Apaixone-se pelo Porto (fall in love with Porto)

To fall in love with Porto is to unhinge yourself from your cares back in the New World, and immerse yourself in charms of an Iberian coastal city with bell towers and cobblestone streets. Porto will lure you with its cafés, lose you in its labyrinth of wine cellars and romance you with dancing in the plaza.

There’s no better way to get closer to the culture in Porto than with your private AutoVenture driver and expert guide. Located in Northwest Portugal, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the birthplace of port wine and is the country’s second-largest city after Lisbon.

You’ll start with a tour of the medieval Ribeira District along the Douro River, with its colorful, tangerine and mustard-colored buildings containing enchanting cafés, linen shops, restaurants and apartments. In the São Francisco Church, visitors will gaze upon a literal gold mine of magnificent baroque, gold-leaf carvings. Its catacombs may leave an eerie impression when you gaze upon the human bones lying in state. Just across the river at Vila Nova de Gaia, wine enthusiasts will find a liquid treasury of sips in the various cellars and caves.

At sunset, from the terrace of the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, you’ll drink in a stunning view of Porto and its iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, build by an assistant of Gustave Eiffel in 1886. Sometimes you’ll see teenagers playfully jumping into the river.

You won’t leave Porto without your AutoVenture guide taking you to the Clerigos Tower, a 75-meter high, soaring granite structure that provides a glorious view of the red, tile-roofed city. All you need are the legs and the wind to climb the 240 steps and take it all in.

For those unfamiliar with Portugal, an AutoVenture guided tour is the surest way of getting closest to the culture, and of capturing an unforgettable land.

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