Luxury holidays in Porto
First stop on your Porto holiday: the Unesco-favoured Ribeira district, a picturesque patch of winding streets and steep staircases, where azulejo-tiled buildings abound. Along the river, tree-lined boulevards shadow grand houses and, to the south, Vila de Gaia is where to head with a hearty appetite for port, the city’s namesake drink, proudly produced here for centuries. Today, Porto has spread past its original confines to seaside suburbs, such as Foz do Douro. But architecture fans will also gawp in admiration at the Casa da Música and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea, two striking visions in white.
When to go
With a mild Mediterranean climate all year round, it’s hot from June to September, and only marginally chilly in winter (November to February).
PlanesPorto’s airport is 15 kilometres north of the city centre, and served by several low-cost carriers linking up Europe, including EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com). Tap Portugal (www.flytap.com) connects the city with Europe, South America and the USA.
TrainsThe main station is Campanhã on Largo da Estação de Campanhã, visited by various international, national and regional services; check Comboios de Portugal for details (www.cp.pt). São Bento station on Praça Almeida Garrett in the city centre has suburban services to Braga, Guimarães and Marco de Canaveses. From Lisbon, the journey takes two and a half hours; from Coimbra, it’s an hour.
AutomobilesThe city is linked to three motorways: the A1, which leads to Lisbon and the Algarve, the A3, which comes in handy if you’re Galicia-bound, and the A4 to Bragança. The Portuguese are as hot-blooded in the driving seat as their Continental counterparts, and there are lots of one-way systems to test your patience, too.
TaxisIt’s easy to flag cabs in the street, and there are ranks outside the main stations.