is a series of popular events and festivals here, such as the Fantasy Film Festival, Festival of Celtic Music, International Theater Festival, Festa de Sao Joao, Folk Festival, and so on.
The panorama of Porto
Apart from the popular port wine, Porto has a reputation for producing and designing fashion footwear and jewelry.
Where is Porto?
- 34.3 miles/ 55.3 km from Guimaraes, Portugal
- 124.8 miles/ 201 km from Guarda, Portugal
- 74.5 miles/ 120 km from Coimbra, Portugal
- 194.4 miles/ 313 km from Lisbon, Portugal
- 7.5 miles/ 12.1 km from Porto Airport, Portugal
- 88.2 miles/ 142 km from Vigo Airport, Spain
- 151.6 miles/ 244 km from Santiago de Compostela Airport, Spain
Things to See
- Igreja de Sao Francisco
- Ponte de D. Luis
- Ribeirinha Promenade
- Serralves Modern Art Museum
- Palacio da Bolsa
- Jardim Palacio de Cristal
- Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar
- Port Tasting
- Guided Tour
- Miramar Porto Beach
- Vila do Conde Porto Beach
- Espinho Porto Beach
- Matasinhos Beach
- Douro Valley
This famous city is an attractively faded hillside architectural wonder with venerable town houses and Baroque churches.
It is the ideal spot for an autumn sun break in a relaxed and artful fashion.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!