Posts Tagged With: Porto

A change in perspective?

View of the river Douro, waaaaay up in the north of the country, in Miranda do Douro. Portugal to the left, Spain to the right of the picture

View of the river Douro, waaaaay up in the north of the country, in Miranda do Douro. Portugal to the left, Spain to the right of the picture

As you may (or may not) know, Portugal has a new President. Just to give you some context, in Portugal, Presidents are not the ones who actually rule (that’s for Prime-Ministers). They act like diplomats, in a way, and can veto laws from the Government.

This post is not meant to be about politics and I’d like to stress that I have no political affiliation and it is not my intention to give Beyond Lisbon a political colour of any kind. Still, I couldn’t help but be surprised when checking the news this morning and coming across a sentence, which the new President recently said (sorry, it’s in Portuguese), regarding the presidential ceremonies that will take place in Porto: “Because Portugal is more than Lisbon” (“Porque Portugal é mais do que Lisboa”). Now… that has always been my motto, Mr. President! 😀

headerHonestly, I hope this type of action, coming from the President, will help pave the way for a change in perspective regarding the way people (both in Portugal and abroad) look at the country.


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Categories: News about Portugal, People | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A garden in the city


If you’ve ever been to Porto, particularly to the most busy areas of the city, you probably found yourself feeling in need of some quiet time, away from the traffic and the more busy areas of the city.

But if you planned on visiting Porto you probably came across a place called Serralves, famous for the exhibitions and the events it hosts but also for the gardens. Even if you think you don’t care about art you should go there and just walk around, enjoy the views and… discover new perspectives – like the one I’m showing you here.

Walking around in Serralves you’ll have the streets with tall trees on the side (much like 19th century avenues), the architecture from the 1930’s and the art from the late 20th/early 21st centuries along with plenty of trees and flowers, some of them quite unique.


A must-see when you’re in Porto!

Enjoy! 🙂

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Categories: Activities, History, Nature, Places | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Random photo of the week

porto_ponte d. luís


Today we’re going to visit the north of the country for a typical view of Porto/ Vila Nova de Gaia: There’s the D. Luís bridge, the river Douro and the old rabelo boats.

The bridge, built in the late 19th century, is one of a total of six bridges connecting the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia and it was, not along ago, a sort of canvas for the unique work of a Portuguese artist. The Douro river, already mentioned on the blog, is a character in its own right, a vital element for many people and businesses in the north.

The rabelo boats, which only exist here, in this part of the world, were created to transport barrels of Port wine to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. Today they’re used tor touristic purposes only – namely as photo ops for tourists. 😉


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Categories: History, Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting to know Douro

There are probably not many people in the Western world that have not heard about Port wine. Where does it come from? The Douro Valley Region, in Portugal. And what is the Douro? It’s the river without which there would be no Port.


View of the Douro in a river cruise. See those ‘lines’ to the left? They’re vineyards!

You can find loads of online info about this river (including its wildlife) but I’m going to make this easy for you and give you a quick recap:


The most interesting way to get to know Douro is probably with a river cruise but this river has its own railway line, which offers some amazing views as well. If you have a pile of money burning a hole in your pocket and have no idea how to spend it I can give you my bank details you can also take a tour in a helicopter!

Categories: Activities, History, Nature, Places, Products | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Take a break from all the wine!

If you’re exploring the Douro region you might want to take some time off from all the wine chugging tasting and head to the Alvão Natural Park. Why? Well, it’s a relatively small area (no risk of getting lost), it’s close to Vila Real and not far from Porto, there are picnic areas and there’s a cute little village.

Please respect the local flora and fauna while you’re visiting!

serra do alvão

Gorgeous Summer colours

The Alvão Natural Park extends through 70 km² of mountainous territory and is home to several species of fauna and flora. Although you won’t probably spot any wolves you’re likely to look up and see birds of prey. The village, called Lamas de Olo, still has several typical houses built in granite and with thatched roofs. There’s a small river that runs through it, the river Olo, and the whole landscape is very rocky, even if there is a mix of small valleys and patches of forest together with mountainous areas. The Olo eventually becomes a 200m waterfall, called Fisgas de Ermelo. You can go to the waterfall, but it’s not an easy access and I wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t been to the gym or if you’re short on time.

Fisgas de Ermelo waterfall, Portugal

Fisgas de Ermelo waterfall, Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where is it? Google maps always knows.

How far is it? With a car it’s about 1h30 from Porto or Braga and 30 minutes or less from Vila Real.

serra do alvão

One goat, two goats, three goats.. Can you count them all?!

What can I do there? Take in the views, breath deeply, relax… and have a picnic! There are specific areas for this, with stone tables and seats.

My tip: On your way to the park make a stop to buy some local goodies and enjoy your picnic in the park. Please be conscious with plastic bags, cans, bottles, etc. This is a natural park!

serra do alvão

A cute spot

Oh, and there’s only one week left to the cheese fair! Yummm…

Categories: Activities, Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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