Port wine is not only an ambassador of the northern capital of Portugal, but also of the entire country. The quality of this wine liqueur is recognized around the world. Climb aboard this journey through history and the banks of the Douro and learn more about the history of this nectar.
Discover the cellars next to the river
Along the Ribeira de Gaia is where you can find most of the Port wine cellars.
Over 50 companies age wine in old wooden casks in their cellars that is produced in the Douro Demarcated Region. These companies have guided tours and tastings of different varieties of Port, where you can listen carefully to the history of Port wine. Back outside you will see the Rabelo boats in the Douro through other eyes, vessels that in the olden times brought wine from the vineyards of the Upper Douro to Porto .
On the Diogo Leite Avenue is Calém . On the river front you can visit the Sandeman cellar and the Porto Cruz Multimedia Centre. Housed in a nineteenth century building, in the Miguel Bombarda square, this centre aims to celebrate Port wine culture and especially, to promote this ancient product with the younger generation.
On Ramos Pinto Avenue are the Ramos Pinto and Porto Ferreira cellars. On neighbouring streets, going up to the highest areas, you will find other cellars, such as Graham's Lodge on the Rua de Rei Ramiro and Taylor's in the Rua do Choupelo. Usually between May and October, these spaces open between 10:00 and 19:00, and between November and April until an hour earlier.
In the area of Port wine cellars the commercial compound Cais de Gaia gathers more than 25 commercial spaces, among them restaurants, shops, cafés, bars and discos. Take this opportunity to have lunch on the other side of the river and admire the living postcard that is Porto's historical centre. Order the famous francesinha or a more traditional dish, such as tripe à moda do Porto or cod à Gomes de Sá.
Chose a restaurant with a terrace or glass walls and have lunch with the city's houses cascading in front of your eyes, forming labyrinths of narrow streets. From the pier in Gaia, you can go up to the Jardim do Morro in the cable car and continue to the Serra do Pilar, where the views of the city of Porto and its iron bridges are superb.
Venture out further...
To learn more about Port wine, venture out into the Douro. Several companies offer cruises on the Douro river of one or more days and which offer the opportunity to get to know the first wine producing region in the world to be demarcated, in 1756. Here, in September/October, several villas open their doors to showcase their harvest, giving the visitor the chance to take part in this process.
... or take the chance to visit Porto
Stroll through the centre and let yourself be filled by the strong character of the city and its people. Feel the intensity of life happening on the Ribeira. Throw a look at the sky and discover the towers of the Cathedral of Porto or go up to the garden of the church and rest on the viewpoint. Meet the Clérigos and if you have time and energy, climb the 255 steps of this tall beautiful tower built in a very unique baroque style.
Admire the São Bento station, with tile panels illustrating the history of Portugal by Jorge Colaço. Go down the Rua das Flores, vital arteries of the historic centre and admire the beauty and wealth of its historic buildings, listed by the UNESCO. Marvel at the Customs area and the set of colourful houses resting on arches on the Rua de Miragaia. You can stroll through all these places on foot or by bikes that can be rented next to the S. Francisco Church, but bear in mind that this area of the city has many hills!
In the centre of the city you will the very walls of all this history, these businesses and new projects: award winning hostels with unexpected balconies over the Douro; several design shops; the Palace of the Arts, an initiative aimed at the creative industry and young entrepreneurship, next to the majestic Palace of Exchange; a concert hall in the old Ferreira Borges Market, the Hard Club; signature restaurants; and modern tea houses.
Discover the secrets of Port wine on a visit to its cellars, journeys through the Douro river or just get to know the city. You will certainly discover new places on each visit and each time will make you want to come back. Contact us and we will be happy to include visits to the Port wine cellars in your next visit to the North of Portugal.