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I love going somewhere sunny and warm when Seattle is still grey and chilly - Portugal is the perfect place for a Spring vacation. I visited Porto and Lisbon in March of 2019, and found it to be the perfect balance of shoulder-season peace and quiet and springtime sun.

I had a quick trip - only two and a half days in each city, but would recommend Porto and Lisbon to anyone looking to have a great time on a solo trip!

The *brief* wine lover’s guide to Portugal:

  • Porto is where Port Wine is born! Or rather, the Douro River Valley, which is just east of the port cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.

  • While in Porto, cross the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge to Gaia, stroll along the riverfront to find all the Port Wine Lodges and stop in for tastings. Many will accept walk-ins but you’ll definitely want to make reservations at Graham’s.

    • While visiting Graham’s stop at Vinium for a refreshing glass of wine after walking up the hill for your tour!

  • Take a tour to visit the Douro River Valley - it’s a full day commitment, but SO worth it! I loved my experience touring with AirBNB experiences as we met families who have been winemakers for centuries, and learned a ton about Portuguese history all along the way.

  • Try Vinho Verde while you’re there! Pro-tip from my guide, Ricardo… You must always order a bottle when you order Vinho Verde - since the wine is “young” (green, hence the name) it oxidizes very quickly and goes off as a result. Luckily, Vinho Verde is very affordable so it’s easy to indulge!

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