Featured

Porto de Leixões
5 September, 2018 / , ,

An essential port for the country and a striking and award-winning building. The Porto de Leixões and the Cruise Terminal are essential to get to know Porto and the North.

As this an Atlantic region and with a strategic location, the arrival of goods by sea was always essential for the development of this area of the country. But the sea is also connected to leisure and tourism and Leixões wants to increasingly be a gateway for those who arrive to Porto by sea.

The Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, inaugurated in 2015, marks a new era in the history of the Porto de Leixões: the number of boats and passengers has increased every year (only this year it is expects 113 stopovers and more than 120 thousand) and those who arrive have better reception conditions.

The building is a spiral structure 40 meters high, covered with about one million white tiles manufactured by Vista Alegre. Its unique silhouette stands out in the landscape by the sea and awakens the curiosity of those who walk along the outskirts of Porto or Matosinhos. Inside, natural light and curved lines make the space more welcoming. It was considered the 2017 Building of the year in the Public Architecture category for the ArchDail website.

The Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões was considered by Cruises News as one of the best terminals in the world. This building is also home to CIIMAR – Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha da Universidade do Porto (Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine Research of the University of Porto). It also houses the Parque de Ciência e Tecnologias do Mar da Universidade do Porto (Marine Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto) and several research units with a maritime vocation (from Biology to Robotics).

The Porto de Leixões Day

On September 15th, the Porto de Leixões opens its doors between 10.00 and 19.00, with initiatives for all ages. In addition to showing visitors the daily life of the port, there will be boat visits and a regatta.

Avenida da Liberdade, Matosinhos

GPS: 41.190507246926, -8.6861515045166

Public transport: Bus: STCP – 505, STCP – 507

Subway: Line A

www.apdl.pt

 

Guided tours:

Sundays: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Normal ticket: € 5; free for children up to 12 years old; discounts for families,> 65 years, students.

Forte de São João Baptista
3 September, 2018 / , , ,

Also known as Castelo de São João da Foz, this fortress was built to protect the city from attacks by pirates and ships from enemy countries.

Built on the right bank of the Barra do Douro, the genesis of this fort was the residence of the bishop of Viseu, developed according to the design of an Italian architect. Considered as the first manifestation of Renaissance architecture in the north of Portugal, this house, as well as the adjacent buildings – such as the Church of São João Baptista and the chapel of São Miguel-o-Anjo – was surrounded by walls in the reign of D. Sebastião (1567). The strategic location, essential for the defence of the city and the region, would justify several interventions made over the years, trying to avoid attacks by pirates and ships from the nations with whom Portugal was at war with throughout its history.

When Portuguese independence was restored after 60 years of Spanish domination (1580-1640), D. João I wanted to know the state of the national fortresses and the need to build them stronger. The French engineer Charles Lassart was sent to Porto to delineate the necessary works in the fort; it was decided to demolish the church and the residence, making the fortress safer. After the works were completed, the presence of troops in the area was reinforced. In the 18th century the fortress was described as having four ramparts and 18 pieces of artillery, but by the end of this century it was concluded that it would be necessary to strengthen security, namely with the completion of the pit and with the construction of two batteries. In 1798, a portal in neoclassical style was also included, with a drawbridge, which replaced the primitive door of arms.

The evolution of the deployment and the capacity of defence caused this fort to lose its importance during the nineteenth century. In the middle of the twentieth century, it was abandoned but ended up being considered a Monument of Public Interest and in the 80’s and 90’s it was part of a cleaning and consolidation work.

Curiosities:

In the sixteenth, the works were paid with the amount raised by the tax on the salt.

During the Peninsular War (1808-1814), on June 6, 1808, Sergeant Major Raimundo José Pinheiro occupied the premises of the fort. The next morning he had the Portuguese flag flying on his mast. It was the first act of Portuguese reaction against the Napoleonic occupation.

During the Portuguese Civil War (1828-1834), he protected, during the siege of Oporto (1832-1833), the landing of supplies for the liberal troops in the city.

