Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Winter In Porto

With a bit of spare time on my hands thanks to the lovely MLK, I've had a chance to catch up on blogging our European travels. After London, our next stop was Porto, Portugal. It hadn't originally been high on my 'must-see' list, but our quick visit changed my mind. From London, it's just a quick two or so hour flight, so when we arrived around lunchtime we felt refreshed and ready to explore. We stayed at Pestana Porto Hotel in Zona Ribeirinha and it is really gorgeous, right on the River Duoro. As you can see from the photo, there are vibrant colors everywhere you look. After unpacking, our first stop was lunch on the water...I can't quite remember the name of the restaurant we went to (truth be told, a lot of these places are overpriced because of the view). What I remember most is ordering the snapper and having it arrive whole...not my fave, but I learned my lesson. Just know that the Portuguese fare is mostly fish and potatoes. 

One highlight was walking across the Ponte D. Luis bridge over to the port wine tasting area, what the city is most known for. We visited a few tasting rooms on the hill...my favorite was Croft where we basically had the place to ourselves and got a chance to speak with the wine maker's family. The port was actually really tasty! We headed up Porto Cathedral right before sunset and took in the absolutely stunning views. The foodie high point happened on our second day at Leiteria da Quinta do Paco where they make insanely delicious eclairs. The dark chocolate and whipped cream one was so good, we got three. You'll notice there isn't much night life in this sleepy little town but there is plenty of shopping, including all of my favorite European stores like Massimo Dutti, Mango and Zara (I know these are in the US too but I swear the collections are different over there). Two days was the perfect amount of time to catch the highlights. If you do visit, I would recommend combining a trip to Porto with another Portuguese city like Lisbon or the Algarve if it's sunny. Enjoy!


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