Porto, also known as Oporto, is Portugal's second largest city and has a rich and fascinating heritage. The history of this now great city had humble beginnings, the Romans named it "Portocale" and official records of its existence date from 5th Century. Much of its history is based on shipping and trade and today it is a bustling and very interesting city with many beautiful buildings and monuments. In 1996 it was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Porto, with its long sandy beaches to the north and south, sits at the mouth of the River Douro on the north bank and is connected to the south bank by several bridges, one of which is the Dona Maria Pia Railway Bridge, built by Gustave Eiffel in 1877. This beautiful city gave its name to Port Wine and the Port Wine Lodges in Gaia, on the south bank, are the most visited tourist attraction in Portugal.
Founded in 1756, the Douro is the world's first demarcated wine region were the grapes are grown in the warm higher reaches of the river around Regua and Pinhao.
The river takes its name from the word 'ouro' (gold) and is one of Europe's most charming and untouched rivers. It flows through a stunningly beautiful region with tier upon tier of vine-ladden terraces, lush vineyards, tiny communities and delightful unspoiled villages and towns. In particular, the beautiful town of Amarante.
The World Heritage Sites of Porto, Douro Valley and Foz Coa are located in this region.
Portugalvilla.com offers a variety of self catering accommodation. These delightful Douro villas are ideal for families or groups, as they are fully equipped with kitchens, en suite bathrooms etc. most also have a private swimming pool.
All the self catering accommodation featured on the Portugal Villa site has been inspected for quality.
Smaller parties requiring one or two bedrooms might like to look at the listing of cottages in the area. These cottages are usually the homes of the former estate workers with a number grouped together near the manor house. They have the use of a nearby swimming pool which is shared with the other cottages. They all have the highest quality conversion and have been inspected by us. Click to see the Oporto and Douro cottages
The most convenient international airport is at Porto (Oporto)