In the nineteenth century it served as political prison.

The poet Florbela Espanca, married to one of the officers, lived in the fort in the early 1920s.

GPS: 41.148445879541, -8.6748862266541

Schedule: From Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:00

Procession of the paper costume in Foz do Douro
9 August, 2018 / , , , ,

 

From mid-June to mid-September, the União de Freguesias (Union of Parishes) of Aldoar, Foz do Douro and Nevogilde, host the São Bartolomeu parties – a group of activities that liven up the streets and unite populations and visitors.

The procession of the Paper Costume is admittedly the most awaited moment of the festivities, with a history that has already surpassed 100 years and that in the last decade has gained special notoriety in the city.

 

These are months of work and preparation, with a permanent focus on roots, history and stories of the region. The 2nd French Invasion of 1809 and the Liberation of the City of Porto is the theme for the Paper Costume Contest in 2018, which will take place on August 26. There are meters and meters of paper, surgically worked by dedicated hands that keep this festive moment in the city alive.

This year’s edition has 350 extras, from gatherings and associations of the União de Freguesias, who will join the remaining hundreds who visit Foz do Douro to live this unique experience.

The current format is now 75 years old and integrates a route that seeks to reach the main centers of the history of Foz do Douro. The costumes parade begins at 10:30 am and goes through the Cantareira, rich in its fishing tradition.

After the inevitable passage through the charismatic Jardim do Passeio Alegre, a favourite amongst many intellectuals who fill the culture of Foz do Douro and Oporto, the procession continues to Ourigo Beach where the sea baths take place, one of the most noticeable traditions at the São Bartolomeu parties.

These baths are filled with tradition and folktales. Also known as “holy baths”, these dives in the waters of the Atlantic – seven, as tradition says – are a way of thanking São Bartolomeu’s favors in the last year and for banishing malaria over the next twelve months.

The participants of this year’s edition come from Bloco da União de Freguesias de Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde, Associação de Moradores do Bairro Social da Pasteleira – Previdência, Associação de Moradores do Bairro Social de Aldoar and Orfeão da Foz do Douro.

People from all different backgrounds and spaces join in this tradition, showing that the city is made of all and with all even in the most popular of its traditions.

Douro Marina – Where excellence lies in the quality of service
16 July, 2018 / , ,

Douro Marina, located on a beach street in Afurada on the edge of Vila Nova de Gaia, is a port of great excitement with incredible views, places for walks, restaurants, shops and cafes.

This infrastructure is one of the emblematic works of the MCA Group that was responsible for the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance. With a capacity for 300 boats up to 20 meters, Douro Marina is the largest port north of Lisbon. It has support infrastructures and services with about 2000m2, spread over 3 buildings, whose architecture reflects and interacts with the surrounding riverside landscape, inspired from the Portuguese tradition of shipbuilding.

In addition to the port, the Marina has welcomed in its complex space, leisure events, sports, corporate events, conferences, training and presentations, benefiting from the extraordinary views and logistic conditions, which includes catering and meals.

Douro Marina is a new concept where sports, leisure, tourism, gastronomy and nature combine in a sustainable, innovative and full service concept.

For those who simply want to relax and watch one of the best sunsets in the world the esplanade is the ideal place. Nonetheless, you can also enjoy the 3 restaurants, nautical charters, nautical products shop, sailing academy, SUP gym and kayaks and bike rental, as well as spaces for group or private events.

Since its creation, the MCA Group / Douro Marina aims to achieve recognition in terms of sustainability and preservation of space as an indicative example where the intervention of man adds value and preserves its surrounding nature.

 BLUE FLAG HOLDER 2018 IN THE DOURO MARINA

The national ceremony to raise the first Marina Blue Flag in 2018 took place on June 19. This event took place in the Douro Marina in Vila Nova de Gaia, being the first Marina awarded the Blue Flag in the north of Portugal in the last 9 years.

