Portugal is known for its perfect beaches for surfing, its fantastic food, its cultural heritage… and, unfortunately also for its wildfires during summer season. We experienced hundreds of wildfires when we visited Portugal two years ago. We remember ourselves crossing black smoke, having fire on the road margins, smelling smoke all day and wondering how far was the fire. One of the worst days was the one we spent in Porto. It was almost impossible to breath and it was raining ash as if a volcano erupted close to us.
Porto is special. Its decadent atmosphere was completed by the smoke, orange light and raining ash from the wildfires. The city looked unreal, like a ghost town but with thousands of people that visit the city everyday. Of course we visited the most impressive atractions like Palácio da Bolsa, the Ponte Luis I which you can see in the featured image of this post, the cathedral, …
And of course we also did Porto wine tasting. We learnt how the Porto wine industry started, thanks to an englishman, how the Douro river has the ideal weather conditions for the grapes and also their techniques and knowledge to create one of the most interesting wines in the world.
We recommend to get lost in the narrow streets, some of them very steepy. You will discover some corners where the city shows its special character. In our opinion, some of the most beautiful streets can be found around the Sé, the cathedral.
And if you have already got lost in Porto streets and have done a wine tasting in one of the wineries, then you can relax on the river bank by watching the boats, teenagers jumping to the river from the Ponte Luis I and enjoying a fresh drink while the sunset begins.
Walk, walk and walk till you loose your shoe sole. From one hill to another, cross the Ponte Luis I through its lower level and also through its higher level. Eat, eat and eat till you fall asleep. We ate the typical dish Francesinha, a super fat dish which has meat, cheese, eggs and a special sauce. Taste it, you won’t forget it.
And finally, from Porto river bank you can have some of the greatest views at night. Having dinner there, around Praça da Ribeira, is spectacular and romantic. Relax after a long day, feet pain and a good beer in the warm summer night of Porto.