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Vila Nova de Gaia

Culture & History

Our most recommended Vila Nova de Gaia Culture & History

Porto: Cockburn’s Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Option

1. Porto: Cockburn’s Cellar Tour with Tasting & 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 Gai. Located opposite the twin city of Porto across the Douro River, this region is known for its beauty. Take this unique opportunity to 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. In 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: • Cockburn's Fine White paired with Passion fruit chocolate  • Cockburn's 10 Years old paired with Yuzu cinnamon chocolate • Quinta dos Canais Vintage paired with Raspberry chocolate 

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum & Wine Tasting

2. 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: City Train Tour, River Cruise & Wine Cellar

3. Porto: City Train Tour, River Cruise & Wine Cellar

Explore the picturesque and historic city of Porto on the Magic Train Tour. The train departs every 60 minutes from the Sé Catedral (Cathedral of Oporto) and travels around the city center with an audio guide available in Portuguese, Spanish, French, English, and Italian. The train takes you directly to the oldest wine cellar in Portugal — Real Companhia Velha. A guide will take you on an unforgettable tour inside the wine cellar which includes a short 15-minute film, a 30-minute visit to the old parts of the cellars, and a tasting of 2 quality port wines. After the wine tour, the train will pick you up and continue the tour around the city. See the most important monuments such as St. Johns Theater, the Famous Batalha Square with the Santa Catarina Street, Aliados Avenue, Clerigos Tower, Carmelitas Church, and more.  Once the train tour is over, go down to Ribera to join a 1-hour boat cruise along the Douro River. Relish this extraordinary way of viewing the city from a different perspective.

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

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

Fado is an important part of the collective Portuguese soul, born in the taverns of the 19th century and an iconic symbol of the Portuguese culture. This 75-minute program includes a visit to the Cálem wine cellars to learn about ancestral traditions. The visit is followed by a tasting of two port Wines (white and special reserve), which are served to you while you enjoy a Fado performance. The Fado performance features both male and female voices accompanied by traditional Portuguese guitar and classic guitar. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear to the music and experience the soul of the country.

Porto: Graham's Port Lodge Tour with Wine Tasting & Pairings

5. Porto: Graham's Port Lodge Tour with Wine Tasting & Pairings

Explore the 1890 Graham's Port Lodge on a guided tour where you will learn about the history of the cellar, the production process of Port wine, enjoy a premium wine tasting with food pairings, and marvel at spectacular views of Porto and the iconic two-tier bridge. Visit the historic Graham’s Lodge, which was built in 1890 on a commanding ridge in Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River from Porto and only a few hundred meters from the river’s south bank. Admire unique and spectacular views of Porto’s historic city center and the iconic two-tier bridge that connects the two cities of Oporto and Gaia. Graham’s is still a working cellar which makes this tour an even more unique experience. Hear the sounds of the Coopers’ hammers and see the lodgement collecting samples for the tasting room.  Learn about the history of the cellar and the production process of Port wine in a building currently housing over 2,000 pipes (oak casks) and 40 large oak vats of aging Port wine, as well as extensive cellars of Vintage Port. Throughout the tour, enjoy a premium tasting which includes Graham’s LBV paired with chocolate, Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos paired with cheese, and Graham’s 20 Year Old paired with Pastel de Nata.

Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

6. 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: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

7. 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

8. 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).

Porto: Port and Douro Wine Walking Tour with Tastings

9. Porto: Port and Douro Wine Walking Tour with Tastings

Explore the history of port and Douro wine on a guided walking tour of 3 wine houses in Vila Nova de Gaia. Learn about the vineyards and wineries of the Douro Valley and enjoy 10 different port and Douro wine tastings with professional commentaries.  Start with a guided tour of an old wine cellar. Sample 3 port wines from their collection and learn about the culture and philosophy of port wine drinking. Continue to the oldest and most emblematic wine company in Portugal to enjoy 4 more tastings. End your day by sampling 4 more wines produced by a family-owned wine brand of the Douro Valley.

Porto: Graham's Port Lodge Guided Tour and Wine Tasting

10. Porto: Graham's Port Lodge Guided Tour and Wine Tasting

Explore the 1890 Graham's Port Lodge on a guided tour where you will learn about the history of the cellar, the production process of Port wine, enjoy a classic wine tasting, and marvel at spectacular views of Porto and the iconic two-tier bridge. Visit the historic Graham’s Lodge, which was built in 1890 on a commanding ridge in Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River from Porto and only a few hundred meters from the river’s south bank. Admire unique and spectacular views of Porto’s historic city center and the iconic two-tier bridge that connects the two cities of Oporto and Gaia. Graham’s is still a working cellar which makes this tour an even more unique experience. Hear the sounds of the Coopers’ hammers and see the lodgement collecting samples for the tasting room.  Learn about the history of the cellar and the production process of Port wine in a building currently housing over 2,000 pipes (oak casks) and 40 large oak vats of aging Port wine, as well as extensive cellars of Vintage Port. Throughout the tour, depending on your selected option, enjoy a classic tasting or premium wine tasting experience. The classic option includes tastings of Graham’s Six Grapes, LBV, and 10-year-old Tawn. The premium option includes tastings of Graham’s LBV, Graham’s Crusted, and Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos.

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What people are saying about Vila Nova de Gaia

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 15 reviews

We had Aurea as a guide, she told us about the history of Porto and the most important buildings. Porto pleasantly surprised us and Aurea showed us all nice places. The electric tuk-tuk was also a success. It was very nice not to have to hear or smell a roaring engine and we were an 'Eye-catcher'. We also had a nice chat and Aurea also told us where we could eat and drink in Porto and the surrounding area. Thank you Aurea! So worth repeating, when our daughter comes along next x!

A lovely show with excellent musicians. Venue was an old cellar with a beautiful arched ceiling and good acoustics. If you get there a early you’ll get the first seating choice and can sit near the front. We were about 10min early and were in the back but could hear and see pretty well. The port served was nice.

Great tour and wonderful guide. Also, the history of the port house & the families that have owned the brand were fascinating. Learned a lot.

Our driver Karma was fantastic! Super helpful, got everyone involved and gave us a great tour. I would definitely recommend it.

A beautiful setting and heart-felt performance made for a lovely evening! One of our favorite activities while in Porto!