Eduardo Vitor Rodrigues, Mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia, José Archer, president of the Blue Flag of Europe association and Manuel Couto Alves, president of MCA Group / Douro Marina, presided over the ceremony which also included representatives of public entities and tourism in Northern Portugal.

According to the National Blue Flag jury, the choice of Douro Marina to host the ceremony was recognition of the commitment shown and the work carried out in favour of sustainability. More so, seeing that there weren’t any Blue Flag awards since 2009 in a Marina or Recreational Port in the northern region of the country.

Monastery of São Bento da Vitoria
6 June, 2018 / , ,

Classified as a National Monument in 1977, the Monastery of São Bento da Vitoria is one of the most important religious buildings of the city.

When it was built in the 16th century, it was within the walls of the city, near the Porta do Olival, occupying lands that formerly integrated the Jewish quarter. The Benedictine friars arrived in Porto in 1597 and the following year they were authorized by the king to build a monastery, designed to mark the presence of the Portuguese Benedictine Congregation and to support the friars who passed through the city.

The construction of the building, designed by the architect Diogo Marques Lucas, began in 1604, but the construction dragged on for many years. The church, for example, was built in 1693 but its decoration was not complete until the end of the eighteenth century. Therefore, the baroque architecture of its exterior is accompanied, in the interior, by several decorative styles which reveal the change of styles and tastes during this long period. The first stone of the Noble Cloister was launched in 1608 but would only be completed between 1725 and 1728.

The grandeur of this granite monument is still impressive today. But at the time it functioned as a monastery, it was an important center for music and singing. The organ that exists in the church bears witness to this golden age.

The following centuries were somewhat troublesome: in 1808, during the Peninsular War, it was converted into a Military Hospital and, in 1835, after the expulsion of the Religious Orders, it was transformed into a Military Court and House of Soldiers, as well as Infantry Quarters 31 and Engineering.

Between 1985 and 1990 it underwent restoration works functioning as the headquarters of the Oporto National Orchestra and the Porto District Archive. In 2001, under the European Capital of Culture, the Cloister Noble was covered by an acoustic shell. In 2007, part of the Monastery was attributed to the Teatro Nacional São João. Since then, it welcomes theatrical plays, shows, concerts and special events.

Information:

Rua de São Bento da Vitória, Porto

Guided tours:

From Monday to Friday, at 12:00, and the first Sunday of the month, at 15:00, for a maximum of 30 people.

Price: € 3.00 per person.

Free entry for children up to 10 years old, accompanied by adults.

Reservations: 00351 22 340 19 56 or relacoespublicas@tnsj.pt

Parks, Gardens and Camellias
9 March, 2018 / ,

The parks and gardens are an invitation for one to leisure and rest, to a long break, an invitation to the pleasure of walking and a reunion with the history of these places, many of which are unknown. Just around the corner, this city can surprise you by the beauty of an undiscovered green space.

 

Varied and restful routes can be found in the green spaces of the city, destined to all ages; each with its different charm throughout the seasons. The richness of the natural heritage and the reconstruction of forgotten environments of our rural areas provide very didactic tours. On the other hand, the variety of the existing support equipment offers the opportunity for an extended stay and  the pursuit of other type of activities.

 

The parks and gardens of the city of Porto that we selected for these routes are located in three large areas of the city that we defined as: Historical Center, Baixa and Boavista / (Palácio de Cristal Gardens, João Chagas Garden (Jardim da Cordoaria, Parque das Virtudes, Jardim Botânico, Jardim da Casa da Prelada, among others) Western zone (Parque da Cidade, Parque de Serralves e o Jardim do Passeio Alegre, among others) and Eastern zone (Parque de S. Roque, Parque de Nova Sintra, Quinta de Villar D´Allen, Quinta de Bonjóia and the Municipal Nursery, among others.) Plan the walks for the most pleasant hours of the day and pay attention to the working hours of the various spaces. Comfortable footwear.

