One cannot leave Porto without tasting Porto, the famous port wine which borrowed its name from the city itself. Our activities in day 1 in Porto involved a lot of walking all day long while we discovered the old school charm of the historic core. You can read more about that here incase you already haven’t done so. For the 2nd and final day in Porto, we saved the best for the last. Like a passionate kiss before bidding goodbye to a lover, we drenched our lips with five types of Porto before saying ‘tchau’ to Porto.
As per our roadtrip plan, we had to hit the road again on that day for a long drive from Porto down south to Algarve. Given that the drive itself was more than 5 hours long, we woke up early to treat ourselves to a sumptuous breakfast. The restaurant of the Hotel Black Tulip was situated on the 10th floor giving a really nice view of Vila Nova De Gaia.
After checking out from the hotel we went straight to the Ferreira cellar situated on the other side of the river Douro – on Vila Nova De Gaia side to be precise. Note that there are atleast 10 such cellars in the same location but 250 years old Ferreira is supposed to be the best in terms of the quality of its tours and the free Porto on offer for tasting. There was a fee of £34 for two persons and the English tour was not scheduled until 2pm.
Hence we took advantage of the time to explore the other side of the bank to see an amazing landscape of Porto. There were cable cars taking visitors from the Dom Luis I Bridge to the Cellar District. Like the other side of the river, restaurants were aplenty on this side too and it turned out that this side of the bank actually offered a better view of the Porto old town and its key landmarks. We settled for some lunch on this side of the river because we also thought it would be a good idea not to try out port wine in an empty stomach.
We returned on time at Ferreira and joined the tour of this famous winery which was established in 1751. The entire process of how the grapes were produced in the Douro region of Portugal and how they were transported over to Porto for ageing and processing was clearly mind boggling. Point to be noted was that in the cellars themselves, there were no vineyards as such and all those cellars were the storage, packaging and distribution centers for this prized aperitif that holds its rich heritage surrounding the town of Porto. At the end of the informative trip, we were invited to try out five of their best port wines – Porto Ferreira Ruby, White, Branco, Tawny and Dona Antonia Tawny. Having never tried port wine before and having five different flavours in one sitting was quite a kick we must say!
Completely bowled over by Porto in these 1.5 days and still a bit topsy-turvy after trying out 5 different types of port wines, we hit the road for our next destination in the roadmap itinerary – Algarve. Stay tuned while we share with you in our next episode the astonishing explorations we made in that region.