Porto tour with Peter's BeetleOctober 9, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C
Ian saw this tour advertised on Airbnb and thought it looked like fun, so we booked it, and it was absolutely brilliant and lots of fun. Rui, our tour guide, had set up this company about a year ago. He inherited his grandfather’s VW Beetle and decided to fix it up, and when he would drive it around town he was often stopped by people asking if the car was for hire - this gave him the idea to start this tour. It operates out of a jewellery store that he and his wife own, which was just two minutes walk from our apartment.
We were driven around in the back seat of a convertible beetle (ours was red, there is also a blue one). Rui took us to many of the sites of Porto, and provided us with a great overview of the city and the layout so we could then decide where we wanted to return to. Rui is very knowledgeable and passionate about Porto. He was born here as were his parents, his mother on one side of the river and his father on the other. We also had the opportunity to stop a number of times and take photos, plus Rui took several photos of us, which turned out really well.
Rui even offered to drop us off at a different spot to where we started the tour - Livraria Lello - the bookstore that inspired JK Rowling to write the Harry Potter novels, when she was living in Porto and working as an English teacher! Not only did Rui drop us at the bookstore, he took us to the ticket office and got us fast track entry for 5 Euro, less than it would have cost us to book ourselves, and we jumped the huge queue waiting to get in.
The tour took us through the Riberia neighbourhood, down one of the oldest streets in Porto, the bookstore, the Old Prison, the Carmo Church, the Sé Cathedral, Torre dos Clérigos, Palàcio Bolsa, Santo António hospital (the old and new), Praça Da Cordoaria, and the Old Market that is being renovated and should be completed by 2021 at a cost of approximately 33 million Euros! We also went to the Town Hall, Palàcio das Artes, Estacãco são Bento, Capella das Alma’s, and we crossed a couple of bridges - Ponte do Infante to get over the river and Ponte de D. Luís I to cross back. Finally, he drove us along the Rio Douro to where it meets the sea, and along the Atlantic Ocean coastline for a bit through a lovely little village called Foz Do Douro. It had such a nice feel about it, and it didn’t feel like Porto was only 15 minutes away.
We had a fabulous time and Rui was so generous with his time and information. He also gave us a number of restaurant recommendations - we have made reservations at two of them.Read more