Hiking Trail from Riverside to Riverside (Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto)
There are many reasons to spend a day full of fun on the riversides of Porto and Gaia. By water, land or air, there are several activities to fill the soul with memories and the suitcase with eagerness to return soon.
On a Douro’s Cruise we discover the riverine areas of the two banks, their stories and heritage. We can visit the wine cellars where our Port Wine ages and take the Gaia Cable Car ride, to see the cities from another perspective. And why not enjoy a terrace overlooking the river, relax and taste a delicious “Francesinha”?
However, the day would never be complete without a little walk on the Douro banks.
I started in Gaia’s quay car park this linear urban trail, with just over 3kms, that runs along the pier towards the D. Luis I Bridge, one of the finest, if not the most beautiful of the bridges linking the two cities.
In the lower panel, through the pedestrian crossing, I walk across the river to the north bank and then towards downstream. I follow the rhythmic waves of the river waters cradling the Rabelos boats. The bustle of the various vessels with different sizes, transform the Douro river on a fluvial motorway.
Walk in “Ribeira” is like diving in the history of Porto, where every stone, wall, wicket and arcade have a story to tell. I stop a little in “Alminhas da Ponte” a monument that recall the great tragedy of “Ponte das Barcas”, when the population, to escape the Napoleonic Invasions, was trying to cross to the south bank of the river and the bridge gave way under the weight, resulting in the death of hundreds of people. Today candles and flowers are left next to this low relief monument in bronze.
Walk in “Ribeira” is like diving in the history of Porto, where every stone, wall, wicket and arcade have a story to tell.
The terraces are prepared to receive tourists and the typical colored facades of the buildings along the riverside, clothing extends through the balconies in wrought iron, dancing on clotheslines enjoying the light breeze.
I walk up to “Infante D. Henrique” Street where I take the pulse to the rhythm of the city. Traffic that, under the auspices of “D. Henrique”, circulates in this artery reminds me that I am in the second largest Portuguese city.
I return to more quiet streets and by the “Fonte Taurina” Street, I arrived at Ribeira’s Square where the famous Cube hides among the terraces. On the walls and benches along the riverside, tourists and residents sits together, sharing this landscape, contemplating who goes up and down the Douro.
I return by the same path to the Gaia’s quay where I finish this little urban trail along the riversides of the magic Douro River.
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