Leixoes (Oporto), Portugal Cruise Port
When you want to cruise to one of Europe's oldest cities, the port of Leixões (also Oporto or Porto), Portugal top the list. One of Portugal’s most important seaports, it’s found near the mouth of the Douro River (one of the Iberian Peninsula's major rivers). Back in the 4th century, Leixões was an outpost of the Roman Empire and commercial outpost at the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and Douro River. It was where the Portuguese "Age of Discovery" began when Prince Henry the Navigator began to explore the western coast of Africa in the early 1400s. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town of Porto is a delightful mix of Romanesque, gothic, baroque, and neoclassical styles of architecture. Add history, some amazing food, and fantastic shopping, and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime. Here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Leixões (Oporto), Portugal:
- The Ponte de D. Luís (Dom Luís I Bridge) provides great views both above and below. This double-decked metal bridge connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia over the Douro River; bridge engineer Téophile Seyrig was the partner of Gustave Eiffel, who designed that famous tower in Paris. The bridge received the cultural heritage "Property of Public Interest" distinction in 1982.
- For a climb that rewards with amazing views of the city and ocean, visit the Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), which has come to symbolize Porto. Built between 1754 and 1763, the Roman baroque-influenced design includes 240 steps and six floors.
- Those who simply can't get enough to read (and enjoy Art Nouveau) will adore Livraria Lello & Irmão, one of Portugal's oldest bookstores and frequently ranked among the top bookstores on the planet. Harry Potter fans will be especially delighted to learn that author JK Rowling may have found the store an inspiration in her writing while she taught in Porto.
- Called "The Soul of Porto," the Cais da Ribeira is a picturesque medieval part of the city perfect to watch boats, admire buildings, and have some food and drink in the many cafés, bars, and restaurants.