For  our weekend in Oporto my departure point was Malaga airport where I had just arrived back from London. My wife and our dear friend Marie Claire Patron picked me up from the far end of the first floor departure level, a very easy collection point in the late afternoon and we set off to spend the first night in Sevilla in the conveniently situated Luxsevilla self catering apartments in Bormujos, one of Sevilla’s commuter suburbs on the Portugal side of Sevilla.

The distance from Marbella to Oporto is 956 kms and 9hrs 30min but from Malaga airport it took 2hrs 20 mins to the other side of Sevilla that evening and then an unhurried 9 hours including stops the next day into Portugal west into  the Algarve and then  north up the excellent IP1 highway.

The service areas up the IP1 toll road are cleaner and better maintained than in Spain and the food is excellent. The only toll on the journey was from the Algarve all the way to Oporto and this worked out at just under €40 each way. Money really well spent.

Google Maps took us miraculously right into the heart of Oporto to the very door of the Villa Gale Hotel. We missed the hotel’s underground parking entrance and had to do a circuit but once we had located the sign it was easy.

The highlight of the trip for us was meeting up with our friends, Paul and Wendy Wright. They had flown into Vigo in Spain an hour to the north a few days earlier, hiring a car through Gomarbella car hire at Vigo airport and then driven down to meet us in Oporto.

We had a quick look around Oporto, taking in a red open bus tour and a boat trip on the River Douro. It’s a most interesting city, too much to take in on such a short stay but we’ll go back perhaps in February to have a better look around. In the picture you see Marie Claire on the left and my wife Angela Drury on the right in the iconic Majestic restaurant.

It took us 11 hours to get back to Marbella. Despite being the beginning of October it was hot and we stopped often to rest. The next time we go back there I am thinking of taking the high speed AVE train from Malaga to Madrid and then flying with Ryanair to Oporto.


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