Having a Ryanair flight hub based in Agadir, we get the opportunity to fly direct to major cities all over Europe and low prices, so why wouldn’t you?
We booked this trip a few weeks ago, neither of us had been to Portugal before and we had heard very good reports of Porto, so decided a quick post-summer break is just what was needed. The flight was mid-afternoon, so a really sensible time to allow us to drop the dogs off at the Caniche Ranch Kennels for Zoe and Abdul to look after for us, then on to the airport.
After a short 2-hour flight, we landed at Porto – a really nice clean modern airport – and met our ride to the hotel. We soon found the Sky Top roof bar for a quick drink before sunset, then headed off to the main town, about a 30-minute walk for us.
Our first impressions we really positive, a vibrant city with lots of restaurants and night activity – so we found a nice place to eat and chill right by the river. The views at night are pretty stunning, especially the Louis 1 bridge which spans the Douro River. After a great meal and a few drinks, we headed back to the hotel.
Our first morning was taken up by a 2 hour segway trip around the city. We were warned that the city is pretty much all uphill, so getting a segway seemed to be a good way to see all the sights without all the major leg work. We used Bluedragon City Tours for our guided trip – they seem to be the most reviewed and largest in the town.
After a quick briefing session on how to use segways, we set off to explore. All I will say is go and do it – the guide was excellent and we literally zoomed around the whole city – it was fun but I struggled with my machine for some reason – but everyone else got the hang of it! It really saved a lot of leg work and was a great thing to do to make sure we saw everything.
The other really cool way to see the extended city area is by tram. There are 3 routes and you should do all of them, we only did one really but went right down to the sea and explored way outside the main city too – which is really pretty.
We kept ourselves busy doing all the normal tourist things and loads of walking, exploring the little old streets and bars, the large cathedral and tower with stunning views of the whole of Porto, the famous bookshop (Harry Potter fans with know about this) and Karen wanted to find all the Street Art around Porto, so we hunted down some of the most famous images.
The other thing you must do is do a wine-tasting session – we chose the Calem Caves tour – the oldest port producer in Porto. The guide was so enthusiastic and knew his stuff! We also had a Fado show as part of this tour – traditional Portuguese singers which was good (not really my thing but hey ho!)
One other thing we were told to do is have a traditional Francesinha for lunch – this is basically a monster sandwich with sausages, steak, cheese, eggs and sauce, and of course chips! It was delicious but you could feel your arteries clogging as you ate it!! God knows how many calories in that dish.
Anyway, we highly recommend Porto – we loved it so much – a great vibe, super food, and drink – a little expensive but where isn’t these days.
Where next? Not sure but Karen loves Italy so I guess it could well be there….as long as Ryanair keeps the costs down we can make this more often.