 

As spring is just around the corner and the colorful days are sorely missed, we could not fail to highlight the Camellias, protagonists of this time in the city.  Porto was the first city in Europe to be known as the “City of Camellias”. Originating in Asia, the entrance of these flowers have a history in the north of Portugal and Galicia in the century. XIX. We can find them in almost all the gardens and green spaces of the city. In public spaces, in cemeteries or in houses, Camellias are queens from October to April. So that you do not miss out on anything about the celebration of this Asian flower, discover the events that Porto prepared for you on the 3rd and 4th in the Monastery of São Bento da Vitória. Do not miss the set of initiatives that will run in parallel in different places of the city! And do not forget: pass by one of the Oporto Tourist Offices where you can find the itinerary “Porto. City of Camellias “, with suggestions on the best places in town to see and smell these flowers! Do not miss out on all the Porto.CARD discounts dedicated to this season!

 

 

Cooperativa Árvore – A house that breathes art
2 March, 2018 / , ,

In an old noble house in the 60s, near Passeio das Virtudes and with a stunning view over the Rio Douro, Árvore – Cooperative of Artistic Activities was born as a space for the disclosure of art, idealized by Porto’s greatest names in art.

Árvore was founded in 1963 by artists, writers, architects and intellectuals, highlighting Master José Rodrigues, sculptor and author of the famous Ribeira Cube.  He, along with Armando Alves, Pulido Valente and Ângelo de Sousa, got together in an abandoned quinta and began the recovery of the building, adapting it to its new cultural functions.

The gallery and the auditorium were inaugurated in 1971. Despite having been through hardships, which, for instance, forced some of its estate’s artistic work to be auctioned, Árvore survived and has undeniably pronounced the artistic panorama of the city of Porto.

The institution has an intense cultural agenda with exhibitions, conferences, lectures and talks, workshops, competitions, book editing and art installations.  Its purpose is to produce, promote and sell artistic and editorial works, and the development and information of members and the general public in the areas of visual art, the study of art and other areas of production. In the past few decades it welcomed colloquiums, cinema cycles, theatre and music and it presented the work of hundreds of painters, sculptures, photographers, designers and architects. In addition to the exhibitions, you can visit the store, the offices of screen-printing techniques, engraving, lithograph and ceramic (booking in advance required) and enjoy an unrivaled view to the Douro from your garden.

The House
José Pinto de Meireles ordered the construction of the Árvore building, which was concluded in 1763. The family crest can still be seen on the front door. The quinta and the gardens were constructed so those who went by the Rio Douro could see them.

Today, they are a privileged viewpoint and a very enjoyable place to spend a late afternoon, especially in the summer.

Exhibitions to see at Árvore:

  • 23rd February to 3rd April– Emerenciano + Helena Jalles

 

Information:

Rua Azevedo de Albuquerque, 1, Porto

Schedule

Monday to Friday: 9.30-20:00

Saturday – 15:00-19:00

Closed: Sundays and bank holidays

 

 

 

12 REASONS TO BUY PORTO.CARD
9 January, 2018 / ,

Find out why Porto.CARD may be your best buy for 2018!

 

1 – Attractive price

It is possible to buy the pedestrian Porto.CARD from 6 € and if you opt for the digital version, you only pay 5.70 €. Moreover, is it advantageous to buy a one day card without access to public transport? Here’s an example: on the 1-day cruise ticket on the Douro you get a discount of up to 20%. In fact you save more than € 10.00 on the price of the card.

 

2 – With or without public transport

Porto.CARD exists with the option of having public transportation or not. This pedestrian version is an excellent option for those who already have a car or want to rent a car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. Everything is available in Porto.CARD. If so, you can get discounts of up to 57% of SABA car parks.

 

3 – Unlimited free access to public transport

If you choose to use public transport, in any of the different choices with transportation from € 13, (1, 2, 3 and 4 days), you have unlimited access to all Metro lines without restriction, as well as on the bus lines of STCP and urban CP Trofa-Valongo-Espinho. What you cannot forget is to validate your Andante Tour ticket whenever you change lines and / or transport.

