Porto is Portugal´s second biggest and one of Europe´s most ancient cities, stemming from the northern bank of the Douro River during the Middle Ages. The most significant aspect of Porto and its historical centre is the surrounding landscape with steep river banks providing a dramatic setting for the old town.
Both the streets next to the river and the surrounding countryside have been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Porto is full of surprises with beautifully cobbled streets and where else would you find white stone laid instead of paint to demarcate pedestrian crossings. The typical shops retain the feel of a bygone era whilst contemporary architecture will appear suddenly in the most unexpected places. And of course, Porto´s best known export: Port wine.
Portugal still uses varieties of grape that are not used anywhere else in the world, and produce an immense variety of table and fortified original wines. Excursions up the Douro river highlights where the flavours of the wine commence and to follow the journey of the grapes, tours are popular to the vineyards high up in Alto Douro and to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can sample the port and see the barrels where the wine is aged.
Although Porto is probably better known for its fine wine and grand architectural sights more than golf, there are in fact several outstanding courses located in an around the region of Porto and thanks to numerous direct flights from all over Europe, including an increasing number of low-cost airlines it´s fast establishing itself as a golf destination in its own right.
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