Leave the pier and after a short drive along the coast we will reach Foz an elegant residential area of Oporto located at the point where the river Douro reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Drive on always by the riverside until we come to the old district Ribeira(classified World Heritage). Walk through the narrow streets to admire the old medieval houses built of stone (some dating back from the 12th century) looking to the old quays and river. Visit the nearby Church of St. Francisco, known as the golden church as its gothic vauts and walls were covered with gold in the barroque period. As soon as we cross the iron bridge over Douro river we are entering the district where port wine rules. Here we shall visit one of the most important wine cellars where you will learn the long process of wine making, the rules of ageing and where you can taste the different kinds: tawny, ruby, dry and vintage. Useless to say you can buy as many bottles as you wish. Return to the pier at Leixões after passing the modern districts of Oporto.
Guimarães, the Cradle of Portugal
4 HOURS TOUR
After a drive of 40 minutes we arrive at Guimarães, known as the cradle of Portugal due to the fact that Afonso Henriqueswho turned to be the first King of Portugal (1140) was born at Guimarães Castle. We begin the city tour by visiting the medieval castle ramparts and small Romanesque church, then will walk in the medieval streets of the historic center in time to arrive at the highlight of the tour: the palace of the Dukes of Bragança a gothic building from the 15th century where we will see the refurbished chambers and palace chapel. Return to the pier after a short stop at Penha hill.
ALTERNATIVE: This tour can be transformed into a full day tour (7 hours) by including a visit to Braga, the famous city of the archbishops and its major monuments: the cathedral and the baroque staircase of Bom Jesus Church.