 

4 – Diversified cultural and tourist attractions

Porto.Card offers you the most current and diversified cultural and tourist attractions: from museums to monuments, tourist circuits (by foot, by car, bicycle, motorcycle, minibus, classic car, boat, sailboat, helicopter, segway, tuk tuk, and rickshaw), there are umpteen ways to get around Porto with generous discounts. Restaurants and shops are among the more than 170 points of interest to discover in Porto.CARD

 

5 -Ease and convenience when shopping

Did you know that you can buy the Porto.CARD in advance at short.visitporto.travel/portocard, at the Official Tourist Offices or at the Nova Câmbios (New Currency Exchange) office at Porto Airport? You can also buy the Porto.CARD digital at buyportocard.visitporto.travel or on the app (Porto Card – Official City Pass) and start using your card as soon as you arrive at your destination. There are several options for your trip: Metro, STCP buses or the reservation of a transfer with discount from Porto.CARD. Just choose the most convenient option!

 

 

5 – Restaurants with a variety of cuisine types

In Porto.CARD you will find restaurants from traditional cuisine to signature cuisine, the latter awarded with a Michelin star. Obviously, the traditional “Francesinha” is present in three specialty restaurants, as well as other types of cuisine. Discounts up to 15%

 

6 – A world of tourist circuits

Did you know that with the Porto.CARD you get discounts on more than 80 tourist circuits, which include trips to Porto, to the Douro River and Minho? Day or Night Tours? Panoramic bus or cable car? From Gastronomy to literature? Contemporary architecture or the Historic Center? What becomes difficult is the choice. Discounts up to 25%

 

7-The most authentic way to learn about Port Wine

With Porto.CARD you have the opportunity to tour the 9 Port Wine Cellars, get to know their history and to taste this internationally acclaimed wine. The card offers you one cellar with free entrance and on the remaining cellars your discount can reach 30%, from November to March.

 

8- Families with children

There are many places to visit with family and to entertain the little ones with discounts of up to 50%. Take the time to relax or have fun with the kids while saving a lot of money.

 

9-For the romantic tourist

If you are looking for romanticism in Oporto this is the city of choice. With Porto.CARD you have the most romantic places to visit, to enjoy good gastronomy and to shop and surprise those who you most love! Discounts up to 20%

 

10 – For the youth

Activities for young people are present in Porto.CARD.  There are many options for the younger travelers who seek challenges! From surf lessons, Jet Boating, Cannoning, Rafting to jeep trails in the Douro and Gerês national Park.

 

11- Modalities adapted to different needs

The Porto.CARD exists in 8 modes: 1, 2, 3 and 4 days, with or without transport, which allows you flexibility in choosing the most convenient card. Being the official card of the city offers you security and confidence.

 

12- Personalized advice at tourist offices

If you choose to buy Porto.CARD at the official tourist offices, you will be personally attended to by attendants who know the city very well and are able to advise the best solutions and options for your enquiry. Be sure to visit us and be pleasantly surprised!

Port Wine: A Christmas Tradition
5 December, 2017 / ,

In Portugal, Christmas is always a good excuse to drink, buy or gift someone with Port Wine. Visiting the Port Wine Cellars is the best way to have the best wines, at the table or on the Christmas shopping list.

The diversity is great and each type of Port wine is suitable for specific dishes and specific moments, as it is best way to know this wine well, because only then will you be able to enjoy it in its plenitude.

The best place to learn everything about Port Wine are the cellars, located in Vila Nova de Gaia. It was there that, until the last century, the Rabelo boats, coming from the Douro estates with kegs of wine, were docked and stored. In these enormous warehouses located by the river where light and humidity help the taste, color and texture of the wine can be perfected.

Today, the cellars are must see places for those who visit the city of Porto. In addition to getting to know the complete history of Port Wine and the journey made by the grapes from the Douro to the moment they arrive in your glass, you will also have the opportunity to taste and buy various types of wine.

