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!