Planning a family vacation in Portugal this summer? Then a visit to WOW, Porto’s new cultural quarter, cannot be missed.
This area is located on Vila Nova de Gaia, across the street from Porto, in Douro. This is where the world-famous port comes from, and today this region is completely dominated by wine and Portuguese dishes. But what are the children doing there? Fun and interactive learning environment, where they discover all about making chocolate, cork and wine. They enjoy themselves in the museums and various fun restaurants and parents enjoy a glass of Portuguese wine. Sounds like a good idea! Here are some experiences in and around Wau that are fun for families.
The golden ticket to the chocolate story
The favorite movie of many kids is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is not surprising, because chocolate turns out to be one of the favorite snacks of children and adults alike. What most kids don’t like is museums without interaction. Then they wander behind their parents for hours, constantly asking the question “Are we going now?”. This is certainly not the case at The Chocolate Story, the chocolate museum, which is located on WOW grounds. Chocolate aromas already meet visitors abroad.
Once inside, they immerse themselves in the world of chocolate, yes. In a playful way, visitors learn more about the history of cocoa, where chocolate comes from and how chocolate is made. Families go through all the steps of the chocolate production process in 12 stages. They travel to Central America, where cocoa trees grow in the hinterland. They learn how chocolate beans are harvested and fermented and how the beans are ultimately processed in this delicious bar that can be sampled at one of the many tasting stations.
With a little luck, families can watch world-renowned chocolatier Pedro Araujo, also known as “Dokter Boon,” making award-winning “Vinte Vinte” chocolate in the glass-enclosed factory. And for those who just can’t get enough of the delicacy, the visit ends at Suspiro, the dessert café of the World of Wine.
Create Explosions with Cork at Planet Cork
Did you know that cork is used for more than wine bottles? For example, corks are used in the world of films when photographing explosions. Since cork granules are very light, this is an ideal material for amazing special effects. At Planet Cork, WOW’s cork museum, kids can create such an explosion themselves. This will be the highlight of the holiday.
Not surprisingly, Portugal has a museum entirely dedicated to cork. Cork is made from cork oak and this is the most common tree in Portugal. Thus the country accounts for 50% of world production. Back to the museum!
Here visitors learn all about Portugal’s pride in an interactive way. There is even a full-size cork artificial oak tree, and unlike other museums, visitors are allowed to touch everything. Fun for the kids: Stand on the scale and see how much you weigh in the wine cork or try to seal as many bottles as you can without breaking them.
Taste Test with Jelly Beans at The Wine Experience
Taking the kids to a wine museum doesn’t sound like a good idea, but “The Wine Experience” is the exception to that rule. Take an excursion into this museum and discover how wine is made and what influences grape variety, ecology, and climate on wine. The makers of this museum have certainly thought about children. For example, there is a giant cross-section of grapes, which they can walk through and there is a perfume workshop where they can smell the aroma of the decanter and guess what they think they recognize.
But the best thing about this museum, for both the kids and their parents, is the taste test with jelly beans. During this test you will discover how important aroma is to wine tasting. In the end, parents can enjoy a wine tasting. After all, it’s your vacation too…
Porto from high altitude and its waters
WOW in a beautiful area. From Portuguese homes to mosaics and endless views, visitors will be amazed at Vila Nova de Gaia. After visiting the museums, it’s time for a little action! From WOW, walk to the banks of the Douro and take the funicular here.
Soar over the harbor houses and gaze endlessly over the Douro River and the old city center of Porto. The boats race on the water leaving a great experience for children. The funicular ends at the Louis I Bridge. From here you can walk straight into the old center of Porto, but with about a 5-minute walk, you’ll also find the starting point for the Douro River 6 bridges cruise. Get into an old boat that was once used to transport harbor barrels. During the 50-minute cruise, the ship’s captain will tell you all about the history of the six bridges that connect Vila Nova de Gaia to Porto.