We highly recommend a visit to the Ferreira cellars and the Sandeman Celllars.

 

CELLARS

Ferreira

 

 

Avenida Ramos Pinto, 70, Vila Nova de Gaia

Hours: 10h00 – 12h30 / 14h00 – 18h00

 

 

 

Classic Visit | Price € 10 pax:

Visit to the Cellars, including the Room of the Belongings of Dona Antónia and the Museum, with two Port Wine tasting.

Visit Dona Antónia | Price € 20 pax:

Visit for small groups, with extensive wine tasting and a selection of 5 Port Wines, in a reserved area.

Visit Casa Ferreirinha | Price € 14 pax:

Visit to the Caves, with three Douro Wines Casa Ferreirinha DOP winetasting, producer of the famous Barca Velha.

 

Sandeman

 

 

Largo Miguel Bombarda, 3, Vila Nova de Gaia

Opening Hours:

Every day | 09h30 – 12h30 / 14h00 – 17h30

 

 

 

Classic Visit | Price € 10 pax:

Guided tour with wine tasting of two Reserved Porto wines

Visit 1790 | Price € 20 pax:

A guided tour that begins at the Sandeman Museum and ends with a wider winetasting of Port wine at 1790

Visit “100 Years of Old Tawnies” | Price 40 € pax:

A visit to discover the long tradition of Sandeman in the aging and blend of Port Wines. At the end of your visit, a comprehensive winetasting of a century of Tawnies – tasting of 10, 20, 30 and 40 years – in a reserved and intimate area that also houses the Sandeman Antique Bottles Collection.

Visit Premium | Price 13 € pax:

A guided tour of the Sandeman Cellars, with winetasting of three superior wines (White, Ruby and Tawny).

Points of interest:

Sandeman bottle collection – more than 60 samples of handmade English bottles from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Suggestions by Joaquim de Almeida
6 November, 2017 / , , ,

With a career spanning almost 40 years and more than 100 films and television series, Joaquim de Almeida is the most famous Portuguese actor in the world. He lives in the USA, where he worked for the most part of his career, but spends some periods of the year in Portugal.

He was born in Lisbon in March of 1957, being the sixth of eight children to a couple of pharmacists. His career, however, would turn out to be another and, still very young, chose to pursue the profession of actor. When the Conservatory of Lisbon was temporarily closed due to the upheaval caused by the revolution of April 25, he moved to Vienna to continue studying. At that time he landed a job as a gardener.

In 1976 he went to New York to study acting with Lee Strasberg, Nicholas Raye and Stella Adler, while working in a bar. His first major role came in “The Soldier” in 1981, but it was “Good Morning Babylon” that launched him into an international career that has not stopped since. He has worked with actors such as Harrison Ford, Gene Hackman, Antonio Banderas, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, Benicio del Toro or Kiefer Sutherland.

As a guest star on TV shows such as “CSI Miami” or “Bones” – where he often plays the role of a Latino villain – he has also appeared regularly in other series, such as “24”, “Queen of the South” or “Training Day.” Simultaneously, he continues to work with Portuguese filmmakers and actors, achieving box office successes and winning several awards and distinctions.

 

Best bar

On a more cultural level, I suggest Maus Hábitos. To go out late at night, any day of the week, Casa do Livro.

Best Restaurant

It is difficult to choose one. Thus, there are three:  Oficina of chef Marco Gomes or the LSD of the chef João Lupo and also the less known Paparico, perhaps the biggest secret to eat well in Porto

Romantic Site and Tour

Sail the Douro River on the boat that was built for the 60th birthday of Queen Elizabeth of England. Spend two nights in cozy rooms and enjoy first class service. September and October is the best time to do so.

Secret of the City

It is the view that one has from the space of the Cooperativa Árvore. How beautiful it is to see the Douro from there, spend the afternoon between a wine and a snack … Very close to the center and yet, still so unknown to the people of Porto.