It’s a beautiful 2.5 mile walk to the lovely riverside village of Afurada. It is across the River Douro from Porto, at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. There is a very nice pedestrian walkway along the entire journey. You will stroll by the various wine caves as you wind your way along the river.
You can have lunch and check out the sights in about 3-4 hours Walking into town, you will start to see all of the local restaurants, ladies taking their laundry to the communal tanks and very few of the tourist crowds.
What we did in Afurada
1. Lunch at a local restaurant.
We had a lovely lunch of grilled sea bass, mussels, fresh salad, olives and a basket of bread. It’s fun to watch the bounty from the sea being grilled right in front of you.
2. Wandered the City streets.
It’s an easy walking area and you will want to explore the beautiful tile work on the local buildings and the cleanliness of this town.
3. Visited the ancient washing tanks.
It’s hard to believe that they still carry their laundry, on their heads, to and from the washing tanks. The laundry is washed in enormous concrete tanks that are spring fed. The ladies don rubber aprons and boots for this process. Once the clothing has been washed, it is then dried outside on the many clothes lines at the edge of the water.
4. Visit the Afurada Interpretive Center.
We almost walked by this great little exhibit. It is a two story building that displays many items from local fishermen and conservationists of the area. There are beautiful displays regarding their natural wetland areas, small scale boats and a lovely collection of local tools and shells. Believe it or not, it’s free and it is certainly worth a bit of your time to stroll through the center.
5. Visit the Nature Reserve of the Douro Estuary
The Nature Reserve is is on the western edge of the village. It is a large area of land that is surrounded by the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to many species of shore birds and provides a great stopping location for migratory species. The Reserves has two blinds and a lovely boardwalk.
Directions: From the Oporto side of the Ponte Luis I bridge, walk down to the river’s edge and head toward the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a beautiful 2.5 mile walk (each way) on a boardwalk along the water’s edge to Afurada.