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Aerial Sightseeing over Porto

Aerial Sightseeing over Porto

There was a new addition to the skyline over Villa Nova de Gaia on our last visit to Porto.  The Telerférico de Gaia, a swish cable car system has just opened and now a steady stream of gondolas run from the upper level of the Dom Luis l bridge down to the quayside in Gaia where the barcos rabelos boats of the port lodges bob on the Douro River.

It’s a nice gentle ride, you just step into a gondola as they move slowly through the station, the doors close and you’re away. The journey is quite short, maybe about 5 minutes, worth it though for the all round views; Porto on the opposite bank, houses seemingly built on top of one another tumbling down to the Ribeira quayside, tripper and cruise boats plying the Douro, vertiginous bridges, and beneath us the long, red tiled roofs of the famous port wine cellars of Gaia.

The position of the Telerférico immediately suggests a rather pleasant itinerary full of photographic angles.  On the Porto side you could start with a tour of 12th century Romanesque cathedral, the Sé, built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Douro.  Don’t miss taking a stroll around the terrace as there are some characterful views over the old quarter now a Unesco World Heritage site. From here it’s a short walk on to the upper level of the ironwork  Ponte Dom Luis l bridge, offering truly spectacular views.  Pedestrians share this level with low key metro trains, there are no cars, so it’s quite relaxed and a great spot for a panorama.   It will delight those of you who like to stand in high places.  On the other side  hop in a gondola to descend gracefully to the quayside – still filming.  Time then for a tour and tasting at one of the cool Port Houses before rounding off with a leisurely lunch on the quay.


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