I visited Porto in the third week of March. My ‘nature eye’ immediately spotted a flower that is celebrated throughout the whole town: the camellia. Till then, I thought that is a bit of a bourgeois flower. I know better now (read on)… And: I discovered some more joy for green lovers (read on too).
Come along on my green site seeing through this colourful Portuguese harbour town.
Perfection. Looking like sugar candy or marzipan.
Camellias. Now I know you should display them like the Portuguese do: use them like a tree or hedge. Or even like a rambler. They will fill your early spring garden with an amount of rose-like flowers that will amaze you and cheer you up after a grey winter.
In March, they are all already in bloom. Stunning with their abundant blossom.
Camelias and azulejos (Portuguese tiles) make a cute combination: pink and blue hues.
- Jardim da Cordoaria. Really strange trees over here… Through a Portuguese website, I learn that those are the mythical Ulmus campestris.
- Camelia rambling wildly in the Rua Gólgota.
- Green on the square Praça Carlos Alberto.
- Spring on the small square Largo Alberto Pimentel.
- Balcony garden in front of the Jardim da Cordoaria.
- Floral and colourful details everywhere you look on the Largo Alberto Pimentel.
- Praça Carlos Alberto. Here in the south of Europe the rhododendron flowers are already in full bloom, yeah 🏵
- Old floral tiles on a house. 🌻 Ain’t it great that nature is an eternal muse for designers?
Detail on the Igreja das Carmelitas.
Floral design on tiles. A detail on the magnificent shop Pérola do Bolhăo, see #aperoladobolhao for a view on the entire facade.
One of their delicacies are the sugared hibiscus flower fruits.
Address: Rua Formosa 279.
Buy some bulbs of different pink gladiolas in the old-fashioned shop of Casa César Santos Sementes (love the name) for 40 cents each. Seeds, tubers or bulbs make the best souvenirs. See the delightful golden oldie images on the wall 🌸
This store is on Rua Formosa 380.
One of the oldest shops (1921) of Porto is Casa Horticola, situated in an elegant round building, on one of the corners of the market building of Mercado do Bolhão.
Adress: Rua Sá da Bandeira 304, on the corner with Rua Formosa.
The Mercado do Bolhão is partly stuffed with tourist souvenirs made in China, but at the rear and the second floor, the sellers offer flowers and fresh vegetables. So: walk through!
- Pansies that are called Amores here in Portugal. Lovely 🏵
- The typical curvy architecture from the end of the 19th century.
- Lady Grape.
- Walk up to the real stuff. Here you find vegetables that came right from the fields, like the green cabbage for the local dish Caldo Verde.
We made a long walk along the Douro to visit the (free) botanic garden. We took the underground back from Casa de la Musica.
Greenhouse of the botanic garden in Porto. I am not sure if I was supposed to enter this place, but I followed a school class 😎
- Cactus Walhalla.
- Greenhouse for quite some cactus and succulent species. Was not allowed to enter this interesting looking place…
- Euphorbia milii looks like a dangerous dragon.
- Cactus house peep, made with my lens close on the glass.
Coral look. This is the flower of the Aloe parvibracteata. According to the name tag it origins from Southern Africa.
Go on the hunt for floral design
Porto shows great tiles (azulejos) on walls of houses, churches and train stations. A lot of them have floral themes. Doing a green city hike for me, meant a lot of stopping 💙
Lots of the azulejos have floral designs. Make a city hike and spot as many as you can!
Azulejo details with a strong focus on flowers.
Even on a rainy day, those modern azulejos cheer you up! This is a design from Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos on the side wall of a steak restaurant on the Praça de Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 67.
For a video on this work of art, see:
Information on green Porto
- Jardim da Cordoaria
- Igreja das Carmelitas and a bit further up: Praça Carlos Alberto
- Livraria Lello (known as the Harry Potter library), Rua das Carmelitas 144
- Modern azulejos wall of Joana Vasconcelos, Steak n Shake, Praça de Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 67
- Largo Alberto Pimentel
- Praça Republica (park)
- Casa César Santos Sementes, Rua Formosa 380
- Casa Horticola, Rua Sá da Bandeira 304
- Mercado do Bolhão
- Capella das Almas (azulejos)
- Pérola do Bolhăo, Rua Formosa 279
- Estação de São Bento (train station with azulejos)
- Dom Luís I Bridge (the famous bridge, a design from the partner of Gustav Eiffel)
- Botanical Garden / Jardim Botânico
There are tons of websites and books on Porto. A pretty nice website is Local Porto
More on green Portugal on this website
Blog post about green Coimbra.