Portugal

After Baiona we sailed down to Lexion just north of Porto, Portugal, not much wind but we had some very nice visits by Dolphins.

Leixoes is a good place to stop at, it offers a low-cost marina 32 Euro a day for our 53 feet, or you can anchor safely just outside the marina.

Leixoes 1 (Copy)

It is a nice walk along the waterfront to this famous restaurant (the building with read roof) Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, designed by one of the world most famous architects Pritzker Siza Vieira, We assumed the cost for dining there was above our budget so we had a Pizza on a nearby restaurant instead. If the restaurant does not interest you, there is a nice chapel just nearby, and a light house.

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Along the waterfront there are nice beaches but water temperature is not so welcoming to our new standard for leisure swimming

Leixoes Beach

Porto

From Leixoes it is easy to get to Port, a bus stop just outside the marina and after ca 50 minutes you are in downtown Porto

Porto Town

Porto is an impressive city with ca 240.000 inhabitants. Porto is a very old town, during Roman time it was know as Portus Cale a name that later gave name to Portugal. 1392 the famous Henry The Navigator was borne in Porto, or as he is called in Portugal Henrique o Navegador.

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Both impressive buildings and interesting narrow alleys, as well as street arts

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But I assume the Douro water-front area is the most popular area

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Porto Bridge

Brave kids jumped from the bridge into the water, then they collect money from the tourists. It is almost 20 meters down to the water, that is high!

On the river Douro, Port wine was transported down to warehouses in Porto

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Now the traditional boats transport tourists instead

PortoPort Wine 3

I can recommend strolling along the water-front and of course buy a bottle of Port-wine

PortoPort Wine 4

It tasted great with some well matured cheese and crackers when back on Kerpa.

Douro trip

We rented a car for a few days, the first trip was along the Douro Valley

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Very beautiful

Douro 6

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Further up the valley the grapes become the major crop

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Douro valley is the most important wine area in Portugal

It attracts a lot of tourists traveling on the river, they must then pass this massive lock

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It was a very nice and beautiful trip but the highlight was our stay in a small and old mountain village Poiares, we stayed at what we guess was and old rectory house

Poiares 1

The building was more than 300 years old

Poiares 4Poiares 3Poiares 2

With an impressive courtyard

Poiares 5

where we enjoyed a plain dinner and a glass of wine

Inside it was not less impressive

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The breakfast area, not too bad.

sdr

View from the village.

We do recommend you to try AirBnB if you have not done it yet, it is often much cheaper than a hotel, definitely more interesting and it give you the opportunity to get in contact with local people.

Coimbra

Next Stop was Coimbra an important town in Portugal, it was the capital city 1139 to 1260, but now more known for Portugal’s oldest and one of the largest universities from the 13:th century.

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The university

Coimbra 1

The town itself is very beautiful

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With many old and nice buildings

Coimbra AirBnB 1

We stayed at an AirBnB in the house to the right in the picture, VERY central and interesting

Coimbra AirBnB 2

The flat had a nice roof terrace, suitable for breakfast or a glass of wine in the evening

In Coimbra they have a miniature “city” with models of important places both in and outside Portugal, well worth a visit especially if one has kids.

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the miniature city

Nazare

The next day we went to Nazare, but first we stopped at the Batalha Monastery, which is one of the most impressive religious buildings of Portugal. This Gothic monastery was commission by King João in gratitude for the decisive victory in the battle of Aljubarrota (1385), and the grand designs took over a hundred years to construct.

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The unfinished part, not the carving in the columns.

 

Nazare is an impressive place with fantastic beaches on each side of the massive cliff

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Nazare light house 1

With it’ famous lighthouse

Nazare is a very popular tourist place the southern beach is packed with people

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But of course Nazare is famous for the largest waves in the world and surfers came from all over the world to surf the massive waves, the largest waves ever surfed was in Nazare, 32 m high

Surfer 3

The lighthouse is 60 meters above sea level, by the arrow is a surfer

Surfer 1

Please Notice the surfer in the red circle

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An other surfers, and a few more..

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a 2 minutes film well worth to watch

a 14 minutes film about two Australian wanted to surf the most wildest waves on the planet, do not miss it.

 

On our trip we saw many scares from wild and forest fires, but also several smaller and larger fires some of them along the Douro Valley, with helicopters fighting the fires.

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took these pictures on the way back towards Porto

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Fire on distance when sailing further south along the Portuguese coast, a lot of smoke, sad.

Next stop Cascais ….

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