Not everyone who goes on a city break wants to spend the entire time visiting museums, art galleries and historic buildings. Even if you do, it’s still nice to have a day trip, or a half day trip, to somewhere completely different, especially if it involves a good lunch.
If you are visiting Porto, in Portugal, I would highly recommend that you take a trip across the river to São Pedro da Afurada (I will just refer to it as Afurada for ease of typing). It is a small fishing village largely unspoiled by the tourist industry and, although small, there is lots to see.
There are several ways to get there, as I write this I am staying in Lavadores which is a coastal area approx 3.3 km further along the river and out to the coast, and I walked to Afurada keeping to the coastal path until I rejoined the road to Afurada. .
If you are planning to go from Porto it is still walkable, in fact it makes a great walk with wonderful views across the river to the city. Just cross the Ponte Luís I (Bridge) and keep the river’s edge on your right. It is a level walk of approx 4 km, some of it on boardwalks that overhang the river. However, it was the afternoon when I walked it and it was in the shade so you might prefer to cross the river and walk in the sun.
If you do wish to cross the river at this point you can use Flor do Gás (Travessia Fluvial), a River Taxi that docks at a little jetty opposite the restaurant A Margem. It only costs €2, you can take a bicycle if need be and it runs every 15 minutes between 6am – 9pm Monday – Saturday and 8am – 9pm on Sundays.
From the other side of the river the ferry departs from R. do Ouro 155-200, 4150-685 Porto. It is quite a distance from the city centre so you may want to get the tram out to it (Tram Line 1), or even hop in an Uber if you don’t want to walk.
Please note that there IS another river taxi nearer the Ponte Luís I (Bridge) but it only takes you across to the Port Wine cellars which is not Afurada, however, it would shorten the walk a bit.
What to see in Afruada
Interpretive Centre of Afruada
I have no personal photos of this as I didn’t have time to visit it but if you wish to find out more you can visit the website for information.
It is still fairly common to find these communal laundries in the smaller villages in Portugal. I always look out for them, they fascinate me, and many of them have been restored. I love to think about the generations of women who have used these and how they must have been, and still are, a hub where the women meet and chat and share their joys and sorrows. If only walls had ears I am sure they could tell a tale or two.
They also seem to be used by people who park up in campervans, I have noticed many tourists using the drying lines. And I also spotted one woman hanging out the washing that she had obviously washed at home and brought to the lines to dry. I saw her going home shortly afterwards with her empty laundry basket as I was wandering around the village.
A few photos of the Lavadouro, including photos of photos.
There is a market in the village, it doesn’t have a lot of stalls but if you are on the lookout for fresh fish then it is worth stopping by.
The Fishing Boats and Marina
As you stroll along the water’s edge you can admire the fishing boats and when you come to the Marina there are many expensive looking yachts if that is something that interests you. You will also find some fancy restaurants overlooking the water but I would suggest, if you wish to eat lunch, that you eat in one of the small restaurants in the village where the fish is cooked outdoors on an open charcoal grill.
You really cannot visit Afurada without sampling some of the amazing seafood that I mentioned above. To read about a typical lunch in Afurada I am going to direct you to my blog post, Foodie Friday – Lunch in Afurada. You will also be able to read a few general tips and hints about eating out in Portugal so there is no point repeating myself here, I’ll just post a couple of photographs.
Just a Sample of The Restaurants
Stroll Around The Village
It is a lovely village to walk around, take note of the small shops, the lovely tiled facades of the buildings, the streets with tables and chairs set out for the families to congregate for meals, the laundry hanging out to dry, and the many cafes where the men tend to congregate to exchange the news and views of the day.
The Village and The Lovely Houses
And The Ever Present Laundry Hanging Out To Dry
I hope this has encouraged you to pay a visit if you are ever in Porto, it’s a lovely day out. Wherever you are though try and get out of the city, if possible, and see another side of the country you are visiting, it is often far more enjoyable than the museums.
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