Oporto is also known for its characteristic sailboats, the "Barcos Rabelos", which used to ship Port downstream from the vineyards. Formerly the trip was actually quite dangerous, however the introduction of the Port train in the late 1800's, the Barcos Rabelos continued to be used for transporting Port until the 1960's. Actually these days, the famous boats are used for an annual race, held in Oporto in June every year. Also you can visit right next to Oporto, Vila Nova de Gaia or you may choose to take a river cruise along the Douro. The whole district is filled with prosperous cities, as industry and commerce thrive there, however you can drive along many calm roads with wonderful views over the river or enjoy a rugged and still unspoilt coastline.
Oporto have numerous coastal resorts and fishing villages on the Atlantic coastline, well known for their seafood restaurants. The town of Oporto is the cultural and administrative center of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Oporto (Grande Area Metropolitana do Oporto) metropolitan area, and is located in the North region, with a population around (240,000 inhabitants). Oporto was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical centre was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the romans referred to it as Portus Calle .Bridges and port wine are what characterises Oporto, Portugal's gracious northern capital and second largest city after Lisbon. The main reason tourists or travellers visit Oporto is to sample its legendary port wine, processed, blended and aged in the various lodges of the Vila Nova de Gaia and is located magnificently on the banks of the great Douro River.