Posts Tagged ‘World Heritage’

Madeira: “Levadas”

November 24, 2009

Levadas” are aqueducts in Madeira Island built in order to bring water from the North of the Island where it is abundant to the South where the main colonization of the Island has always taken place. Besides carrying water the Levadas also create walk trails in the landmass of Madeira that are the best ways to explore the natural wealth of this island. You’ll be able to see the laurisilva endemic forest (UNESCO World Heritage, 1999) with trees like Ocotea foetens, Laurus azorica or Persea indica and also birds like the Trocaz Pigeon or the Pterodroma madeira and others.

There are many trails with different difficulty ratings, I don’t know yet if I’m going to post specifically about different levadas later but it is easy to find the information on any of the hotels or tourism centers in the island.

Most of these trails will take several hours to complete and go across remote parts of the island so you shouldn’t go alone in case you get hurt or need medical assistance for some reason.

Special thanks to Carolina for the photos.

“Caldeirão Verde” means Green Cauldron; “Lagoa do Vento” means Wind Lagoon

There aren’t snakes or any other dangerous animals in the Island.

Helpful Links:

Other interesting links:; Youtube (levada video); Madeira 1st post

Clerigos Tower

October 12, 2009

Continue the path i followed in the “Trindade and Aliados” post: Here

The Tower is a part of the Clerigos Church and both were projected by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni and built between 1731 and 1763. It’s an example of the Baroque and Rococo architectural style in northern Portugal.

The Clerigos Tower is considered by many the main symbol of Oporto. With its 6 floors and 75 meters (246ft) it is the highest tower in Portugal. The entrance for visitors is located on the side of the building and for 2€ you can enjoy all of its 225 steps and of course a magnificent view over the city. The stone stairwell is tiring and a bit tight but luckily there weren’t many visitors on the ocasions i was there.

Be careful if you’re taking children with you because there is a considerable space between the stones that form the outside barrier of the upper balcony, luckily never heard of anyone falling down. I don’t recommend going all the way up if you suffer from vertigo.

Opening Times:


April to October (9:30 – 13:00 || 14:30 – 19:00)

 November to March (10:00 – 12:00 || 14:00 – 17:00)

 August (10:00 – 19:00)


8:45 – 12:30

15:30 – 18:30

 Sundays: 10:00 – 13:00 || 21:00 – 22:20


Note: dowloading the higher resolution pictures will probably give you better options to zoom in and out.


Oporto City Hall

October 10, 2009

The construction of the building started in 1920 and lasted for almost 50 years. The project was inspired in the palaces of northern France, with a central tower with 70meters (nearly 230ft) with its top made of metal. The initial project was by the architect António Correia da Silva but the construction finished under the direction of Carlos Ramos who introduced some changes.

In front of the main door there’s a statue of the writer Almeida Garrett.


October 9, 2009

Where is it?

The metropolitan area of Oporto (Porto in Portuguese) is located in north-western Portugal where the Douro River meets the Atlantic Ocean.  Check it on Google Maps.

The Historic Centre of Oporto was considered World Heritage by Unesco in 1996.

How to get there?

There are many options available to get to Oporto (by car, by plane, by train, by boat) so it’s hard for me to give you specific details on each of the means of transportation.

By airplane:

                  If you have limited time for your holidays and you only plan to stay a few days to know the city, going by airplane is your best option. The Porto (OPO) Airport is a destination available by many airline companies, including low-cost companies.

The Oporto Airport has a Oporto Metro station. By metro you’ll be in the center of the city for 1.95€ in approximately 30minutes.

By train:

                It shouldn’t be hard to travel from Europe to the train station of Campanhã – Oporto. If you have enough time for a few stops more other than Oporto you could consider an Interrail pass. Unfortunatly there isn’t a high speed rail connection (TGV) to Oporto yet. Helpful links: CP ;

By car:

                Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe and is bordered to the West and South by the Atlantic Ocean so travelling from central Europe to Oporto will take time.

I’ve used Google Maps to create a few possible itineraries, hope it helps and that it gives you an idea of how long the travel will take.

Vigo – Oporto (estimated time: 1h36m)

Madrid – Oporto (estimated time: 6h04m)

Paris – Oporto (estimated time: 14h46m)

Helpful Links:

Wikipedia Travel Guide

Portugal Discovery – watch their Oporto video on youtube: Here

One Planet Travel



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