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Port Wine in Portugal: Oporto

Oporto is Portugal's second-largest city and serves as an entry point for tourists who want to explore the Douro Valley, but tourists staying in holiday homes in Portugal should first be sure to explore the suburb of Vila Nova de Gaia in Oporto itself. Famed for its winemaking, this neighborhood is one of the best places in the world to learn about port, the wine that gave the city its name.

Port is a fortified wine so heavily associated with Great Britain that tourists may not realize that it comes from Portugal. British traders were the ones who first established wine lodges on the Douro River right alongside the center of the town in those days. Newly made wine was blended and aged in these wine lodges, and then exported to Britain for export to the entire empire.

Tourists today can explore this winemaking heritage with tours of the wine lodges, many of which have been in operation for more than 300 years. A small admission fee generally applies, but visitors can get a refund of the fee simply by purchasing a bottle of port -- something no tourist to Oporto should neglect, in any case. To visit the wine lodges from downtown Oporto, walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge and make your way to the Vila Nova de Gaia riverfront park, where a tourist information center provides a free guide for exploring winemaking in the local area.

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Below you will find writings from other Portugal vacation rental owners about the area they know best! It's a great way to learn first hand about the Portugal region and all that it has to offer!


Vila Nova de Cerveira

Posted by Christine White on Thursday, August 02, 2007
Vila Nova de Cerveira lies on the banks of the Rio Minho below Mount Senhora da Encarnação and between the tourist towns of Caminha and Valenca. From the mount’s summit, there is one of the most splendid views of the Minho valley and the Mount of Santa Tecla. A new bridge now takes you directly from Vila Nova de Cerveira into Spain. Being only 6 kms. from the A3 auto-estrada, Vila Nova de Cerveira is well situated for the exploration of the numerous historic towns in the region and the spectacular National Park. The area is ideal for bird-watching, walking, riding and golf. There are several wide sandy beaches, stretching from the mouth of the Rio Minho in Caminha southwards. Vila Nova de Cerveira is well-known for its biennial art exhibition. There is an antiques fair once a month. In nearby Valença, the walled city Fortaleza has been turned into a tourist attraction, where quaint shops sell linen and other local handicrafts at very reasonable prices.