Travel from Lisbon to marvellous Porto via Coimbra
After your fantastic adventure in Lisbon, travel north to Porto and the Douro Valley via Coimbra.
A. LISBON (SEE OUR PREVIOUS BLOG)
B. COIMBRA (200 KM, 2 HOURS DRIVE FROM LISBON)
Coimbra, a riverfront city in central Portugal and the country’s former capital, is home to a preserved medieval old town and the historic University of Coimbra. Built on the grounds of a former palace, the university is famed for its baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina, and its 18th-century bell tower. In the city’s old town lies the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha.
EAT AT CASAS DO BRAGAL
Casas do Bragal restaurant moved, with pots and pans from the small mountain village, to the urban area of Coimbra. The location changed, but the good kitchen remained. The roast veal, the cod, mushroom risotto and other typical local dishes are a must. In addition, it also has the talented hands of the cook Manuela Fence, which gives the dishes a touch of her own, special and appreciated by the most discerning palates. A quiet environment with modern decor that attracts customers and friends, to taste their delicacies and Portuguese wine.
PLAY AT VIAJEPORTUGAL
ViajePortugal was born for the passion for travel and the desire to provide authentic experiences. Viaje Portugal is a company with a young spirit and despite being young, the experience in tourism comes from the year 2000. Focused on providing the best experiences, they develop tourist routes with various themes: cultural, religious, sports, nature, wine & gastronomic throughout the national territory. On foot, by bike, jeep or van, they accompany you in that “viaje” that is in your subconscious that you never did and that you would like to do one day.
C. PORTO (124 KM, 1 ¼ HOUR DRIVE FROM COIMBRA)
Porto is a coastal city in northwest Portugal known for its stately bridges and port wine production. In the medieval Ribeira (riverside) district, narrow cobbled streets wind past merchants’ houses and cafes. The city is compact and easy to explore, here are a few highlights of this great destination:
1. CLERIC’S TOWER
Cleric’s Tower is the tallest campanile in Portugal. It stands 249 ft (76 meters) tall and climbing its 200 steps will give you a fabulous view over the city and the river.
2. DOURO VALLEY (94 KM, 1 HOUR DRIVE FROM PORTO)
The Douro is one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province across northern-central Spain and Portugal to its outlet at Porto. The Douro vinhateiro (winegrowing), an area of the Douro Valley in Portugal long devoted to vineyards, has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Traditionally, the wine was taken downriver in flat-bottom boats called rabelos, to be stored in barrels in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto.
3. PONTE DE DOM LUÍS 1
Stroll over the beautiful Dom Luís I Bridge, a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. At its construction, its 172 metres (564 ft) span was the longest of its type in the world.
Port is a Portuguese fortified wine produced with distilled grape spirits exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. If you do not visit the Douro Valley, taste and buy delicious port in Porto.
5. SÁO BENTO STATION
Stunning São Bento railway station is a 20th-century railway station located in the Historic Centre of Porto, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as a National Monument of Portugal. This building was constructed over a number of years, starting in 1904, based on plans by architect José Marques da Silva. The large panels of azulejo tile were designed and painted by Jorge Colaço; they were completed in 1916 and the station was then inaugurated.The murals represent moments in the country's history and the multicoloured panels depict rural scenes showing the people of various regions.
6. SÉ DO PORTO
The Porto Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in the historical centre of the city of Porto, Portugal. It is one of the city's oldest monuments and one of the most important local Romanesque monuments.
Porto is a delight for foodies - from traditional local dishes like the francesinha and tapas to cutting-edge cuisine.
SLEEP AT EXMO. HOTEL
Exmo. Hotel is in perfect harmony with the traditional houses that surround it, this cozy and laidback hotel implores its visitors to feel at home, welcoming them not only to borrow a book from the living room library, grab a slice of homemade cake from the Exmo. Bar, but also to integrate themselves into the district's vibrant culture.
SLEEP AT IN PORTO GALLERY GUESTHOUSE
The In Porto Gallery Guesthouse is a different space that combines your stay at Porto in a creative, unique and relaxing atmosphere, that only art has the ability to inspire. The In Porto Gallery Guesthouse is located in the historic center of Porto in one of the oldest streets of the city. The full recovery of a building with the traditional architecture of Porto allows you to get closer to the city and its inhabitants in an authentic, cozy, informal way and filled with art.
SLEEP AT MERCADOR GUEST HOUSE
Located in a quiet area in the center of Oporto, on Rua Miguel Bombarda, the Mercador is within walking distance of such emblematic and historical places as Cedofeita Street, the gardens of the Palacio de Cristal, the Casa da Marca, Clérigos and its famous tower, the Virtues and its views on the Douro and the move of Baixa and Ribeira.
