When it comes to green spots offering respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and offering relaxation with a stroll or recreation through the fun filled amusement activities, the city of Porto has no dearth of parks and gardens. Some of the choicest green attractions of Porto are:
Crystal Palace Gardens
This favourite tourist attraction gets its name from a former structure made of glass and iron, the Crystal Palace, which was brought down in 1956 and replaced with a domed pavilion, the so-called Pavilhao Rosa Mota. Standing next to this landmark, is the Crystal Palace Gardens which provides exotic views of the Duoro River. The park abounds in various plants and animal species and also features elegant fountains and allegorical statues which add to the beauty of the spot. Amongst the many alleys is the so-called Avenida das Tilias, the alley from which the river can be admired. There are themed gardens like Jardim dos Sentimentos (Garden of Feelings), Jardim das Plantas Aromaticas (Garden of Aromatic Plants) and Jardim do Roseiral (Garden of Roses). The park was designed by ace gardener Emilio David.
Porto Botanical Garden
The Porto Botanical Garden, created in 1951, under the patronage of the Portuguese state, features rare and exotic flora and plant species along with highlights like the cacti garden, a greenhouse and a historical garden (the latter comprising a rose garden). There’s also a lake situated within the perimeter of the Botanical Garden, the habitat of a fairly numerous population of water lilies. The Porto Botanical Garden is managed by the Faculty of Sciences which pertains to the University of Porto.
Sao Roque Park
The Sao Roque Park opened to the pubic in 1979 and was laid out on the site of the former Quinta da Lameira (Lameira Manor), once owned by the Calem family. The highlight of the park is its terraced landscape, a soothing lake, a wrought iron fountain and a cave, giving it a feel of a romantic garden. The park also takes pride in its eucalyptus forest, located on an upper terrace of the garden, and the maze of hedges contemplated from above. The park features a varied species of plants including the oak, the eucalyptus and the camellias.
East City Park
East City Park of Porto is one of the largest urban parks in Porto and also the Portugal as it covers a huge area of 10 hectares. Future projects are intended to enlarge. The East City Park is, as some might consider, a counterpart of the West City Park, being just as splendidly landscaped and sheltering a wealth of plant and animal species. The park stands at one end of the Tinto River and is rightly deemed as a green gem of north Portugal.