Porto is one of the major cities in Portugal and it is a treasure trove of goodies for tourists looking to burn a few summer weeks in this part of the world. From postcard-esque beaches to stunning medieval monuments to museums full of interesting works of art to restaurants serving finger-licking local specialities, Porto has tourists fully covered. Holidaymakers headed to these parts and looking for luxurious holiday accommodation suited to their needs will find that HomeAway has them equally covered. Most of their Vila do Conde holiday rentals are conveniently located close to the Atlantic, yielding splendid ocean views. They come with a host of features including immaculately manicured tropical gardens and swimming pools for those relaxed days when visitors feel like lazing. In-house entertainment is provided for in the form of cable TV and Internet access.
-Douro River: Few places in the world yield a more soothing view than the banks of the famous Douro River. A walk down the front of this clean river lined with pretty buildings is a revitalising experience but what’s even more relaxing is taking a seat in one of the cafes there and taking in the riverside scenery with a chilled beverage or ice-cream in your hand. Boat tours along the river are available on demand.
-Monuments: From their holiday homes in Vila do Conde visitors won’t have to travel long to see the centuries-old buildings scattered in Porto. The Sao Francisco Church is one of these must-visit edifices. Construction of this building began in the 14th century and was finally completed in 1825. Famous for having an interior lavished in gold and its Baroque styling, this church stands out from the many others in the city. Another building worth taking the time to see is the Neo-classic Palacio da Bolsa which was opened in 1891.
-Cultural events: Porto hosts a number of annual events which tourists can join in. Summer visitors can participate in the Sao Joao Festival which takes place between 23rd and 24th of June. The highlight of this fete is stuffing oneself full of sardines, boiled potatoes and red wine. Queima das Fitas is a major event celebrated every spring.
-Estadio do Dragao: The Stadium of the Dragon is the fortress of one of Portugal’s most successful football clubs; FC Porto. Holidaymakers residing in Vila do Conde holiday rentals can take advantage of their proximity to this outstanding facility to take a tour of one of Europe’s finest football stadia and get pictures of them taken. They could also buy themselves tickets and get to watch FC Porto in action.
-Food and drink: A trip to Portugal always promises a treat for the taste buds and Porto does not disappoint in this regard. One of the eateries tourists will want to check out is the ODE Porto Wine House. This ambient establishment serves authentic Portuguese cuisine whose ingredients all come from farmers in the vicinity. The food is immaculately prepared and the wine is top of the range.
Thanks to the typical Mediterranean climate Porto enjoys, those booking holiday homes in Vila do Conde during summer can expect warm, dry conditions. Average highs during this time of the year range between 25 and 27°C but 40°C days have been recorded in the past, especially in July and August. Autumn is fairly warm as well as temperatures do not drop below 20°C until October. From then till January temperatures drop as a mild winter sets in. This period is usually wet, with monthly rainfall averages of about 160mm.
Those who plan to jet into this part of northern Portugal need to book a flight that lands in the Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport which lies 15km from the centre of Porto. Not only is this Porto’s main gateway, it is one of Europe’s most important airports. Visitors from any part of Europe will easily find a regular or seasonal flight to Francisco Sa Carneiro. Another way of getting to their Vila do Conte holiday homes is for travellers to fly into Lisbon and take a train to the legendary Sao Bento Station.