Discover the Douro Region
Vila Nova de Gaia
Porto is a historic city, rich in cultural heritage. So rich that some museums go unnoticed, even to its residents. In this article you will get to know 5 museums in Porto, to discover and visit.
Autumn has arrived and nothing better than enjoying its beautiful colors in the city’s parks and gardens.
Whether for family outings to the end-of-week, physical exercise or even to walk your pet, in Porto are several green spaces, free entrance, where you can enjoy nature and enjoy the autumn.
Discover 5 of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Porto that we have selected for you!
1. City Park (Parque da Cidade)
Porto City Park is the largest urban park in Portugal, with an area of 83 hectares that extends to the sea. Designed by the landscape architect Sidónio Pardal, the Park was opened in 1993 but its construction was only completed in 2002.
There are about 10 km of paths to take in the Park where you can find walking places, spaces for sports, lakes, fountains and lawns. Here you can also observe the diversity of the existing fauna, such as wild ducks, swans, geese, hens, fish, frogs, frogs, etc…
Another point of interest in this space is the Water Pavilion (Pavilhão da Água), which was on display at Expo’98, presenting the importance of water, its properties and characteristics and using the strong connection of the Portuguese to rivers and the sea.
2. Crystal Palace Gardens (Jardins do Palácio de Cristal)
Designed in the 1860s by German landscaper Emílio David to surround the then Palácio de Cristal, these romantic gardens rich in botany offer many places to be with viewpoints and views of the Douro River.
It consists of several thematic gardens, namely the Garden of Aromatic Plants, Garden of Medicinals, Garden of Roseiral and also the Garden of Feelings where there is a statue of António Teixeira Lopes. Centenary Japanese trees, viewpoints and a secluded lake with many swans and ducks are some of the attractions of these gardens. And of course the famous peacocks that roam freely, always ready to show off for visitors’ photos.
The gardens of the Palácio de Cristal are located in an upper part of the city which provides a beautiful view of the Ribeira do Porto and the bank of Gaia, the river Douro and the sea. This landscape becomes even more magical at sunset …
3. S. Roque Park
This park, unknown to many because it is located in the eastern part of the city, is one of the most beautiful in Porto and worth visiting.
With about four hectares and with romantic characteristics, the park of S. Roque offers a vast green area to exercise or relax.
Sculptures and benches in granite, a chapel, a pond with ducks, Japanese and a palatial house with beautiful architectural details are some of the attractions of the park. There is also a playground for children and in the center of the property the labyrinth of Buxus sempervirens shrubs where no one can resist being ‘lost’.
4. Nova Sintra Park
Former property of the Baron of Nova Sintra to whom the Park Nova Sintra owes its name was acquired by the Porto City Council in 1932 to install the headquarters of Águas do Porto here.
In the 7 hectares of the Park you can visit the formal flower garden or the romantic forest and observe species such as magnolias and camellias scattered throughout the property. There are also water sources and fountains from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries that were brought from all over the city of Porto and contribute to the romantic atmosphere of this Park.
In addition to the beauty of the vegetation, the Nova Sintra Park offers a fantastic view of the Douro River. In autumn, with the ground covered by fallen leaves, the environment becomes even more special …
5. Virtues Garden (Jardim das Virtudes)
Behind the Palace of Justice in the heart of the historic center of Porto is one of the most beautiful gardens in the city that nevertheless goes unnoticed by many – the Virtues Garden.
With a panoramic view of the Douro River, Vila Nova de Gaia and the customs building, this green space has a particularity that distinguishes it from the others – it is a vertical garden, that is, it develops in terraces along the street reminding the vineyards of the Alto Douro.
In this garden you will be able to appreciate some sculptural pieces by several contemporary authors but the greatest treasure of this garden is a tree – the largest Ginkgo Biloba in the country, about 35 meters high. Considered one of the largest trees in Europe in January 2005, it was classified as a tree of public interest by the Directorate General of Forests.
From the unique layout to the wonderful panoramic view of the Douro River, it is a case of saying that there is no lack of virtues in this garden.
With a length of about 230 km, almost always along with the Douro River, the national road 222, which connects Vila Nova de Gaia to Almendra, is one of the most beautiful in the world!
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