Forte de São Francisco Xavier

Foz do Douro

Otherwise known as the Castelo do Queijo (Cheese Castle) because of the wedge of rock it stands upon, Forte de São Francisco Xavier looks every inch the archetypal fortress, with its sturdy ramparts, watchtowers and drawbridge. Built in 1661, it harbours a small weaponry exhibition, but more impressive is the view reaching out to sea – sunset is prime time.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Foz do Douro attractions

1. Sealife Porto

0.19 MILES

Some 5000 marine creatures splash in the tanks at Sealife, where kiddie highlights include a shark tunnel and a rock pool for handling crabs, starfish and…

2. SheChanges – Anemone

0.32 MILES

Arriving in Matosinhos, you can’t help but stop dead in your tracks as your gaze is drawn upward to this 50m-high sculpture by North American artist Janet…

3. Parque da Cidade

0.68 MILES

The hum of traffic on the Avenida da Boavista soon fades as you enter the serene, green Parque da Cidade, Portugal's largest urban park. Laced with 10km…

4. Farol de Felgueiras

1.66 MILES

One of Foz do Douro's most visible icons, this lighthouse stands on an esplanade, bearing the full brunt of the swells and storms of the Atlantic. Take a…

5. Serralves

1.74 MILES

This fabulous cultural institution combines a museum, a mansion and extensive gardens. Cutting-edge exhibitions, along with a fine permanent collection…

6. Jardim do Passeio Alegre

1.75 MILES

A joy for the aimless ambler, this 19th-century garden is flanked by graceful old buildings and dotted with willowy palms, sculptures, fountains and a…

7. Praia do Cabedelo do Douro

2.33 MILES

Nothing blows away the city cobwebs like a wander along this beach, fringed by the protected dunes of the Douro Estuary Nature Reserve. The stiff sea…

8. Jardim Botânico do Porto

2.71 MILES

Run by the Faculty of Sciences of Porto University, this jigsaw of botanical gardens is a cool escape on hot summer days. Dotted with lakes and…