Posted: June 30, 2023
In order to get to know a place properly you ought to spend a little time there. On my third visit to Portugal in the past 3 years I spent two weeks in Porto this past spring 2023 pounding the cobblestone streets day and night, and I fell in love with this city and its people. Portugal and Porto's unique history has only begun to reveal itself too much of the modern world in the past 40 some years of transformation. Portugal was the last country in Europe to ditch fascism (1976) and more recently they impressively plowed through heavy austerity measures imposed by the EU. Having paid some dues for past transgressions the Portuguese have come out the other side in good shape, and are now one of the more popular European countries for travelers to visit, and deservedly so....
"A City Built by Artist for Artist"
More often than not Porto is over shadowed by Lisbon in popularity. Capital cities oftentimes grab the headlines, but in my opinion Porto, and the Douro Valley is the more interesting and intimate experience. It's 100% walkable, its restaurants are renowned and often old, and the city has an artistic vibe with loads of talented artists, crafts people and musicians playing everything from melancholic native Fado to punk rock. A city of hills, riverside quarters, windy warrens of old lanes and alleyways with centuries old buildings and beautifully tiled churches. Then there's the deep Duoro River and its remarkable history which gave rise to Portugals economy by means of Europes oldest vineyards. The old world charm of Porto is inescapable, it did not suffer the devastation from the 1755 tsunami as the entire south of Portugal did, saving all the old world charm. It's also considered to be one of the safest cities in Europe. Lisbon is certainly worth a visit, as is the Algarve and most all of the country for that matter, but Porto and the north are my favorite parts of Portugal.
With young well educated and gracious hosts holding down the majority of the hospitality jobs, antiquities galore, streets and buildings steeped in culture, wonderful food along and $3 glasses of wine, Porto hits all the high marks of a great European city to visit. With this, I've decided to share this experience by introducing a seven night stay in Porto called Intimate Porto. Our first two days will feature walking and electric bike tours which will give you the lay of the land, then you'll be good to go!
As always with Tours for Travelers we'll be having memorable meals in some of the best (not most expensive) restaurants together and on our own if you choose. I also have a list of off the beaten track recommendations such as the oldest book store, galleries, music venues, Fado shows, port wine tastings and more. You'll unpack your bags once for the week as we settle into our private home with a courtyard and small pool, and the rest will be history in the making....