Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, located in the northwest of the country and set by the shores of the Douro River, also one of Europe’s oldest tourist destinations. Porto’s Historical Center is a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996.
The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, monumental and artistic heritage, cultural life, shopping areas which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces.
Geographically well located, is possible to count on a modern transport and communications network. It is also a short drive from surrounding country areas – some of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes in the world.
Highlights of the many tourist attractions are those classified by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. In 1996, the historical old section of the city of Porto, delineated by the medieval market town, was the first to receive this award due to the well-preserved one thousand year-old cultural and commercial buildings.
In 1998, the rock paintings at Foz Côa were also declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO due to the fact that the site houses the world’s largest collection of open air prehistoric paintings.
The city was born and developed from the northern bank of this river during the middle Ages. One of the most significant aspects of Porto and its historical center is its landscape, combining harmony with the urban structure and presenting a frame of rare beauty.
The City of Porto is marked by the river Douro and by the Atlantic Ocean, being a city of two wines: it lends its name to the most prestigious and international of all Portuguese wines, Port Wine, and it is surrounded by the greatest Portuguese wine-growing region, the Vinhos Verdes region.
Famous and unique, Port Wine is a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Region and aged in cellars. Originally it was transported down the river on the traditional Rabelo boats, replicas of which can be seen next to the Luís I bridge. This wine stands out from ordinary wines thanks to its huge range of varieties, with an incomparable richness and intensity of aroma, a long finish, both on the nose and on the palate, and a high level of alcohol content (generally between 19 and 22% by volume).
The Port and Douro Wines Institute is the body responsible for certifying and supervising all “Port” Origin wines. Its headquarters houses a multifunctional area for receptions, laboratories, tastings, visits and wine sales.
Wines from the Douro region are beginning to be accepted as some of Portugal’s finest. Although excellent white wines are produced here, the area is best known for its great reds.
Vinho Verde, an exceptionally unique wine
Possessing an exceptional sensorial singularity, Vinho Verde represents the best of white wines from Portugal, offering unique experiences of tasting and socialization.
A wine with Controlled Appellation of Origin, characterized by the citrus colour (white Vinho Verde) and intense, fruity, floral aromas, fresh, with smooth, very balanced flavour, light body, perfect acidity, low alcohol content and excellent harmony and persistency in the mouth.
Vinho Verde is unique in the world. Its typicity and uniqueness is the result of the natural conditions of the Vinho Verde Region (the soil, climate, geology and topography), the peculiarity of the regional/indigenous varieties used (the main are Alvarinho, Arinto, Avesso, Azal, Loureiro and Trajadura), and centuries of regions’ experience and knowledge in vine growing and wine production.
The Portugal North Region, located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, is characterized by its opening and exposure to the outside world, by a strong tradition and wealth of experience in international trade and a settled trend to migratory population flows. The region has 144 kilometers of an Atlantic coastline that provides further opportunities for international expansion and economic interaction.
The wine production and the culture in this field are known today as a highly technological and growing science which depends on the continuous exchanges between universities and wine producers. Several Universities and Institutes in the North of Portugal have Oenology and Wine Tourism on their curricula.
Maria do Carmo Costa
Porto Official Tourism Board
Rua Clube dos Fenianos, 25
Tel: +351 300 501 932
E-mail: [email protected]