Postcards from Northern Portugal

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Porto Riverfront

One thing I need to be better about is photo editing.  I’ve been so behind that I’ve only just edited these photos from my trip to Porto and the Douro Valley in September!

I love northern Portugal.  It’s beautiful, it’s warm year-round, it’s much cheaper than Spain or Italy or France, and because it’s not a major tourist hotspot, you get to enjoy most of the sights without massive crowds.

I hope these photos inspire you to consider something different on your next trip to Europe.

Porto Skyline

The Porto skyline — I love the grit, the towers, the orange roofs, the laundry hanging out to dry.

Douro Valley

The incredibly beautiful Douro Valley, where scenes of terraced vineyards and green mountains surround the glassy blue river for miles and miles.

Fresh garlic for sale

Fresh garlic for sale.  The Portuguese put it in everything.

Olive oil bubble

A crunchy olive oil bubble is the perfect accompaniment to octopus carpaccio at chef Rui Paula’s DOC Restaurant.

"Grandma! You're ruining our gang!"

“Grandma!  Come on!  You’re ruining our gang!”

Hulking Sandemans figure

The hulking Sandeman figure must be one of the creepiest logos ever created.  It could almost be Voldemort.

Steps of Porto

Porto is a very steep city — and to get around, you’re going to have to go up and down a LOT of stairs.

Douro Valley

Another unforgettable view of the Douro Valley.  If it weren’t for the power lines, I’d swear this was fake.

Port Tasting with Victoria

Cheers!  Victoria and I share a port toast in Quinta do Seixo.

Cruising the Douro

And finally, a cruise along the Douro River itself, no longer so glassy, but still highly reflective of the world around it.

I wonder how soon I can get back here.

Many thanks to Visit Porto and North and Travel Bloggers Unite for hosting me in northern Portugal.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

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30 thoughts on “Postcards from Northern Portugal”

  1. Beautiful pictures! I’ll be visiting Portugal for the first time in a couple of months, but it’s Lisbon I’m hitting first! I already feel like I know I’ll need to visit the Douro Valley and Porto too. Another trip already on the cards, then!

    I also particularly love your photo of the Sandeman figure – it reminds me of the Sandeman bodega in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia. Happy memories! And I’d certainly recommend their sherry tasting experience!

  2. I absolutely love Portugal, it’s one of my favorite countries! I didn’t get any further north than Nazare on my visit, though, so will definitely have to go back. Your photos are beautiful!

  3. I’m actually planning on visiting Porto this summer with Boyfriend. We’ll fly to Lisbon, then head up through Coimbra to Porto, visit the surroundings and then head back south following the coastal line.
    Now he just needs to get his vacation days approved:/ 😀

  4. I can relate to not editing photos right away. We’ve been going through our northern Portugal photos too and it’s bringing back so many good memories.

    Love how you put that Porto photo in black and white.

  5. I’m sold! (Though, you had already sold me on Portugal in general after you went there the first time… it looks like the sort of place I’d love!)

  6. I was just in Porto for New Year’s and enjoyed every minute! We visited many of the port caves, including Sandeman. When that company showed us the promotional videos about Quinta do Seixo, I really wanted to check it out–I’d love to see those rolling green hills. Visiting that region would just be one more reason to go back!!

  7. Your pictures look good. But if you are looking for quick edits, there is a program called “Light Box” (I believe) – it’s a stripped down version of Photoshop and it makes pictures look real good with the touch of a few buttons.

  8. I came looking for info on travel in South Africa and ended up finding photos of the city I live in!! Beautiful pictures and I’m now going down the rabbit hole and exploring all you lovely pics and posts!

  9. I totally love Porto and the Douro valley and your pictures are lovely. For anyone going to Douro I must recommend taking a trip to the Quinta do Crasto estate for some of the best wine in the region!

  10. Loved Porto, adored it even – unparalleled vintage atmosphere!
    Unlike anything else I’ve seen so far…
    The old buildings, the old trams, the Dom Luis Bridge, the wines, the sardines on the grills… the azulejos murals!

  11. I remember this granny! I took a photo of her this summer, while she was pushing back the pigeons from her balkony (with a stick). 😀

  12. Hi Kate,
    I stumbled across your blog while looking for some ideas for a holiday in Europe. I’m looking to travel with my husband and toddler (18 months) and my parents who are about 70 in April/May 2018. . I’m torn choosing between Portugal or Montenegro. We have about a week to spend there. I know you are the adventure traveller, but would love to get your recommendations in both countries for a toddler friendly vacation and cultural and foodie mix and where we don’t have to travel too much locally but enjoy the country.

    1. They are both great destinations. Portugal is a bit more developed than Montenegro and that might be easier on you with a toddler, especially if you plan to travel a lot within the country.

  13. just returned from a lovely vacation in Morocco followed by 6 great days in Portugal. Kate, your spot on with your thoughts on Porto. We loved the city, its people and the food/wine! DOC is an amazing restaurant. And, who can say ‘no’ to Port after dinner? Next stop is South Africa in May. Keep up the great work.

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