Vila Nova de Gaia Activities

Our most recommended Vila Nova de Gaia Activities

Porto: 6 Bridges Douro River Cruise

1. Porto: 6 Bridges Douro River Cruise

Board the original boats used to transport the Port Wine barrels from the Douro Region to Gaia and Porto. The boats have been adapted with the most modern navigation equipment to transport passengers with maximum comfort. Enjoy a journey that stretches from the historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, upstream to Freixo and then downstream toward the mouth of the Douro. Take the opportunity to admire the rich and breathtaking landscape while you learn the history of the 6 bridges that unite Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto. Discover other points of interest in these two cities. 

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

2. Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

Embark on a guided tour of the Cálem Cellars in Porto, enjoy wine tasting and an entertaining live Fado show. Listen and dance to Portuguese music as you get tipsy and enjoy an unforgettable night. Immerse yourself in Portuguese culture and listen to Fado, folk music that originated in Lisbon in the 18th century, also known as the Lisbon blues. Fado is an important part of Portuguese culture. Head to the Caves Cálem winery and embark on a guided tour of the facilities to learn about the history and traditions of port wine production. At the end of your tour, sample 2 port wines, a white port, and a special reserve. As you sip your wine, take in a live Fado performance, a style of music born in the taverns of the 19th century that has become an essential part of Portuguese culture. The performance features male and female vocalists accompanied by a traditional Portuguese guitar and a classical guitar. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the music and experience the country's soul.

Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

3. Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

According to Amália Rodrigues, the great fado singer, "The point is to feel fado. Because fado is not sung, it happens. It cannot be explained, only felt." The project "Fado by Casa da Guitarra" intends to offer to you the essence of this musical genre in an evening of enchantment and wonder. During the hour-long concert, you will come in contact with very unique Portuguese cultural elements - fado, Portuguese traditional stringed instruments, wine - all of which are deeply related with Portuguese history. The acoustic fado performance takes place in an intimate setting with a female leading singer, accompanied by a Portuguese guitar player and a guitar player (playing a viola de fado), who occasionally lends his voice to the fado songs. A traditional port wine will served during the interlude to round out your evening.

Porto: Burmester Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Options

4. Porto: Burmester Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Options

Burmester has long been recognized for its Port wines and Douro DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada).  Its history started long ago in London in 1730, when Henry Burmester joined with John Nash to create Burmester, Nash & Co. and from Vila Nova de Gaia they started exporting Port wines all around Europe. Over the years, Burmester has triumphed from generation to generation, demonstrating its inherent character and determination. Character is the holistic principle of the brand, and of its wines. Arrive at the Burmester winery for an unforgettable experience. You will visit the Burmester Cellars, located next to the beautiful Luiz I bridge, with an expert guide. Learn about Port wines and the Douro DOC production process, and taste different port wines.

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum & Wine Tasting

5. Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum & Wine Tasting

In a healthful balance between Port tradition and new technologies, you will discover Douro region and Port wine – from “terroir” to the wine grapes, from the categories up to the aromas, trough our recently interactive museum, with personalized and intuitive access. In the guided visits to Cálem caves you will learn about the Douro Demarcated Region, know how the Port is produced and stay abreast of all the details of the history of this House. The cellars themselves remain active and visitable. It is there that you will learn more about the unique characteristics of each type of Port, even next to the barrels where they grow old, protected from light and heat. Then, you will be invited to a Cálem wine tasting: a white Port and a Tawny Port. With one of your guides, you will have the possibility to learn some more Port secrets and taste our wines.

Porto: Small Group Surf Lesson with Transportation

6. Porto: Small Group Surf Lesson with Transportation

Chill with the serene waves of Porto during a small-group surfing lesson with pickup from the city. Find the best beach for the weather conditions on the day and get to grip with the basics of surfing. Jump into the water and catch your first wave to the shore. Make your way to the bus stop by Aliados to meet your friendly group for the day. Let your guide assess the weather conditions and start driving to the beach with the best waves. Feel the warm sand under your feet as you listen to a quick introduction to surfing. Follow the instructions of your guide for the basic techniques like paddling and standing up on your board. Now's the time to crash into the water and go with the flow. Paddle out to where the water breaks and feel the adrenaline as you ride the swell back to the shore.

