The North of Portugal has been gaining a lot of attention for the past few years. It’s biggest city, Porto has been featured in news outlets all over the world. Associated to a trip to Porto is always a trip to Douro, the wine region that is an UNESCO monument.
The Telegraph calls it a trip to the heart of Portugal following the Douro River from Porto to the Spanish border were the reporter found some of the most authentic things Portugal has to offer. In the words of Stanley Stewart, the journalist from the Telegraph who took the trip “the Rio Douro, the River of Gold, is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, and the journey upriver one of the most scenic routes on the continent.”
Recently another renowned publication, Travel Weekly wrote about what they called “a chic stay in Portugal wine country” suggesting places to see the Douro River beyond the cosmopolitan city of Porto and where food and wine compete with the astonishing views of the Douro valley for the first place in travellers minds. Like many travellers do, the reports stayed at a property that besides producing their own wine, also offer a luxury stay and great food. And they describe Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House, as “(…)an oasis of flat turf where guests could amble between indoor and outdoor public spaces, relax at the swimming pool and, most definitely, sample a fine dining experience — outdoors, weather permitting — built around fresh, local foods and wine made from the property’s own grapes.”
The exposure Douro is getting in the press is increasing the tourists’ curiosity for the region, making Porto and Douro a must see in 2016.
Airbnb recently did a research on where in Europe their American users are planning or willing to travel in the near future. The preferred destinations surprised them and their readers also. The number one preferred destination is Porto, in Portugal.
Portugal’s second largest city, Porto, has been a popular destination for European travellers for the past few years since is located just 2-3 hours by plane from the most important European cities. The increasing number of low cost flights operating to and from the city have spread the curiosity about the city. The North region of the country is known for its natural landscape, like the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Porto is described as a city for those who are looking for “wine, parties in summertime, historic churches and bell towers, and Baroque and Beaux-Arts architecture”. And Airbnb gives an advice to their readers: since many Americans are planning to travel to Porto the best choice is to “[…] get there before everyone else does!”
Visiting Europe has always been a dream vacation for Americans, but destinations like London, Paris and Rome used to top preferences. The fact that Porto is the number one on the list even took Airbnb by surprise.
Here is the complete top 5:
Also on the list of the preferred destinations to travel from San Francisco is Porto, followed by Vienna and Stockholm.
Online editors of Hello magazine visited Porto and its surroundings to discover why the city voted twice as the “Best European Destination”
Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, located in the North of the country. For those who associate Portugal to sunny beaches in the Algarve region, the editors created a guide to this city full of history and a rich culture. Highlighting the fact that:
“Culture is also high on the agenda, with Porto’s historical centre listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
The article emphasizes a must visit to the Palacio da Bolsa, the former Stock Exchange, a 19th century building which took 66 years to build.
Being Porto the birthplace of Porto Wine, no trip to the city is complete without a visit to the many wine cellars and a cruise along the Douro river to see the astonishing views of the Douro Valley where wine grapes are cultivated. Douro cruises also offer, according to the article:
“[…] an unrivalled glimpse at the medieval relics, colourful houses and narrow cobbled streets that add to Porto’s charm.”
The modern art foundation Serralves is also a must see place not only for the art exhibitions but also for the “stunning gardens”. Porto surroundings are also a must see. Hello magazine suggests a day trip to Guimarães, the city that was named European Capital of Culture in 2012. It’s must see places are the medieval buildings and 10th century castle, which are a “well worth visit”.
Click here to read the full article on Hello Magazine.