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Campervan hire Porto

A city bathing in history, with a culture and gastronomy almost as rich as its people’s strong charisma, the second most important city in Portugal can easily take the first place in your heart.

 

Passionate about the details of classic-yet-modern Lisbon? Wait till you see Porto, where similar details take incredibly-satisfying proportions. Yes, it’s true: in Porto, everything is bigger. The amazing food comes in huge servings (have you heard about “Francesinha”?), people’s sympathy is enormous and the places you’ll visit are going to surprise you BIG time. Visit one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello. Climb the stairs of the epic Clérigos Church and get a panoramic view of the city. Contemplate the architectural wonder that is Dom Luís I Bridge, especially if you take a boat tour along the Douro River. Don’t miss Porto’s modern side by going to a concert in the Casa da Música, nor the most historic side by visiting Porto’s Cathedral and Palácio da Bolsa. Heading out of the city and into the Douro Valley, tiled townhouses and rooftop terraces make way for quintas and terraced vineyards. Up north, the Gerês Mountains beckon, inviting you to hire a campervan in Porto and start an RV road trip where culture and nature blend into a adventure the size you’ll only get in Portugal’s Northern region.

 

Practical Information

Depot + Transfer

If you want to do a motorhome or campervan hire in Porto, we’re right there for you. We’ll meet you at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, where you can pick up and drop off your van – free of charge in regular hours, of course!

Parking in the city

Parking in the inner city for free is not easy. The best option is to park your rental campervan on Porto’s outskirts during the day and use public transportations (they’re pretty good). During the night (from 7pm to 9am) it’s free to park in the city centre.

Camping grounds nearby

In Porto, you’ll not find a camping site for your campervan, especially if you hire Indie Campers’ motorhome. But don’t worry! Near the city, especially right next to Vila Nova de Gaia’s beaches, you’ll find plenty of them, such as Parque de Campismo Salgueiros, Canidelo Camping or Parque de Campismo Municipal da Madalena.

 

About Porto

Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, is often referred to as Oporto in English. Unfamiliar with local linguistic nuances, which has the Portuguese calling the city ‘o Porto’ (the Porto), the British mistook the port city’s name as Oporto. A mistake easily made––if you’re a stranger in Portugal. But that’s the thing: the British weren’t really strangers in Porto. In fact, relations between the two go way back––and deep! Sealed by the marriage between the English Phillippa of Lancaster and King John I of Portugal in Porto in 1386, the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance is the oldest still-standing alliance. With her settling in Porto, Philippa patronized English commerce in the port city. The English mainly traded bacalhau (salted cod) and cloth for Portuguese cork, salt, oil, and wine. Not just any wine either. The English started out by exporting the light and acidic wine from the coastal Minho Region. But when they went to war with France, English import of the full-bodied French wines dropped. A catastrophic loss for English winos, that couldn’t just be replaced by Minho wines. Luckily, the deep and dark wine of the Douro Valley was the perfect alternative. Carried downriver from the valley to Porto and shipped as Vinho do Porto (Oporto wine, or, put short, Port), the wine was often fortified with brandy to survive the long sea voyage. The Brits then took such a fancy to the fortified wine that Port wine became a thing of its own!

Today, Porto is just as interesting as it always has been. With zig-zagging streets, colourful rows of odd-sized townhouses, and hilly ups and downs all over town, this city is a huge maze where you hope to get lost–––just so you can spend more time drinking the world-famous wine and gorging on mouth-watering meals. Have you ever had a Francesinha, the royal queen of all sandwiches? Made of freshly-baked bread that is toasted and stuffed with wet-cured ham, linguiça (a lovely kind of chorizo), fresh sausage and beef or roast meat, the meaty sandwich is then covered with a layer of melted cheese and drowned in a thick tomato-and-beer sauce. French fries are added on the side, for dipping in that heavenly sauce. Good luck trying to fit back in your campervan after one of these!

As a healthy counterbalance, go to Bolhão market to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Then cross Dom Luís Bridge I on foot, buy a book in Livraria Lello (said to be an inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter!), and finish with a drink or two in Cais da Ribeira, overlooking the Douro’s River. Sure, there are other ways to go about exploring this city, but those are up for you to discover when you hire a campervan in Porto. After all, exploring is the most exciting part of an adventure!

 

What to discover

In and around the city

Livraria Lello

This is a magical place. Literally. Why’s that? Because this bookstore, inaugurated in 1906, inspired J.K. Rowling in the creation of the Harry Potter world with its oddly beautiful stairs and books spread all around.

Go there (entrance is now priced at 3€, deductible if you buy a book) and take a few photos so you can lift up your friends’ spirit through Instagram. Wingardium leviosa!

Dom Luis I Bridge

Did you know Gustav Eiffel presented a project to build this bridge, but was rejected? A competition between a few architects was then initiated, and Eiffel lost again. It goes to show that even the greatest ones fail. Anyway, it’s no wonder he lost, since the resulting bridge is gorgeous!

This 172-metres-long, double-deck metal arch connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia (just like the other 5 bridges) can be crossed by campervan, on foot or by metro and it is perfect for a few photos.

Parque da Cidade

Portugal’s largest urban park, Porto’s City Park adds a peaceful pace to a buzzing city. The green oasis lends itself to family picnics, volleyball games, casual strolls, serious jogs––and everything in between.

The best thing about the park might be its southern end, where greens meet the beach. With small fun waves, Matosinhos Beach at the right is perfect for surfers just starting out.

 

Recommended locations

Braga

Although the options for a campervan hire in Braga are very scarce, Portugal’s third-largest city is unique and well worth a visit, with lots of Celtic influences and remains. Being only a short drive from Porto, where you will start your campervan road trip, visiting Braga is a no-brainer!

Braga is devoted to the old and religious, with churches spread all around the city. But in between plazas and narrow little streets, you’ll find contemporary fun with lively cafés and restaurants. Remember Francesinhas? Some say Braga is where you’ll taste the best in the world.

Aveiro

Hire a campervan or motorhome in Aveiro’s neighbour Porto and drive 40 minutes to Portugal’s Venice. From traditional boat rides in the middle of the city centre, to historical walks exploring ancient streets, Aveiro hits the sweet spot.

And talking about sweet, have you ever tried Ovos Moles? A mix of egg yolks and sugar might sound a bit weird, but, trust us, it tastes like heaven!

Vigo

What’s 153 km for your Indie rental RV? A fun border-hopping trip! Instead of looking for a campervan hire in Vigo, cover the distance between Porto and the city of Vigo. This Spanish city proves the perfect cultural beach-holiday with an old town filled with artisanal merchants, and a coastline littered with sandy beaches.

Looking for an island feel? Hop on the ferry to the Cíes Islands, get your swimsuit or shorts ready, and head to Rodas bay, one of the world’s best beaches!

 

Depot Contacts

Phone: +351308 809 080

Email: re[email protected]

Address: Rua do Batel 1094, 4485-253 Guilhabreu (Plano Parque Empresarial - A110), Portugal

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