Luxury European River Cruise Idea: Visit the Cathedrals of Porto, Portugal

Less than a three hour drive from Lisbon is the city of Porto and the Upper (Alto) Douro wine region.  

Travel Planning Ideas for Porto, Portugal

Explore the many unique Cathedrals in throughout Porto

The second largest city in Portugal, Porto sits at the mouth of the Douro river where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The town of Porto and surrounding region are classified UNESCO World Heritage sites for the many wine complexes, villages, chapels and roads that were all constructed around the key Port style winemaking process that occurs here. Besides Its connection to the wine region of the Douro Valley, Porto is known for  many various architectures of her many bridges and the approximately 30 cathedrals that can be found here. 

Firmly rooted in Catholic traditions, here are three cathedrals that we recommend you add to your must see list when visiting Porto.

Sé Cathedral – the city’s oldest and most important religious monument is Porto Cathedral. Located in the center of the historical district of Porto, she was constructed starting in the Romanesque period of the 12th century and was completed during the Baroque period in1737. Representations of these periods and the intermittent period of Gothic architecture can be seen in the exterior towers, in the nave, the chapel and the cloister. The importance of the cathedral is to serve as a starting point for the pilgrimage which begins here for travelers who will walk from Porto to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. 

São Lourenço – is located within a small courtyard within the historic district of Porto. St. Lawrence Church, built in the 16th Century is locally referred to as Igreja dos Grilos (cricket church). A Jesuit built temple, it is nicknamed for the original location of the Jesuits who settled on cricket street in 1577 with the intention to build the new church in Porto. The biggest reason to visit this  church is for it’s neo-classical design featuring two towers with fabulous views that overlook the Douro and Ribera rivers. Considered a Portuguese national monument, visit the attached Museum of Sacred Art and Architecture. 

Igreja do Carmo – an 18th century Baroque designed church on site appears to be the largest cathedral in the city. Located in downtown Porto, it is actually two churches that connect by a narrow house designed as a separation. Igreja do Carmelitos was a convent in the 17th century built for nuns to occupy. Whereas it was the monks who inhabited the Carmo side. Despite the oddity of it’s design, the building is most visited for the blue and white Azulejo tiles that can be found on the Carmo building that tells the story of the relations of the Mount Carmel to the Virgin Mary. 

BucketList Travel Advisors is a specialist in river travel. Cruise the Douro river starting in Porto, Portugal through the historic wine region to Vega de Terron in Spain. Download our Guide to learn more about the rivers of Europe.