SLEEP AT PORTO MUSIC GUESTHOUSE
At Porto Music Guest House you will find a traditional centennial house in the city of Porto with 7 rooms. Located in the avenue where the luxury hotels of the city are, this guest house is the alternative to those who look for a more personalized service and a quiet environment without losing the quality of a hotel service that is impeccable and attentive to detail. It is right in front of the emblematic "Casa da Música" (House of Music), Porto's most famous musical theater. It benefits from excellent access and is located 200 meters from a transport interface (metro and bus).
SLEEP AT TOREL 1884
The idea of luxury accommodation in a historic building in the very heart of Porto has become reality: Torel 1884 Suites & Apartments offers you 12 deluxe rooms and Suites in a former Palace. In addition, you can choose from 11 unique Apartments located 200 metres away, on Rua das Flores, downtown Porto’s trendiest street. The stunning Palace dates back to 1884, and they have filled it with the spirit of the Portuguese explorers: travel the world by visiting Africa, America and Asia, and discover a different exotic theme in each room – from spices and silk to coffee, tea, porcelain and tapestry.
SLEEP AT TOREL AVANTGARDE
Torel Avantgarde is an Award-winning five-star art boutique hotel in the centre of Porto. Inspired by the Avantgarde years, the design of the hotel is reminiscent of the elegance of the 1930s/40s, while at the same time celebrating contemporary portuguese art, design and craftsmanship. Each of the 47 rooms and suites is dedicated to an avantgarde artist and designed individually. Enjoy the stunning view over the river Douro, sip a cocktail in the quirky “Avant-Garden”, or relax with one of the signature treatments in the SKINLIFE Wellness Spa.
SLEEP AT TOREL PALACE PORTO
This new project by Torel Boutiques is housed in one of the most stunning historic palaces in Porto, the Palacete Campos Navarro. The Palace, dating back to 1861, and typical of those of the bourgeoisie at the time, is one of the most impressive and distinguished examples of the romantic architecture period in Porto. A highlight is an exceptionally stunning skylight (“Claraboia”).
EAT AT ANTIQVVM
Michelin-starred delight with stunning views. Antiqvvm serves contemporary Portuguese gastronomy created by chef Vitor Matos. With amazing views over the Douro River, it’s a great place for a romantic meal!
PLAY AT FOOD LOVER TOUR PORTO
Authentic food & wine experiences. If you’re hungry to discover the rich history and culture of the main northern Portugal city, then going on a food tour in Porto is a must. From tasty petiscos to amazing wine to sweet treats, the city has no shortage of culinary delights waiting for you to try. Eat to your heart’s content in Porto and find out why this city is at the top of every food lover’s list.
PLAY AT LAB PORTUGAL TOURS
Witness the charm of the Douro Valley Wine Region and join LAB Portugal Touts for a tasting. LAB Portugal Tours provide private tours or tailormade experiences for couples, families and small groups of friends, guided by professional drivers/tour guides with knowledge of the cultural heritage of the region, local wine history and wine making expertise.
PLAY AT LIVE LOVE RIDE
On a bike tour in Portugal with Live Love Ride you get to discover the country in a unique way. Live Love Ride operate cycling holidays in Portugal, aiming to provide amazing experiences by Portuguese backroads and trails. Accompanied by experienced local riders you will get to know the country's rich culture and historic background, taste the local gastronomy and wines and relax at charming hotels and Spa's.
PLAY AT OPORTO & DOURO MOMENTS
Oporto & Douro Moments is a family company passionate about Portugal which organizes private and small group travel experiences throughout the country specializing in Porto and the Douro Valley. Their specialized guides, will take you to the off-the-beaten-track cultural, wine & food and tailor-made experiences.
PLAY AT PORTO XPERIENCE TOURS
Porto Xperience Tours mission is to provide their clients a unique experience. They want you to feel at home and they have developed unique and private experiences that will make you feel as a local. Get the chance to know the city of Porto, adventure yourself in the narrow and hilly streets and discover a city lost in time but in constant transformation.
PLAY AT WINEFEELS TRAVEL
Experience the best Porto day trips and Douro Valley tours with Winefeels Travel. Winefeels Travel was born as a dream of a young tour guide full of goals and amazing memories of the fabulous rides and tours she did in her life while working in the tourism area.
CLICK ON THE EXPERIENCES ABOVE FOR MORE DETAILS & IMAGES, DIRECTIONS AND TO BOOK DIRECTLY AT THE BEST PRICE.
When to go: Portugal has long hot summers, pleasantly warm springs/autumns and mild, but possibly wet winters. The height of the tourist season is from June until the end of September, while the beaches are at their busiest in July and August. The weather is suitable for spending time on Portugal’s beaches from May until the middle of September. The best season to visit Portugal is late spring or early autumn; when there are fewer tourists, but the weather is still glorious.
Visas: If you are visiting Portugal as a tourist or intend to stay for less than three months, you can apply for a Portuguese Schengen visa. The Schengen short-stay visa allows you to stay in Portugal, or anywhere in the Schengen area, for a total of 90 days out of a 180-day period.
Language: The language spoken is Portuguese but English is widely spoken by all people who work within the tourist industry.