Off The Ship in… Porto, Portugal

Advertorial – If you are an adventurous eater always seeking new flavours, Porto may be the perfect destination for you. Portugal’s second largest city is home to an impressive variety of petiscarias, the Portuguese equivalent of tapas bars, port cellars, quaint bakeries and food markets where you can treat your palate! Seafood and fish will delight your taste buds, but what you should really try is the tripes. Porto has become a real ambassador of this meat that is not often enjoyed in North America. Tripes with beans, vegetables, sausages and spices make a delicious Tripas, a Moda do Porto dish that will mark all your senses! It’s not a coincidence, Porto’s residents are known as Tripeiros, or tripe-eaters… Those whom don’t fancy tripe may find Francesinha more appealing. This sandwich made of sausage, melted cheese, tomato and beer sauce; it is the city’s most famous dish. Don’t forget, Portugal is also home to the world famous Pastel de nata, or custard tart. Even though the pastry originates in Lisbon, Porto’s bakers bake these sweet treats to perfection. You also ought to try at least one glass of Port wine on your visit to Porto. The city actually gave its name to this fine beverage as this is where the wine ages. Porto is also where the wine is shipped from to the rest of the world. Visiting a port cellar should be mandatory on your trip to Porto, allowing you to get a first-hand insight into the history of the wine, the wine making process and sampling it, of course!

If you think that you’re not a foodie and therefore won’t enjoy the city… That’s when Porto will surprise the most with its array of activities and sights. The city has incredible history, architecture, culture and is the best gateway to the Douro River. Speaking of which, Porto’s name, which translates to Port, as you may have guessed, comes from its role as an important industrial hub at the mouth of the Douro River, or the River of Gold. The river’s name could not be more fitting as it is one of Portugal’s most breathtaking natural jewels. As the sun sets over the terraced vineyards, the river takes in the glowing sun’s last rays turning the water into liquid gold. Words don’t do it justice. You have to experience it with your own eyes.

Back to Porto, the city of bridges! Where there is a river, there is almost always a bridge, or two, or three, or six! Porto is known for its six magnificent bridges and is the only European city to count this many of them. The most impressive is the Dom Luis I Bridge, built in 1881. It is rare to see an arched bridge featuring a double deck! This bridge is not to be mistaken with its neighbouring D. Maria Pia bridge, with a single deck that was designed by the French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel.

Porto is home to diverse riches. One of the unique beauties you won’t want to miss the magnificent São Bento Railway Station located in the heart of the historical centre. The train station is a lot more than just a transportation hub. It is home to 20,000 sublime and elaborate tiles depicting Portugal’s historic battles as well as the history of transport. This is truly an impressive work of art, unique to Porto. 

Over the last five years, Porto has been designated Europe’s Best Destination twice. You will understand why as you wander its delightful cobble-stoned streets.

Are you ready to explore the urban gem of Porto? Combine your city exploration with a relaxing cruise along the Douro River onboard AmaWaterways luxurious cruise ships. Learn all about Port Wine and Flamenco April 10th or take in the sights of the Enticing Douro River September 29, 2020. 

Craig Travel’s  Cruise Specialists will be happy to help you reserve your favourite cruise starting in Porto! Contact them today at 1.800.387.8890. Don’t delay or you will miss out on the fantastic $200pp* early booking savings.


*Conditions apply. Book and deposit by: Port Wine and Flamenco Oct 31/19; Enticing Douro Apr 30/20.

Photo courtesy of Jens Moser/Unsplash.