A few months ago I went to Porto with a good friend of mine for the first time ever. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m definitely going back at some point 🙂 I was there for four whole days and in that time I saw a lot of the city and made some amazing memories.
We arrived in Porto at around noon and immediately checked in at our hotel Carris Porto Ribeira. As soon as I walked in, I was sold. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and it has a relaxed atmosphere. I’d highly recommend staying here, especially since it’s also close to everything. You could walk to the Douro in less than 5 minutes and there were all sorts of restaurants nearby. Since it was already way past lunchtime we decided to go and have a quick bite of food. We decided to go to The Win Box, since it was recommended to us and since we are both big fans of wine. It truly was the perfect lunch. We had a few tapas and a glass of wine and we were ready to go explore the city! We decided to walk along the Douro and enjoy the sun.
After our walk we got back to the hotel to change and go out for dinner. We found a restaurant right next to the Douro where I had a delicious dinner. I ordered tomatoes and mozarella with cold purple cabbage. You need to try that out! So delicious!
The next day we went on a bike ride to Matosinhos. The bike ride itself was really nice, we enjoyed some great views, however we found the city of Matosinhos to be a bit of a letdown. During the bike ride we actually had to ride on tram tracks, because that was seen as the bike lane. And yes, there were actually still trams using these tracks! So every now and then we had to go out of the way to let a tram pass through. Loved it!
The third day we moved to another hotel, namely Hotel Teatro. It was in another part of Porto then the first hotel, so it was nice to have a bit of a change of scenery. I have never ever in my life been in a more beautiful hotel. It’s a designer hotel, so that might just be why. The staff was so lovely and they truly made sure that we were perfectly happy. And oh my god… Breakfast was out of this world! We started our day with champagne (Yes! Champagne!) and salmon. You couldn’t help feeling like a queen.
We also went to the other side of the Douro to go and have a port wine tasting. Once we were on the other side we firstly visited the monastery ‘Mosteiro da Serra do Cristal’. It was very impressive and we had a beautiful view of the side of Porto where we stayed. After we had a picknick and a bit of a photoshoot we went to visit Taylor’s, which is a very famous name in the world of port wine. I definitely recommend going there because it’s money well spent. You get a thorough and interesting tour and learn how port wine is made and what kinds of port wine exist. After that we got the chance to taste two different kinds of port, a white one and a red one.
I must admit before tasting red port I wasn’t a big fan of red wine, but, man, that glass of port changed everything for me! Ever since I’ve been a big fan of red wine. We wrote the names of those wines down and on the last day we both bought both the red and white port wine to take home with us.
On the last day we went to Jardim do Palacio do Cristal. We were only gone 5 minutes before I decided to sprain my ankle. In my defence there were some stupid grids in the street with rather large holes in them and my foot kind of slipped into one of those holes. It was quite alright to walk on so we continued. The gardens were really nice, but after sitting down for a few minutes, I couldn’t really walk anymore. So I had to kind of hop my way back to the hotel. At that time it was horrible, but now it’s rather funny since it’s typical me!
To end our trip we had dinner at the hotel, which was a good thing for me since I couldn’t walk anymore (sorry, girl). We started with a glass of port wine (of course!) and we ended the evening with a Tawny port wine of 20 years. How I wish I could have bought that bottle! But it was just a tad out of my price range. I will never forget the taste of it though… Someday I’ll have another glass (or maybe bottle)!
All I can say is that this trip was great. If you haven’t been to Porto, go! You won’t regret it 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I will talk to you very soon!
x Evelien x