Our trip down the coast to Porto was a good 70 miles so we had a long day sailing in very changeable conditions. The afternoon winds that are typical of the region really kicked up forcing us to reef in quite a swell as a cold front crept up behind us. You really have to keep your eyes open and try to reef before it hits. We didn’t quite do it in time but luckily managed to get the sails sorted and back on course without too many issues. We’re definitely still learning though and each new experience gets us talking about how we could have done things better.
Was interesting how the coastline started to change as we left Spain and entered Portugal. Along the Spanish coast there was wind farm after wind farm but hardly any in Portugal that we could see.
The afternoon winds still hadn’t eased as we pulled into Porto’s Douro Marina. We were also close to low tide and the entrance to the marina required careful navigation to keep us in enough water. We were very grateful to the dock hands who helped us into our berth in 20 knot cross winds.
Next morning we hit the local chandelle for the extra anchor chain we needed. They had just the amount we needed left in stock and for a good price. They even helped fit it to the existing chain for free. Nice!
We had some lunch aboard then took a lovely walk down the river into the main town.
30 mins down the river you head into the main old town of Porto. Wow… what a place!
It doesn’t matter where you look there are stunning views. The town is on a steep hill which creates amazing landscapes. These photos really don’t do the place justice.
The Portuguese people we met were also quite different from the Spanish. Very cheeky, in a friendly way. Love it.
The afternoon consisted of cable-car rides, port wine tasting (hic!), and just walking our soaks off, before heading back down the other side of the river. There’s a small ferry that leaves every 30 mins that dropped us off back near the marina.
We chilled out for a few hours, then headed back out for some dinner and drinks. It all started well with some nice bars but wasn’t best of nights really as the restaurant we headed to was a bit of a tourist trap (thanks Trip Advisor!) and the bars we visited weren’t all that great either so we got a cab (which went the total opposite direction and required some convincing of where the marina actually was) and called it an early night.
The next day we spent relaxing onboard, stocking up on supplies (again), and taking in the local area. That night we went out again to see if we could do any better and are pleased to report that after an amazing dinner and wines in a great restaurant near the river we did.
We were only going to spend two nights in Porto but loved the place so much we added a third. We could have easily spent ten. Lovely place that we’ll really miss and a great introduction to Portugal.