|Private tours in Lisbon & surroundings||
We leave Lisbon through the highway towards North. Before reaching Porto, we can stop in Coimbra for a comfort
stop and a quick sightseeing. We begin our tour with a stop in the south bank of the river, at the top of a Hill, near
Serra do Pilar Monastery, for a nice view of Porto. Free time for lunch near Douro river, to taste the well-known
Porto gastronomy, like bacalhau (codfish), ‘arroz de cabrito’ (goat and rice dish), ‘arroz de cabidela’ (game stock
and rice) and the historical city favourite, tripe ‘à moda do Porto’.
Porto, the country´s second largest city and one of Europe's most charismatic cities has carefully preserved its
architectonic treasures. This is the city that originated and named Port Wine and Portugal, famed for its riverside
hills, medieval alleys, Parisian-style plazas, historic monuments and churches and a rather enchanting atmosphere.
Many leading tourist attractions and shops in Porto are to be found off the Avenida dos Aliados and the Rua Santa
This wide Avenue (dos Aliados) is one of the central points of Porto. The wide boulevard is surrounded by
impressive Neoclassical buildings. At the head of this Avenue is the Camara Municipal (Town Hall) and at its
southern end is the Praca da Liberdade. Streets leading off the Avenue offer some of Porto main shopping streets.
To the South East of the Avenue is the Estacao de Sao Bento - Porto main train station, which is worth visiting to
view the 20,000 azulejos.
|Close by is rua das Flores - this small street which goes up towards the São Bento station is flanked by traditional businesses and houses|
from the 18C with emblazoned facades. It was the old goldsmiths' and jewellers' street.
Close to the Avenida dos Aliados, there’s Torre dos Clérigos, a notable tower boasting exceptional views, prominent monument and the
symbol of Porto dating back to the 18th century. Not far Lello bookshop with a neo-gothic façade, and Carmo church (has a splendid
architecture) and Miragaia quarter (includes Santo António Hospital, the ancient city walls of Porto and several palaces and churches).
Praça (square) da Batalha is east of São Bento station and Avenida dos Aliados, one of the main squares in Porto and is near to popular
attractions like the University of Porto (Universidade do Porto), the Crystal Palace Garden (Jardim do Palácio de Cristal), Music Hall
(Casa da Música with a fantastic modern architecture).
The 12th-century Porto Cathedral – complex which also houses the Episcopal palace - resembles a fortress and enjoys a hilltop location
from where you can get your first views of the Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia. In Praça do Infante you can admire the Ferreira Borges market
and not far Grilos church from the XVI century in Renaissance style. The cathedral is just a short walk from the Praça da Ribeira in the old
medieval town that lines the River Douro and retains its medieval feel with lots of steep, narrow, cobbled streets lined with tall brightly
painted houses all topped in terracotta roof tiles.
The Palacio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange) is a fine example of 19th century architecture with its famous Arabic Room featuring laminate gold
Sao Fancisco church was constructed in the 1200s. Visitors can admire the Roman and Gothic styles of the church as well as its ravishing gilt
wood work in the interior.
The Dom Luis I Bridge dating back to the 19th century is on two levels, the lower part connects the Ribeira district bank with the area of the
wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. Here we’ll go to discover the secrets of Port wine. There are 58 wine companies spread out on the river
bank and we’ll comprise a visit to one of them with Port wine tasting included.
On the way back to Lisbon, you may wish to halt at Fatima for a comfort stop.
|...Oporto, Portugal's second-largest city and the capital of its port wine industry, with many streets|
unchanged since the Middle Ages, this city along the Douro River has a remarkably unspoiled assortment
of architecture. The history of this now great city had humble beginnings. The Romans gave the place the
name of "Portocale”. The Moors later occupied it in the early 8th Century. It was later captured in the
name of the Christian army in 982. The place only expanded during the Period of the Discoveries when
Portugal became Europe's central point in trade. In the 15th Century the town was one of the ship building
centres in Portugal. The city has a number of distinctive atmospheres and this is very evident when
comparing the various parts of the city. As would be expected of such an important city it is full of fascinating
buildings. Oporto is full of charm with many art treasures, striking cathedrals, waterfront cafes and bars and an
atmospheric riverside Ribeira quarter. Despite being predominantly industrial, Oporto thrives on its history,
culture and wine...