One of the few regrets I had about my long weekend last year exploring Lisbon, Sintra and Cascais was not being able to fit a trip to Porto into the diary. I mean whilst you’re in Portugal, you should be exploring as much as possible, right?
Or is that just being greedy?
Luckily enough, a few weeks ago I was set a challenge by Cheapflights to book a long weekend away in Porto for two adults for the princely sum of £550. Nope, not each, that’s split between us. Keeping things easy, breezy and on the affordable side for a slice of sunshine, all for the cost of a night in a gorgeous luxury hotel, or pair of designer shoes, we spun out a lovely little break from London.
It’s definitely do-able. (Though I confess we still went a little over budget. I blame the delicious port and Madam Runaway Kiwi eating the city dry of Pasteis de Nada tarts.) We left Mr Kiwi at home, still unpacking from our trip to Canada, and scarpered out of the UK.
The thing I loved most about Porto was that is hasn’t been polished to within an inch of losing the genuine city soul, and the port is ridiculously delicious.
Actually, I don’t even need to write the rest of this post do I? Job done.
We booked our flights and accommodation through the Cheapflights website, which was as easy as pie, and then waited until we got to the airport to do any research.
The aim of this trip was relaxing, wandering and supping.
We brunched, we discussed world domination, chatted social media strategies and exclaimed at how amazing polka dots are. We made new friends (with the lovely Latoya of SheNomads), we dreamily stared out the apartment windows over our amazing view of terracotta rooftops and smashed our daily step targets, mostly up hills.
It was good. So good.
The sun shone for the most part (and when it didn’t we just brunched anyway).
Everyone we met was really nice, even from our very first taxi driver giving us the full tourist run-down, including a history tour through the city. Our favourite though was the dude who goes “Kiwis? Flight of the Concords?” and then with a straight face goes “Oh, we’ve run out of port.” to Rebecca’s brief shock. Cheeky.
Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We stayed in the historic Riviera section, a winding collection of cobbled lanes and beautiful buildings.
Hilariously, In Portuguese, the name of the city is spelled with a definite article (“o Porto”; English: the port). Consequently, its English name evolved from a misinterpretation of the oral pronunciation and referred to as Oporto in modern literature and by many speakers.
I love this photo with all my heart.
I title this image “How Many Times Can You Make Your Friend Stride-By A Beautiful Building Before She Throws The Bottle Of Port At You.”
I’m going to write another post, one that shares what we actually did (and what you should definitely do when you book. Off you go…)
So, have you booked yet? (Ps. I do not get commission or affiliates, but will happily accept thank you gifts in the form of fresh Pasteis de Nada.)