Three things I love about Porto

Porto, seen from the water

Porto, seen from the water

A great sight, whichever way you look!

A great sight, whichever way you look!

Challenged recently to come up with three things I love about my favourite city, I barely hesitated before my thoughts turned to Porto, in Northern Portugal.

Accor Hotels are inviting bloggers to create a post (or a video) illustrating their three favourite things about any city they love.  In return, you can win a three-night stay for two, in London, Paris or Amsterdam.  Something nice to look forward to at this dreary time of year?  But you’d better get your skates on- last date for entries is Monday, 26th January at 12.01pm.  Sorry I couldn’t give you more notice.

The quayside at Peso da Regua

The quayside at Peso da Regua

So, why Porto, you might be asking yourself.  If you were around when I came back from my trip two years ago, you might remember that I was totally besotted.

1.  The city lies at the mouth of the River Douro.  Step into a boat (or catch a train if you’re a landlubber) and you have before you one of the most beguiling landscapes you could ever imagine.  As you depart the city, the hills ripple away on either shore, swathed in vines that change hue with the seasons.  Utterly tranquil, yet with the frisson of a huge lock or two to navigate, and ruggedly wild beauty as you penetrate further along the river.

2.  Porto has a beach!  Crucial for someone who could never envisage life away from the sea. Nothing could be more delightful than hopping on the tram and rattling out to Foz do Douro.  Or perhaps you would stroll it, but save some energy for when you get there.  There’s a long promenade after the last tram stop.  An old fort sits on the headland and there’s Seaworld if you prefer your fishes in a tank.  Bars and restaurants abound for a lazy toasted end to the day.

A restaurant with a view, at Foz do Douro

A restaurant with a view, at Foz do Douro

3.  It’s all in the name!  The home of port wine, there is no better setting for sampling a glass or two.  Three if you’re going to try Ruby, Tawny and White port.  No need to rush it!  There are numerous wine lodges, beside the river or up on the hill with magnificent views, if you can handle the climb.  You will amble home with a smile on your face. That’s for sure!

Barcos rabelas at ease in their moorings

Barcos rabelas at ease in their moorings

If you’d like to spend a little more time in Porto with me, try Simply beautiful blue and white.  It’s a feast of azulejos! But then you should decide which is your favourite city, and visit A tale of three cities for details of how to enter the competition.


  1. I have Foz on my action list … together with Matosinhos – I was thinking about taking the bus … I didn’t know there was a train. Thanks for the guiding.

      1. Do you mean the tram … ??? I looked it up and there is a tram that goes from Palácio da Bolsa along the cost .. so I will take that back from Foz.

      2. This was the post I meant, Vivi. I had to hunt for it 🙂 :)

  2. Everywhere I turn, beauty and peace surrounds me. A wonderful place to explore, find adventures and just enjoy life. Wishing you and your family a blessing-filled New Year full of happiness.

  3. Now I know why friends of ours love it there so much…you’ve given me the perfect tour and now I want to go too. Loved your photos Jo, and all the best with the competition 🙂

  4. il tup grande amore per il Portogallo è ben chiaro in queste splendide foto e nella sua appassionata descrizione, tutto è molto coinvolgente in questo magico paese che anche io amo moltissimo!

  5. Your post brought back lovely memories, Jo! I can surely find 3 things I love about Porto and then tiptoe to the forth and the fifth and… Oh, yes, I forgot to mention I have been there just once – for a week in January, still…doesn’t make me less of admirer! 🙂

    1. I imagine it was pretty cold in January, Ese, so maybe not the beach, except for a brisk stroll? But it’s a lively place and I would certainly give it a whirl early in the year 🙂

      1. There was quite a bit of rain there but also some sunny moments in between, too – not exactly for sunbathing but good enough for strolls along the ocean 🙂

  6. You got a very very nice city there, Jo. Really awesome! Love the buildings by the water. Always pleasant view to see. Thanks so much for the tour esp. I never really know about Porto since this post. 🙂 Good luck. Don’t you worry. I won’t be participating so you get better chances. Ahihihi 😅 i kid i kid.

    1. Huge relief that you’re not entering, Rommel! I might now have the tiniest chance 🙂 Can you believe that I’ve never been to Amsterdam? I would be so grateful 🙂
      The Douro is a beautiful area and I’m pretty sure you’d love Porto. Some day, huh?

  7. Perfectly timed Jo! Have just booked two nights in Lisbon in May followed by a train journey and two nights in Porto. Need to check back over your posts for these two cities. Good luck with the competition – I happen to know that Accor have a hotel in Porto…. 🙂

    1. Don’t think I have much Lisbon stuff. We’re due a revisit but following the stolen purse incident last time we’ve been a bit slow about returning. Still much to see though. I have 5/6 Porto posts and I loved it. How’s San Fran, you jet-setter, you 🙂 🙂 ?

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