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Hiring a campervan in Porto is a colourful affair
Porto is the namesake for the sticky evening wine and also the entire country, which is beautifully set up for a motorhome holiday. Sometimes called Oporto, it’s also one of the oldest cities in Europe and is a maze of steep and narrow cobbled streets, beautiful plazas and colourfully tiled facades. Water is the defining feature of Portugal’s second largest city, with River Douro and the attractive port.
Porto campervan hire – get the best deals
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Porto campervan adventures are an idyllic way to spend a vacation. Whether you’re exploring the old town or venturing further afield to laze on the Portuguese beaches, you’ll see two kinds of motorhomes on the roads: basic campervans without a shower and toilet and larger more self-contained vehicles. From 2-berth to larger vehicles, we can cater to your requirements.
Out of Porto: go on a road trip
Explore the famed Douro Valley where Port wine is produced. Portugal’s world famous sweet, fortified bottle is made here before being transported down to the city of Porto. Travel alongside the river and take in the terraces of the vineyards.
Drive along the south coast for the scenic trip to Braga. It’s around an 80km drive to Portugal’s third biggest city. Despite its title, Braga feels distinctly provincial and is a pleasant and walkable city with a 12th-century cathedral and lots of medieval churches. The Bom Jesus sanctuary lies just outside of Braga, perched on a hill. This spot is one of the definite must-sees in Portugal.
Guimaraes is a university town only an hour from Porto. It has plenty of history, including a medieval center and a 1000-year-old castle. For unparalleled views take the cable car up the hill overlooking the town.
Motorhome camping: Sites and sounds of Porto
Angeiras campsite is located 8km from Porto, opposite the beautiful beach of a fishing village in the north of Portugal. The area is green with lots of trees and shade and the facilities are well equipped. There’s also a pool for guests. Around 10km from the centre of the town of Gaia, and shaded by wood, is Camping Orbitur Madalena. This is a nice base to explore the north of Portugal and only 500m from the beach. From here you could take a trip to Gaia to visit the Solar dos Condes de Campo Belo, the Matriz church and the Casa Museu de Teixeira Lopes. Or try the region’s famous wines. Surf camp Porto is in the Costa Verde region and ideal for younger travellers looking for a place to party at night and surf during the day.
Fresh and fancy fare – restaurants in Porto
Porto has wonderful fish and seafood, rare breed meats, stunning charcuterie, fruit, nuts and vegetables. Try the low-key Traça, a popular old-town restaurant that serves simple food and excellent wine. For the iron stomachs, taste the national favourite dish of tripe.
Cafeina Wine & Tapas has lots of different wine by the glass and exceptional tapas. This is the place to be seen, so dress to the nines and don’t stare too long at the bill! Shisis a sophisticated seafood restaurant with sushi and fresh fish. The views out to the Atlantic are striking and, like most places in Porto, the wine list is vast.
Café Majestic,is more about the atmosphere than the food. Leather banquettes are dotted beneath Art Deco chandeliers and waiters in white jackets offer tea. Try the rabanadas “Majestic style”, a delicious sort of sugary French toast served with a glass of port.
Urban treasures – what to do in Porto
Ribeira is the centre of the old town and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Made up of medieval streets and alleyways, it’s allure is as much about its decay as it is the colourful ancient houses. It’s here you should take your ‘wish you were here’ shots looking out to the traditional boats floating in the port. From Ribeira you can also see the series of Port Wine houses across the river, as well as the Cais de Gaia riverfront.
The São Francisco is a 14th-century church and one of the most beautiful in Europe. The interior is Baroque and dripping in gold.The catacombs are somewhat macabre, but an interesting part to explore. Note, you are not allowed to take photographs inside the church. Enjoy a trip on the cable caralong the Douro rising up to Jardim do Morro. Narrow lanes and staircases zig-zagging to nowhere make for an interesting game of eye spy. If you’re on a budget, however, the views from Gaia or the cathedral in Ribeira are just as impressive.
Bookworms and historians alike should visit Lello, a bookshop opened in 1906 that resembles a grand library. There are floor-to-ceiling hand-carved wooden shelves, a central staircase and stained-glass ceiling.You can’t come to Porto without experiencing the riverside wine caves in nearby Vila Nova de Gaia. Cellars are open for tastings and have the most spectacular views.
Porto motorhome tips:
- Save yourself a heart attack by taking a taxi or bus to the top of Ribeira and meander back down towards the river.
- Free camping is allowed in Portugal – just clean up after you.
- The cobbled streets are steep, convoluted and very narrow. Try to avoid driving in the city.