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Portugal : Porto & Douro Valley

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡นย ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡นย ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น

Porto was the last stop in my itinerary. Porto is the second biggest city in Portugal. ย This place was the origin of port wine. It is also famous for its iconic bridges. In fact it is the only city in Europe which has 6 bridges. I stayed in Porto for 2 days. Weather was not at its best but there were intermittent clear sky.

Douro River

There are few unique charm to this city, Lello Bookshop with its amazing neo-gothic interiors (Harry Potter shooting happened here, it was Hogwarts library) . Then there isย Sรฃo Bento railway station to see the 20,000 tiles that decorate itsย walls. The old town still has itsย medieval charm with itsย narrow cobbled streets wind past merchantsโ€™ houses and cafes.

Porto Cathedral
Dom Luรญs Bridge

Dom Luรญs Bridge is the iconic landmark of Porto.ย  Gustave Eiffel was initially involved with the project. At the time of construction it was the longest double-deck metal arch bridge.

Dom Luรญs bridge at night

Porto is also the food and wine capital of Portugal. Variety of wine testing menus available in most of the eateries. ย Among the new things I tried there wasย Polvo Lagareiro ย (Grilled Octopus with potatoes) and Veal meat. Another speciality isย francesinha, a gut-busting monster of an open sandwich made withย linguiรงaย (garlicky smoked pork sausage), roast meat and ham, topped with cheese and a fried egg and drenched in rich beer sauce.


Next day my plan was to visit Douro valley. Douro valley is the main port wine producing region of Portugal. The valley is in the north of Portugal extending from Porto to its eastern border. Many farms are located both side of Douro river and its tributaries are the main source port wines.


There are regular though infrequent train services to Douro valley. I left Porto at early morning to Pinhรฃo . I took a boat trip from Pinhรฃo to Tua and back at 9.30 which lasted about 3.5 hours. ย This section of Douro valley is very beautiful with vineyards both sides of the river along the slopes. This was late spring so vineyards are slowly turning to lush green. Also this time of the year flowering Almond trees can be seen in abundant. We were given port wine to test on our way back. After coming back I had my launch at a local restaurant and then roamed around for few hours before catching my train toย Pocinho.


Pocinho is furthest point that can be reached by train. Linha Do Douro terminates here. Train journey offers excellent view of higher reaches of the Douro river, dams, vineyards and unspoiled country. I took return train back late afternoon and reached Porto late at night.