Friday, 3 June 2016

Segway's in Porto

My sisters and I recently spent the late May bank holiday in the incredible city of Oporto. On our last afternoon we took part in a Segway tour through the company Blue Dragon. We took the three and a half hour original Segway tour, which was a comprehensive trip through the city.

We were greeted early at our meeting point by the big boss Angelo and our tour guide Renato. We had ten to fifteen minutes to practice on the Segway's, although would definitely have been allowed longer had we needed it. As an FYI any personal belongings can be left at their office in lockers. The guides bring a bottle of water per person as well as hair nets for hygiene. The Segway's are incredibly well maintained and perfectly safe to use. They are all named so you spend the entire trip with the same Segway. I was on Eva Mendes but my sisters on Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie!

The first stop on the tour was the historic Miragaia Neighbourhood, which is one of the oldest in the city. We had time to admire the view too. We then scooted off to the Harry Potter book shop where had we not been in the previous day would have had time to purchase a ticket and have a browse. Next was the Clerigos Tower, which we were taught about the history and given a chance to admire / pose for photos outside. We took the Segway's up the Aliados Avenue stopping to admire the world's most attractive McDonalds and then headed to the Bolhao market where we had 10-15 minutes to have a browse and a wander.

After a couple of hours of Segway'ing around the city we took a coffee / beer break with our guide where we were given the opportunity to purchase the most incredible flaky, warm Portuguese tarts for 1 EUR 15 cents per tart. They were genuinely the best I have ever tasted so was a great recommendation. There was also a clean toilet to use on this break too. After our snack we scooted off to the beautiful Majestic CafĂ© and then S. Bento train station and were given some time to look around. Next was the cathedral where again we had an opportunity to wander inside as well as look at the amazing view from the outside.

The final part of the tour was my absolute favourite. We took the Segway's across the D. Luis I Bridge. The views were insane and we were able to really pick our speed up and zoom across the flat, straight bridge. The views from the other side looking over Porto were simply spectacular. I couldn't have imagined anything more beautiful and Renato kindly took plenty of pictures for us. The tour ends by heading back over the bridge at the lower level, this is about the only time you will come into contact with traffic and cars. The rest of the tour is on pavements and only involves crossing roads at traffic lights. However, Renato kept his eye on us and we were all perfectly safe in his hands

Back at the office Renato and Angelo sat us down and provided loads of recommendations for any future Porto visits. I would consider doing this tour at the beginning of your trip as the recommendations are really useful. Also this tour is incredibly all encompassing and covers every major site in the city as well as time to head inside and enjoy the attractions. As a result aside from wandering or going back to your favourite places you will not need any other guided help.

Renato was full of history and knowledge about the city, Portugal and all of the sites he took us to. He answered all of our questions and was polite and enthusiastic for the entire tour. Blue Dragon keep group sizes small for more personal interaction and they do request you book in advance. There is no time limit on the tour so it's very relaxing and for 50 EUR per person is very good fun and good value. The Segway's prevent tired feet from hours of walking up and down the hills of Porto too!

For the purpose of this review we were guests of Blue Dragon. However, I would thoroughly recommend this trip and this company. From booking through to the end this was an awesome experience and one I would urge everyone to try on their weekend break to Oporto.