Vila Nova de Gaia: Travel and tourism

Rabelo ships
Rabelo ships
Seat of a county of commercial and industrial importance and facing Oporto across the river Douro, Vila Nova de Gaia is the main centre of Port wine production.

Thus, the heart of the city is dominated by the Port lodges with their characteristic red roofs emblazoned with well-known names, and over fifty companies based in narrow and twisting streets are engaged in blending and ageing the famous drink. Some of them offer guided tours so that visitors may see how Port is made and taste different samples.

Among the most interesting are Sandeman, founded in 1790 and lodged in a former 16th-century convent with a small museum, and the Ramos Pinto House, where visitors have access to the cellars and the museum displays many mementoes of the company's history (it was founded in 1880), such as the support given to the first flight across the South Atlantic by two Portuguese, Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral, in 1922.

However, the county has much more to offer, from the excellent beaches of Granja and Miramar to traditional fishing communities such as São Pedro da Afurada or the unforgettable views which may be seen from Monte da Virgem.

Another panoramic view may be admired from the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, with an unusual circular 16th-century church and a Renaissance cloister. It was from its terrace that the future Duke of Wellington planned to attack the French by surprise in 1809.

At Grijó, south of Vila Nova de Gaia, the Augustinian Monastery of São Salvador also includes a distinctive two-storey cloister completed in 1593.
Hotel Novotel Porto Gaia Hotel Novotel Porto Gaia
São Pedro da Afurada, Vila Nova de Gaia
$$$ (50 to 100 euros)

The Novotel Porto Gaia hotel is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, near Oporto's historical centre and the famous Port cellars. The airport is only 20 kilometres (12 miles) away and the Europarque convention centre is 35 km (22 mi) away.

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