Porto on fire

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.

The orange light of the sun crosses the smoke and reflects on the Douro river

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…

Impressive arabic room in Palácio da Bolsa

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.

Porto Sandeman
Mystery and wine

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.

This is Porto

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.

Laura enjoying the views from Gaia river bank

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.

Ponte Luis I

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 of feet pain with a good beer in the warm summer night of Porto.

Gaia river bank seen from Praça da Ribeira in Porto. All the wineries in front of us
Two Traveling Texans


21 thoughts on “Porto on fire

  1. I had not known about the frequent wildfires in Porto but will read a bit more about it. I love learning something new everytime I read a fab travel post just like this… thanks #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anette, yes, every summer it is common that all Portugal has wildfires. It is because of the eucaliptus forests, which were introduced in Portugal for the wood industry. However, this wood fires so easy… Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wildfire season is so scary, but it sounds like you still made the best of it. The architecture is really unique and lovely. The detail on the balcony shot is staggering!! What kind of wine is Porto known for?? (I know so little about wines, lol) #theWeeklypostcard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Porto wine is sweet and has more alcohol than the rest of the wines. We visited Sandeman winery, but there are many others that can be visited too. They show you how the Porto wine gets old and explain you the secrets of its sweeteness. Thanks for your comment 🙂


  3. I loved Porto too. Didn’t realize they had issues with forest fires. Glad you did not let the ash/smokey air stop you from a great holiday. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally get your feeling! Here in Los Angeles we get tons of fires and sometimes the air gets super dirty and we even see the ashes (covering the cars and other objects). That doesn’t work well for my severe allergies. I am glad you were able to enjoy Porto even with the thick air. I will love to visit one day. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you describe it perfect! I know that in California you have had also severe fires, maybe worse than those in Portugal. This is not good but it is an experience itself. Thanks for your comment 😊


  5. Porto sounds like an amazing place to visit but so sad the fires were happening at the time. Great suggestions on what to see and I love how you say “walk walk walk until your shoe sole falls off”. Thanks for sharing! I pinned for later. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Liked by 1 person

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