Foz in Porto – where we met the ocean
Facing the Atlantic at Foz, Porto’s seaside and beach area, leaves a long lasting memory.
There are various ways to get there but for me, riding the old tram was the greatest fun in Portugal.
The number 1 tram in Porto took us all the way along the Douro river to Foz.
How to get to Foz
- Electrico number 1 at the Infante Dom Henrique de Rua to the port of Foz (runs along the Douro river with pretty views)
- Bus 500 from Sao Bento (Loios – Matosinhos, also drives along the Douro but the bus aircons smell mouldy)
Take the tram!
The tickets were 2,50 for a one way ride which was more than what we usually paid for a normal ride. We were surprised that the driver told us not to scan our regular public transport cards at the tram’s scanning ticket machine (which was definitely there and used by locals on the same ride).
There even is an old tram sign on our andante transport cards. Oh well, even if we did not solve that puzzle, we sure worked out some of the mysteries of public transport in Porto and Lisbon.
The inside of the tram is still in its original form with wood panelling and antique chairs.
A relic of the time are thick strings to pull, hanging from the ceiling, in order to request the next stop.
Some tourists think of them as lines to hold on to during the rattling ride. This did cause some confusion (and annoyance) with our driver who made sure the youngsters understood the consequences of pulling the strings by suddenly bringing the train to a halt.
A 20 minute ride, shaky no doubt but picture perfect, and we arrived at a pretty promenade in Foz lined with leafy palms.
Foz is a sophisticated part of Porto and a sought after residential area with art nouveau houses.
Enroute to the striped lighthouse, we strolled past small beaches which were still empty at this time of the season. I mean, not occupied by sun bathing guests but poker-faced locals.
Fishermen waited for a good catch. We saw an eel being rubbed against the sand and ripped open whist still alive.
We also saw some suicidal fishermen going straight towards the rough Atlantic.
Once you get to the end of the promenade, protected from the fierce Atlantic by massive breaker walls, the tranquillity ends. And the fun begins!
The greatest joy at Foz is to walk the breaker walls – without getting soaked!
“Access prohibited for safety reasons“. This sign is mostly interpreted as “Welcome to some splashing fun“. Maybe you shouldn’t walk right on the edge of the breaker walls but…
…only superhuman individuals can resist the dangers of the “Wave Splash Zone“.
Waves clashing against the breaker walls. We were in for some make-it or get-wet challenge. The only way to get back was obviously the same we took to get here.
Occasionally blocked by waves. Waves that deserved the name.
With good timing, quick moves but mainly a continuous run of luck, we made it!
And enjoyed the view onto Foz and the Castelo de Sao Joao de Foz in the distance – built in the 17th century to protect the area against pirates. It is the flat elongated structure with the small tower on the left side on the picture.
My shoes were soaked.
No regrets. And good luck to you!