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Portugal, a colourful tumbledown dream

Streaming shafts of sun

Placed along hills facing the river Douro, the city of Porto is a jewel in Europe's best destinations. While definitely Portuguese, the city has an outstanding particular energy and overview, giving it also the title of nation, as the Portuguese use to say: O Porto e uma nacao. When the subject is wine, Porto is the teacher, and we just need to wish to have the doors of the wine lodges opened up.

Porto has always been a mercantile city, displaying medieval and modern architectures, with many buildings on the hills and valleys. The numerous wine caves are opened to tourists, and some of them have free tasting. There are also free guided tours in which they explain the wine making, the storage process, the characteristics and the origin of the wines. Most of them are located in the Gaia hillside, with neons and big signs.

Open everyday to visitors, the Sanderman Centre offers tours with guides dressed in costumes like their icon, going through the caves where the wine ages. For a cheap price you can visit the cellars of Taylor's, one of the oldest in Porto, offering a wine tasting, a visit to the library and a calm stay on their terrace, where you will have and amazing view of the city. Taylor's opens every week day from 10am to 6pm, and in weekends to 5pm.

After knowing and tasting the bests Port wines, a trip upriver will be relaxing. You can choose a cruise that takes all day long, or a trip of about one hour by the cheap price of 10€. They usually departure from Vila Nova de Gaia, the same where the caves are located, and some of them offers discount to cave visitors. There are also tours in the Douro River Nature Reserve, a bird sanctuary in the mouth of the river, an stupendous opportunity for nature lovers. The city of Porto is a posh and exquisite destination, being, though, accessible to your pocket!

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