FOZ AND MATOSINHOS
FISH, PALM TREES AND SURF
A ride on the eléctrico (Tram Line 1) takes riders along the banks of the Douro, from the Ribeira district to the Jardim do Passeio Alegre (Passeio Alegre garden) at the mouth of the river. A joining point of the river with sea, that gives name to the place – Foz.
A maze of tiny cobbled streets, where traditional Portuguese fishermen’s houses share the space with the manor houses, most of them with Art Déco or Art Nouveau architecture.
This smart suburb by the estuary on the Porto has several modern restaurants, some chic sun-downer restaurants on the beach, some quite hidden in the little streets of Foz Velha (Old Foz), and some that will just make your day because of the stunning view along with the tasty “petiscos”, Portugal’s answer to tapas, along with wine by the glass. A bonus is the ding of the tram as it slows down to pass the restaurant on tracks just a meter from the terrace!
Surrounded by palm trees, beautiful bright and stylish buildings pop up in the centre of the Jardim do Passeio Alegre (Passeio Alegre garden), like the Public Baths, a building built in 1910, decorated with Art Nouveau tiles and where, as the name implies, people could take a shower. Other places are a must visit in this garden, like the mini-golf (from 1967), the Coreto (bandstand) and the Chafariz (fountain). If the weather is nice and the is calm, then walk toward the Farolim de Felgueiras “Lighthouse”. When the sea is at its full temper, this lighthouse becomes stage of a terrifying and yet beautiful scenery, with the waves raving against him.
Foz is a place for long walks along the sea. A large sidewalk by the sea, or the wooden path by the sand, are perfect for long contemplative walk. On the Foz promenade you’ll stumble upon the Pergola, the icon of Foz. A place for promising eternal love, holding hands while enjoying the sunset. Take at least one photo at one of the most romantic spots in town. The Pergola is a structure in neoclassical style, painted in golden yellow. If you look carefully, on different times of the day, the color seams to change, as the sun goes up or down.
There’s a legend or rumour about how the Pergola was built in 1930. Some say that the wife from the Presidente da Câmara “Mayor”, went to Nice (France) and took a walk down the “Promenade des Anglais”, and when she came back she asked her husband to build one for her in Porto. Let’s be honest, being this rumour true or not, the Pergola is beautiful, romantic and if the story it’s true then it’s a declaration of love as well.
Climbing a little bit towards the narrow streets of Foz Velha, you’ll stumble upon the Igreja de São João Baptista (Saint John Baptist church). Get lost in the narrow streets of Foz Velha, and enjoy the beautiful architecture of the houses located there. In Foz, you can also find family traditional businesses, like Mr. Augusto’s grocery shop. In the family for 5 generations, it’s a gourmet grocery shop where you’ll find traditional food, like the finest smoked ham, national and international Cheeses, Trás-os-Montes bread or traditional sweets.
Porto it’s already in the hot list of foodies worldwide, and a lot of the credits for that go to restaurants like Pedro Lemos, one of the Michelin Stars of Porto. In Foz, you find some of the trendiest restaurants in Porto and some have been on the hot list for 20 years now, like Cafeína or Terra, in the Rua do Padrão. If you’de rather go for the famous petiscos (Portuguese tapas), then in Foz you’ll also find be perfect combination of good petiscos with an amazing view. A must try for petiscos are: Casa de Pasto da Palmeira, or Casa Vasco or even the Mercearia do Miguel, a combination of grocery shop and petiscos restaurant.