Porto, Portugal 🇵🇹 2019

Date: 12th August 2019

Travelled: 56 kms from Amarante to Porto both in the Province of Douro

Visited: Porto

Stayed: Venda Nova P+R municipal aire, free with services, N41.17511,W08.54140

Budget: 64 days @ €80 per day

We were in no hurry to leave Amarante. The Hymer was sitting in the shade and we had a lovely view of the Rio Tâmega. So we hold firm until our second coffee is done, then get the Hymer ready for the road. We set the GPS carefully to ensure we cross the Tâmega over the new bridge rather than the old.

Climbing out of Amarante we turn west for Porto into the heart of the Douro. This province is famous for it’s port wine and we spend the next hour passing hillsides scattered with vineyards.

Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, it straddles the Rio Douro. It’s a sprawling city and parking close to the city is not easy so we opt for the P+R in Venda Nova. Our data-base tells us there is an aire with services there. So we roll into north-east Porto, finding a Lidl on our way.

Map of Greater Porto, the icon on our parking spot.

There is a laundromat just up the block, so we get a load of washing done early, then walk over and catch the tram into Porto.

Walking out of San Bento Metro Station, we are a little surprised by how busy it is.

Our strategy is to follow the Lonely Planet’s ‘walking tour of Porto’, it seem most likely to take us pass most of the main sights. So we follow the guide…

Mind you the Coomur Sardine Palace is not in our guide…

Our next stop is the main San Bento Railway Station and it’s azulejo (hand painted ceramic) murals.

As we reach the end of the Rua des Flores we find the Museu da Misericórdia do Porto (€3.50 pp), the museum includes entry to the Igreja da Misericórdia, it’s facade is centre photo. The azulejos’ tiles, baroque carvings and plasterwork the finest in Portugal according to our guide. (Click any of the following photos to make up your own mind.)

We suddenly find ourselves on the Praça da Ribeira, looking across the Rio Douro. Behind us the Ponte de Domplanade.

At €7.50 pp the Church of San Francisco did not live up to the hype for us. Firstly there are no-photo signs everywhere, once you have paid and walked inside. If I had known I would not have paid to go inside. So stuff it, I took a few photos.

Finally we walk back up the hill to climb the 76m tower of the Torre dos Clérigos. We still have to wait 30 minutes, but we finally climb the 225 steps to the top and spend 5 minutes taking in the views of Porto.

So that’s Porto, we walk down hill a hundred metres to the metro and make our way back to Venda Nova arriving back at the Hymer around 7 pm. We are both tired and a takeaway sounds good so I walk around the block, finding a cafe which did a remarkable good burger and fries. We have another drink and another day slides through to the keeper.

Michael and Pam

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