Douro Valley

Not every city offers its visitors such a gorgeous view.

From Ponte Liuz I

City Hall

Outside and north of the old center at the end of a long sqare.


There are many churches in Porto. In daytime a small market is held in front of the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso.
City Hall Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

The church was completed in 1739. Note the blue/white tiles, which are typical for representative buildings in the region.

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

Inside São Bento Station

An old train station still in use within the limits of the old town.

Inside Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos

With its 75 m high tower, this church is a landmark of Porto.
Train station Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos

Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos

The church was finished in 1750. The crowds during the ascent of the tower reminded me of my visit to the Belém tower in Lisbon.

Igreja e Torre dos Clérigos

Ponte Luiz I

Named after the king, this bridge was completed in 1886. Having two levels is quite practical for serving the upper and the lower part of Porto.


Ironically, the upper level of Ponte Luiz I is used by the underground train. As a pedestrian you've got to watch out.
Ponte Luiz I Undergound

Ponte Luiz I

This bridge with its view from 60 m above the Douro is probably the biggest attraction of Porto.

Ponte Luiz I Ponte Luiz I


Needles to say, the construction resembles that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and yes, it was built during that time and by the same people as the tower. There is yet another one railway bridge of similar construction one klick upstream, which is even 9 years older.

Ponte Luiz I View at Gaia

Monastery of Serra do Pilar

Construction started in the 16th century. Due to its prominent location it also gained some military importance. The white buildings located underneath the monastery belong to a hotel.

Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar

Historic center

Portugal did not participate in WWII, else the center with its many small roads would have met a fate like so many others.

Old town Old town


A garden behind the remnants of the former city wall.


Arnaldo Gama was a writer from Porto and lived in the 19th century. His statue stands on the other side of the city wall.
Orange trees in front of city wall Statue Arnaldo Gama


There are still hooks on it, a bit high for practicability and likely showing the symbolic character of this column.


Construction started in the 12th century and continued over the next 500 years.
Pillory of Porto Cathedral

Ponte da Arrábida

When build in 1963, concrete had replaced steel in the construction of bridges. Time will show if it's better than steel.


Numerous fishes live in the waters of Douro, and rather big ones.
Ponte da Arrábida Fishes


It's a big river with 700 cbm/s and 897 km length. The white bridge is the Ponte do Infante, completed in 2003. Further upstream, Ponte Maria Pia, the oldest bridge in Porto from 1877, and another concrete bridge, the Ponte de São João from 1991, are visible.

Douro Douro

Vila Nova de Gaia

On the southern banks of Douro, in Gaia, are the companies with their cellars who trade the famous Port wine.


Rabelos were the kind of boats used to transport the wine barrels down the river to Porto.
The Port Wine side Wine boats


A huge hare, actually called "Half Hare" and made from garbage, is now an attraction in Gaia.

Port Wine

The Gaia side with its wine companies offers a great chance for tasting the wine. Be aware of the high alcohol content!
Hare Port Wine

Atlantic coast

The beaches near Porto are of a good variety.


A statue stands on the right bank close to the estuary of Douro.
Atlantic coast Douro mouth


The river widens and the tide can be felt. In the background you see the Ponte da Arrábida, the final one before the Atlantic.

Duoro near mouth

Forte de São Francisco Xavier

A small fortification dating back to the 17th century containing a small museum.

Forte de São Francisco Xavier Cannon

Fortaleza de São João da Foz

This fortress was built in the 16th century to protect the mouth of Douro. The photograph shows its inner yard.


Young people taking a bath in the river Douro.
Fortaleza de São João da Foz Ponte de Arrábida

Boat rides

Many small boats take tourists for a ride along the river within the city limits.


Very popular among visitors is the Linha 1 traveling along the Douro from the center almost to the estuary.
Ponte Luiz I Tram

River View

Since it is the best of Porto (with the exception of wine), here is another panorama of the Douro valley.

Ponte do Infante