Insight /

Portugal

Porto's Spellbinding Views & Terracotta Roofs

Set beside Portugal’s River Douro, Porto is perfect for those who like their city breaks both picture-postcard pretty and conveniently compact.

Explore local food markets to beach bike rides.

A stroll through the medieval alleyways of the UNESO-listed historic centre should satisfy history buffs, while foodies will be on cloud nine thanks to its restaurant-packed waterfront, traditional tascas and plentiful port wine lodges.

Porto's great pleasures

The lowdown

  • Getting there

    You can fly direct to Porto in 2 hours from a number of UK Airports.

  • Ideal for

    Gourmet getaways and city breaks by the sea.

  • Combine With

    A stay at a rural Quinta in the picturesque Douro Valley.

  • Insider Tip

    Take the metro to Matosinhos, a nearby fishing town with a sandy beach. In the evenings the smell of grilled fish wafts out from its famed seafood restaurants.

The best hotel is undoubtedly The Yeatman. Set on a hillside with spellbinding views over the old city’s terracotta rooftops, it combines outstanding food and wine with a huge spa for maximum romance.

Take a tasting tour of the Sandeman’s Port House, where you’ll learn about the process of making the local tipple. Then hop on one of the wooden trams for a ride along the Douro’s right bank. From exploring local food markets to beach bike rides, there’s plenty to do.

But for us, one of Porto’s great pleasures is that there’s no pressure to complete a huge sightseeing ‘to-do’ list. Which leaves plenty of time for lounging beside the decanter-shaped infinity pool, before a Michelin-starred meal with a glass of something from the hotel’s 25,000-bottle cellar.

“Cross the Dom Luis I bridge at sunset, as the changing colours light up the old city and riverside port lodges.”