Porto: Cockburn’s Cellar Tour Classic or Pairing Option

7. Porto: Cockburn’s Cellar Tour Classic or Pairing Option

Visit the Cockburn’s cellars, also known as ‘lodges’, and discover the most extensive wine cellars in the historic quarter of Vila Nova de Gaia. Located opposite the twin city of Porto across the Douro River, this region is known for its beauty.  Watch the dedicated team of coopers disassemble barrels stave by stave for maintenance and then reassemble them.  Go inside the sturdy granite walls of the Cockburn’s lodge house which boasts 6,518 seasoned oak barrels of maturing Port and the equivalent of a further 10,056 barrels held in tones and vats.  This sizeable and priceless stock provides the basis for the creation of Cockburn’s renowned Ports, including the famous Special Reserve. On this guided tour, you will have an authentic experience of a fully working Port cellar. Start your visit with a trip to the Cellars museum which charts Cockburn’s fascinating 200-year history.  A series of exhibits reveal the stories of the families that built Cockburn’s; their planting of vineyards in the Douro Valley and the making of legendary Ports that turned Cockburn's into a world-renowned producer.  Your visit continues through the working sections of the buildings where thousands of oak barrels and vats hold Cockburn’s valuable stocks of maturing wines. At this point, you will pass through the longest aging gallery of any Port cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia.  Filled with the impressive sight of thousands of barrels, stacked 4 high you'll learn about the importance of maturing Port in seasoned wood as well as the central role of the cooper. In the tasting room, you will enjoy a classic tasting, or if you select the premium tasting option then you will have the following: Classic:• Cockburn's Special Reserve• Cockburn's Late Bottle Vintage• Cockburn's 10 years old  Premium tasting with chocolate pairing:• Cockburn's Fine White paired with Passion fruit chocolate • Cockburn's 10 Years old paired with Yuzu cinnamon chocolate• Cockburn's Quinta dos Canais Vintage paired with Raspberry chocolate Vintage Tasting paired with cheese:• Cockburn's Quinta dos Canais Vintage paired with Sheep Cheese (Nisa dop)• Cockburn's 2011 Vintage paired with Goat Cheese (Beiralacte)• Cockburn's 2015 Vintage paired with Cow Cheese (S. Jorge dop)

Porto: Tour and Tasting of 3 Port Wines at Poças Cellar

8. Porto: Tour and Tasting of 3 Port Wines at Poças Cellar

Your wine-tasting tour will start with a guided visit to the aging cellar, where distinguished wines have been maturing for more than 100 years. Here, you’ll get to know what makes Port wine so special and learn all about the place where it’s made, the Douro Valley.  Next, you’ll take a walk to the tasting room, where a harmonized sample of three different Port wines awaits your palate. As you sample the wines, learn about which foods pair well with Port wine and discover unique Port styles you might not have tasted before. Before the experience is over, you'll also have the chance to buy your favorite Port wines in the winery's store to enjoy them in the comfort of your home.

Porto: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

9. Porto: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

Learn about the uniquely Portuguese musical form of fado with a live show in the intimate surroundings of the Casa do Fado. Enjoy a glass of port wine as you hear more about this aspect of Portuguese identity, declared ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO. Be transported to the Porto of old with a trip to Casa do Fado, a project developed by friends who love the music genre. Choose between two Casa do Fado venues in the historic center of Porto: the Ribiera, a 19th-century cellar, or the Sé, a former guitar luthier workshop. Listen to outstanding musicians as they perform live in a venue with acoustics ideally set up for fado. Sip on a glass of port wine, the drink that Porto is famous for, as you hear more about the music and its origins.

Porto: Six Bridges Cruise

10. Porto: Six Bridges Cruise

Explore the calm delights of the Douro River by traveling on a typical Rabelo Boat along the pastel-hued riverbanks of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. On this 50 minute cruise, you'll get to breathe Porto's faded but rich history, and glimpse architectural wonders such as the Gustav Eiffel Bridge. The program includes an audio guide for the tour (Portuguese, English, Spanish, and French).

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Frequently asked questions about Vila Nova de Gaia

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What people are saying about Vila Nova de Gaia

This is definitely the way to see Porto!! Anna was terrific! What a novelty way to go about Porto and Gaia - we were sometimes the backdrop for which other tourists took pictures! Thank you Anna and Hugo for a great time!

An intimate but impactful performance in a stunning but simple venue. The musicians were all individually talented and were magical together. Would definitely recommend. The glass of port was also good!

A well put together activity in a slick environment. Really good value too and certainly when compared with other local port wineries, it had the edge for us. Highly recommended.

Guide was excellent and very knowledgeable about Porto. Also, very helpful in helping us navigate the different tours.

Superbe soirée. Visite courte, mais intéressante. Le spectacle de Fado est génial.