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Vila Nova De Gaia Travel Guide, Portugal

Vila Nova De Gaia, Travel guide – Location

The city is located 20 miles from Santa Maria and 36 miles from Porto, near the northern Portugal shore with the Atlantic Ocean and is famous for the Porto wine and the numerous wine cellars housing it.

Vila Nova De Gaia, Travel guide – Geography

The beautiful city from the southern shores of Douro River offers a magnificent landscape dominated by sunny hills covered with vineyards and the waters of the river with its nearby estuary.

Due to location and its average elevation of 91m, the city has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild rainy winters. During summer, temperatures vary from 15 to 25ºC, reaching even 40º C for short periods, creating favorable conditions for spontaneous forest fires. During winter, temperatures rarely go bellow zero and there are heavy rainfalls.

As for the local hydrographic network, the Douro River crossing the city is representative as well as its estuary. Every year the presence of the river attracts numerous tourists looking for a relaxing fishing trip, sightseeing upstream or visiting the beautiful city and its surroundings.

Vila Nova De Gaia, Travel guide – Flora and Fauna

Any Vila Nova De GAia travel guide will point out the beautiful Mediterranean flora that can be admired in any of the city’s parks and promenades along the river as well as in the Biological Park of Vila Nova De Gaia which tries to help people meet with the local flora and fauna and understand the importance of protecting it. Besides the vine cultivated areas, representative for the local flora are also species of pines, eucalyptus, olive trees and oaks.

Fauna is just as rich and is mostly represented by aquatic species, birds and mammals. The Douro Estuary is a very popular place for the birdwatchers and also for fishermen, these waters abounding in fish.

Vila Nova De Gaia, Travel guide – Transport

Because Vila Nova De Gaia is a small city, it does not have its own airport, the nearest one being located in Oporto, the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. From there you can take a taxi or the train in order to reach the city, or you can rent a car from one of the many local companies. You can also arrive here by boat or can even go on a trip by boat up the river remaking an old trail of the wine merchants or just for admiring the captivating scenery.

Within the city there is a well developed and reliable public transport system making the transfer from one side of the city to another as easy as possible. Another popular option for visiting the city may be renting a bike, which will offer you an easier access and flexibility in your trips.

Vila Nova De Gaia, Travel guide – Population and Economy

Vila Nova De Gaia is a city with a rich history dating back from the Romans’ time, nowadays numbering 178.000 people and being also a part of the Porto Metropolitan Area, one of the most populated in the country. The main religion here is Roman Catholicism followed by Anglicans, Protestants and Baptists.

Many locals work in agriculture, tourism, food industry and commerce, wine production being the most popular and the activity that made these places known worldwide.

Vila Nova De Gaia, Travel guide – Cuisine

The local cuisine is representative for its region and has as main ingredients fish and seafood, olive oil, local vegetables and fruits, pork, chicken and veil meat, numerous herbs and spices and many other more.

Some of the most popular dishes here are the alcatra, a kind of marinated and roasted beef, espetada, a kind of fast food like the kebab, faijoada, thick bean soup, bacalhau a minhota, a cod fish based dish and more. Cod fish is very popular among Portuguese generally being included in many dishes, baked, fried or dried with salt. Besides the cod fish all locals consume important quantities of seafood, tuna and mackerel, all accompanied by a nice bottle of Port Wine.

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