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The Portuguese coastal city is a popular holiday destination for campers and motorhome travellers. It is located in the northwest of the country on the Atlantic Ocean. Porto is known for its magnificent buildings and medieval streets with small shops and cafés. Translated into German, the city's name simply means port.
Magnificent buildings like the Igreja São Francisco with its baroque interiors are the city's landmarks. The Palácio de Bolsa stock exchange is more reminiscent of a palace than a commercial building. Porto is the third largest city in Portugal, only the capital Lisbon and Vila Nova de Gaia have more inhabitants.
The metropolis was built on the spot where the Douro River flows into the Atlantic. Since time immemorial, the city has been a major trading centre and even today it is the economic and cultural centre in the north. The city centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for several years.
Porto is connected to the city of Vila Nova de Gaia by numerous bridges. The two cities lie directly opposite each other on the river. Despite its size, Vila Nova de Gaia is much less well-known than Porto, but a visit is still worthwhile. Especially the promenade with its numerous restaurants is worth seeing.
Porto has a subtropical and maritime climate. Summers in the region are dry and hot. Winter temperatures are consistently mild. Frost and snow are rare. The weather in Porto is strongly dependent on the Atlantic Ocean.
The best time for a motorhome holiday is June, July and August. During these months, Porto has high temperatures of around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. This time is also ideal for a seaside holiday. The season for motorhomes starts at the end of April.
However, you must also expect the thermometer to drop below 10 degrees Celsius in April. The winter months of December, January and February are not recommended for a camping holiday unless you are a fan of winter camping and have the appropriate equipment.
From October to April, the city receives the most rainfall. The Canary Current with its cool water from the north reaches the coast in Porto and affects the climate there. As a result, fog often forms in the warm months. In the winter months, Atlantic low pressure systems reach the metropolis and bring rain.
Nevertheless, the region is anything but humid. In summer there are even only two to three rainy days. In December and January, it can rain 14 days a month. In May, the rain decreases and it becomes drier and drier.
The Greeks already appreciated this spot and called it Kalos. Kalos is the Greek word for beautiful. When the Romans lived in the city, they simply adopted the name. In 540, the Visigoths expanded the small settlement into a fortress and from 716 to 1050, the Moors lived here. In 1092, the area then fell under the rule of King León. Many of the buildings that can be seen in Porto today therefore come from quite different cultures.
This magnificent church is the city's landmark and is known from numerous Portuguese coins. It was completed in 1750 in the brocken style by the famous Italian architect Nasoni. For this reason, the bell tower is strongly reminiscent of the towers from Tuscany.
At 76 metres, it was the highest point in the city for a long time and has no less than 6 storeys. The view from the platform over Porto is phenomenal when the sun is shining. Tickets for the bell tower are very cheap.
The Ponte Luís I is the famous metal bridge over the river that connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. The bridge offers a beautiful view of the Dourno River and the shore.
You can cross the bridge on foot or by tram, the cars go a little lower.
This place is most beautiful at sunset. It is worth seeing the bridge by day and by night. In the evening, the crossing is impressively illuminated.
The Victorian garden complex Jardins do Palácio de Cristal was very elegantly designed and is a clear recommendation not only for garden lovers. It is also worth visiting for the magnificent view. Peacocks roam freely among the numerous plants on the chic grounds, creating a unique atmosphere.
Porto and the neighbouring town of Vila Nova de Gaia have a large number of good campsites with pitches for your motorhome.
This campsite is not in Porto, but in Vila Nova de Gaia, but it is really very good. It is right by the sea and offers spectacular sunsets from the campervan. The pitches for the campervans are clean and well-maintained.
It takes just over half an hour to get to Porto on foot, but it's much quicker by bike. There are numerous restaurants and shops nearby. The staff are very friendly.
This campsite is located directly in Porto and is good value for money. The pitch for a motorhome is really quite cheap. Unfortunately, the sanitary facilities are not up to date. A bus takes visitors quickly to the centre.
At the Parque de Campismo Marisol you can rent a simple pitch for a camper. The facilities are clean and the showers have hot water. The restaurant and café at the entrance are even very modern and offer delicious food.
Some aircraft noise is to be expected during the day. But the beach is directly across the road. A cycle path leads directly to the centre. So the camper van can be left behind.
Tip: Rent a bike: There are e-bikes for rent at Velurb.
By plane: The international airport is located 11 km outside the centre and is served several times a day from all major German airports. From Frankfurt, the flight takes 2 hours and 45 minutes.
By campervan: Unfortunately, the city is not so easy to reach by campervan, the distance from Germany is more than 2000 km. You have to expect a pure driving time of 22 hours.
A trip by campervan to the north of Portugal is definitely worthwhile. The capital of the north has many ancient buildings and great beaches to offer. The motorhome can often be parked right next to the beach, a clear recommendation.