Porto to start with
Whether Porto is your only port of call in Portugal or the start of your journey through the Douro our Start With A City Break over six days will introduce you to the best that Porto has to offer. And Porto has many secrets to reveal. Its secrets are in its narrow streets and its hills. Behind the doors of its old buildings. Secrets clinging to the shores of the wonderful Douro. Secrets of history culture food and wine.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
Barcelona thinks they do all the work and that those in Madrid do nothing. It’s a bit the same with Porto and Lisbon. Porto is a working city. Lisbon is just for fun. This is what the New York Times had to say: “But these days Portugal’s’ second largest metropolis – an attractively faded hillside city of venerable town houses and Baroque churches – no longer needs to coast on the reputation of its famous digestif. A jam-packed new night-life district is taking shape, and a blossoming creative scene features everything from an upstart design center to an avant – garde Rem Koolhass designed Casa de Música, a stunning concert space. And there’s great news for oenophiles as well. With the Douro region’s emergence as a hotbed of prizewinning red wines – not just port – Porto (also known as Oporto) can now intoxicate you with myriad vintages, new ambitious restaurants and even wine-themed hotels.“
Cool Portugal offers a range of tours in northern Portugal. But before you head off into the valleys and mountains you will need to come through Porto. In this tour you will have six days of opportunity to explore Porto and the cities, towns and villages around it.
Porto is quirky. So we have tried to choose some boutique accommodation which reflects the city. But if you prefer a hotel we can do that for you as well. Our pricing allows for boutique accommodation. A hotel will not add much to the cost. So what to do. Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is a maze of steep and narrow cobbled streets. It is home to beautiful plazas, churches and buildings with Portugal’s famous coloured tile facades. The Tram from Infante takes you to the beaches where emerges a more modern Porto with contemporary architecture and cuisine.
In the old Porto in Ribeira by the river the city feels dilapidated. Scratch the surface and you will step back in time sensing the charm of its by gone era. Up the hill near Clérigos you will find a book shop that typifies that sense of another age. Lello was opened in 1906. You will have walked into what seems like a private library. Hand carved shelves a central staircase and stained glass ceiling.
Move on through the centre of the city and then step into the Café Majestic. In these two venues alone you will quickly absorb the charm of Porto. And you will understand why the people of Porto feel they are better than those of Lisbon. If you have the chance watch Benfica play Porto. Then you will really understand.
Transport from Airport / Station to accommodation.
The afternoon and evening is free.
We suggest you take a walk down to the river. Avoid the tourist traps along the city side of the river. Cross over to Gaia on the other side and when you look back at the city you will start to sense what makes this city tick. And on the way back after crossing the bridge try a drink at the bar under the bridge.
For dinner try the Petiscos (Portuguese tapas) at Clérigo Vinhos and Petiscos.
Your guide will pick you up for your full day tour of the sights of Porto.
From the centre of the city to the river, to the port houses and to the Casa Música. A boat trip along the river. Wear your walking shoes.
On your return to your accommodation rest up and head out for dinner.
Tonight you will dine well in DOP one of Porto’s best restaurants operated by well known Portuguese chef Rui Paula.
Today you are left to your own devices. Catch the tram out to the beaches.
Wander around the shops in the streets along and behind the beaches.
And then lunch at Praia da Luz. But book. If you miss out head to Cafeína Bar Cafeteira just around the corner.
After lunch head back to the city and do some serious shopping in Rua de Cedofeita and into Me Allegro and then have an explore down Rua Miguel Bombarda.
For dinner tonight something light at Virtudes Restaurant and Wine Bar.
Your guide will pick you up today for a full day tour to Guimarães. European City of Culture 2012, European City of Sport 2013 and a UNESCO Heritage listed town centre Guimarães is also seen as the birthplace of the nation.
Portugal’s first King Alfonso Henriques, crowned in 1179, was born here in 1109.
For dinner we suggest O Caçula.
Your last day. What haven’t you seen. We suggest you revisit some of the places you saw on Day 2 and take your time. See what’s on at the Casa Música. Take a better look at Bento station. Wander up Rua Santa Catarina.
Take in a coffee and a pastel de nata or chocolate mousse. Have some lunch at Munchies.
Then stroll down the hill, across the river and while away the afternoon at the roof top bar at Espaco Porto Cruz overlooking the river.
And for your last night before leaving Porto dinner at either Shis or Cafeína two of Porto’s best restaurants.
Depart for your next CoolPortugal experience.
- Five nights accommodation with breakfast
- Transport arrival point to hotel and from hotel to departure point
- Full day guided tour of Porto including entrance fees where applicable, Douro cruise and light lunch
- Three course dinner for two at DOP excluding beverages
- Full day guided tour of Guimarães including light lunch
- Three course dinner at Shis or Cafeína excluding beverages
- Please note our Porto accommodation is in non standard rooms (superior or deluxe).
- If you wish a standard room or an upgrade to a suite let us know
- Our recommendations for restaurants other than those included in this tour can be booked by us in advance for no extra cost – just let us know