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A Trip to Porto

A view from the Douro, Portugal, featuring Julie

When we were younger (cue violin music) myself and my husband had many a holiday on the Algarve.

This time we opted for a Portuguese city and with our love of FC Porto and port wine there was really only one choice.

After a two-hour flight we arrived in Porto. A short metro trip later and here was our home for the next three nights: the four-star Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown.

Straight up to the 17th floor for gin, tonic and breathtaking views of the city with its historical churches and sea of terracotta roof tiles. The weather was so beautiful we changed into summer clothes and made our way down to the famous Ribeira district. It means "by the river" - the mighty Douro with its six bridges and beautiful Port houses that draw many tourists. To do it properly, take a river cruise and enjoy the history of the bridges, then afterwards walk along the promenade and enjoy a super bock beer while dining.

The walk back up to the Dom Henrique is not for the faint hearted with its cobbled streets and high gradients it certainly requires good walking shoes!

Next day we headed down to Bolhão Market (Mercado de Bolhão) to meet our cheerful guide, Paula, who walked us through the history of Porto while we tasted delicious little Portuguese treats like the pastel de Nata (sweet little custard tarts).

We learnt all about Prince Henry the famous navigator and subject of many tributes dotted around, and we visited the Palácio da Bolsa constructed at the time of Queen Maria.

We finished up with some tasty Portuguese cheese and delicious port from the Kopke port house.

Next day, a sequel: tastings at the Taylor's port house, including a sensational 10-year-old tawny. The gardens are simply gorgeous and next door is the beautiful 5 star Yeatman Hotel with its 2-Michelin star restaurant.

The weekend would not be complete without a football match, so as a grand finale we made our way to Estadio do Drago to watch FC Porto against Vitória F.C.

The match was a draw.

The holiday was a winner.


Riverside entertainment in Porto

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