Chillin’ at the Beach in Porto

Three days.  No schedule or list of sights to visit.  No palaces, churches or museums – just one tiny castle and a lighthouse.  Exactly one month after we left Colorado for our seven-week trip to Portugal and Spain, we are ready for some downtime.

Porto is more famous for its vibrant historical downtown than as a beach destination, so the coastal district known as Foz do Douro is a wonderful, low key place to relax and recharge.  We don’t feel like we’re missing out, because we’ll be staying in the “other” part of Porto for four days a little later on.

Our taxi driver efficiently delivers us from the airport to our Airbnb, where our host Maria meets us.  She’s very friendly and helpful, and happens to live right across the hall.  We are excited to see the Atlantic Ocean from our balcony.


Our condo is on the second floor – Bill is standing on the balcony


View of the Atlantic Ocean from our balcony

A wide promenade on the ocean side of the street stretches in both directions as far as we can see.  We first walk in the direction of downtown Porto for four kilometers or so.


View of residential development in Porto on the beach side of town


Feigueiras Lighthouse


Carol and the Arrábida Bridge over the Douro River


Jardim do Passeio Alegre – shady gardens with sculptures, fountains, bandstand, and crazy golf

After a short walk to the grocery store, I focus (literally!) on the developing sunset over the water.


Extensive selection of dried cod at the local grocery store – quite pungent!


One ship is heading into port, the other is leaving. Lucky timing!

The next morning, we walk along the promenade in the opposite direction.


Sand and rocks – typical oceanfront in Porto


Sailing school


Matasinhos Beach with cruise ship terminal in the background

We pay one euro (50 cents each) to do a quick tour of the Castelo de São Francisco do Queijo, frequently shortened to Castle of the Cheese, reportedly so-named because its shape resembles a block of cheese.  The coolest feature of the 17th century fort is the drawbridge in front, somewhat visible in the photo below.


Castelo de São Francisco do Queijo


Bill and seagull at Castelo de São Francisco do Queijo

Other interesting sights from our walk on Day 2:


Pergola was constructed around 1930



Picturesque lake in Parque da Cidade do Porto


Bill’s lunch

Mission accomplished – we’re relaxed and refreshed . . .

. . . and ready to continue our adventures in the Douro River Valley.

Categories: PortugalTags: , ,

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