Porto – a charming city in the north of Portugal, associated primarily with the wine of the same name, but the place has got a lot more to offer then the tasty, sweet wine. Delicious cuisine, specialized in fish and seafood (national dish is smoked cod bacalhau), magnificent architecture, the breeze from the ocean, which brings to mind the old conquest of distant lands, the narrow streets filled up with history and the breath-taking sights. What else? Beautiful language, even though similar in writing to Spanish, but very different when you hear it.
Portuguese language course in Porto is a great idea for a holiday or even a weekend getaway, for those who do not have a lot of time but still would like to get acquainted with the city and get a grasp of Portuguese language. Our school in Porto offers intensive and extensive courses as well as weekend program for mini groups.
The specialty of the city is, of course, porto –rather strong, sweet more complex in flavor than normal wine. Sipping the portwine on the riverbank Cais da Ribeira is an unforgettable experience, especially having in mind that on the other side of the river, under the red roofs of wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia there are loads of the delicious wine stored.
In the spring the young wine flow down from the vineyards of the Douro Valley. In the past, wine barrels were transported by the river in wooden ships called barcos rebelos. Today, these wooden small ships, reminding a bit the boats of Vikings, can be seen in the city on the banks of the river – the Cais da Ribeira. There you can taste the wines and enjoy a delicious meal, but what matters most is the view. After sunset all the wonderful illumination of the city and the bridge joining the two banks is reflected in the river. It´s hard to imagine a more romantic place.
Another characteristic of Porto (and the whole of Portugal) are the famous azulejos, white and blue tiles that adorn many houses, churches and monuments. One can see them in many parts of the city, such as for example Rue Belmonte. Train station Estação de São Bento is covered up by around 20 000 tiles!
Porto is a great base from which to explore the northern part of the country, for example, located in the north Braga and a student town Coimbra (photo) – located in the central part of the country. Coimbra is famous for the oldest university in the country, which is also one of the oldest universities in Europe. This city was the first capital of Portugal, therefore the Portuguese consider it the cradle of their state.
The place we especially recommend for a visit is Aveiro photo), located one hour away from Porto by train. Aveiro is called “Veneza de Portugal”, that is the Venice of Portugal because of the enchanting river, canals, bridges and typical moliceiros – long, painted ships. Aveiro is situated at the mouth of the river Vouga by the Lagoon of Aveiro – the Ria de Aveiro.
In Portugal there is a famous saying Lisboa diverte-se, Coimbra estuda, Braga reza e o Porto trabalha! That is: Lisbon is having fun, Coimbra is studying, Braga is praying and Porto is working. Do the people of Porto actually work a lot .. ? Find out yourself by visiting this wonderful city!