Separated by the river Douro from the great cellars of the famous wine to which it gave its name, Porto is the second largest city of Portugal. Through a prosperous and efficient trade it transforms it into a modern city and the character of its old neighborhoods or even of the hustle and bustle of the new avenues, flanked by shopping centers, make this a charming place.

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A different place. With
immense desire for diving.

Separated by the river Douro from the great cellars of the famous wine to which it gave its name, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and there is a certain sense of rivalry towards Lisbon. But although its ancient roots have been preserved with pride, a prosperous and effective trade transforms it into a modern city and its traditional importance as an industrial center does not diminish the charm and character of its old quarters or even the hustle and bustle of the new, From shopping centers or quiet residential blocks.

The area around the Cathedral deserves to be explored with its various monuments, such as the Renaissance church of Santa Clara and the crowded Barredo neighborhood, which has not changed since medieval times. On the waterfront, the neighborhood of Ribeira becomes fascinating with its alleys, typical houses and picturesque population: it has been recently restored and now includes trendy bars and restaurants.

Equally lively and colorful is the Bolhão market, where you can buy almost anything, but very close are the most elegant jewelery and leather shops in downtown. The city of Porto offers many other attractions, monuments and museums, as well as a cultural calendar increasingly filled. With a well-known gastronomy and hospitable population, it is also the starting point for the unforgettable experience of climbing the Douro River.

The district is bordered on the north by Braga, on the south by Aveiro and Viseu, east by Vila Real and west by the Atlantic Ocean. It is a densely populated area, geographically located in a privileged region and without reaching significant altitudes, despite some orographic accidents resulting from the ramifications of the Marão and Cabreira mountains and the Santa Eugenia, Agrela and Valongo mountains.

The City of Porto can not be dissociated from its granites. Therefore, and as it could not be, it is linked to its geology. It is located, from the geological point of view, essentially in the Center-Iberian Zone (ZCI). However, one of the main geotectonic contacts of the Iberian Peninsula is the contact between Zona Centro Ibérica (ZCI) and Zona Ossa Morena (ZOM). This contact is marked to the west by the Porto - Tomar shear zone (ZCPT) that passes through the area of Foz do Douro - Nevogilde, so, more precisely, it must be considered that the city lies on the border between those two geotectonic zones.

The references of human presence indicate that, since prehistoric times, the place where now stands the "Old most noble, ever loyal and unconquered city of Porto" has been inhabited. This place would be called Cale, according to some historians. The earliest historical documents follow the Roman invasion by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus, who in 137 BC crosses the Pyrenees, advances westward conquering all regions to the Ocean. According to a text of Sallust, Cale was taken by Perpena a Roman lieutenant. According to the conclusions of Prof. Mendes Correia, this indigenous village would be located on the right bank of the Douro, at the top of Guarda Body hill (as it is currently known).

It would be from this settlement that the attack against the Lusitanians would be launched, that after obstinate resistance that would last a century, would be finally defeated. Between 284 and 288, Hispánia, under the administration of Diocleciano, is divided into five provinces Tarraconense, Cartaginense, Bética, Lusitânia, and Galicia. In 297 Galécia is established as definitive separate province with three conventus of Bracara, Lucus and Asturica. The Roman dominion would end when the invasion of the Barbarian one, in the year of 409, after an agreement with the supporters of Máximo, pretending rebel to the imperial title. Alans, Vandals, Goths, Suevos, etc., divided the conquered territory, with the Suevos to Galicia (Galicia), which included the province of Minho (Minius), to the Douro (Durius), extending to To the Tagus. Below these were the Visigoths, the Alans occupy Lusitania. Around the year 417, the Alans invaded the territories of the Suevi, pushing them to the right bank of the river Douro, where they build their defenses in the fortifications already in place. The Alans were not able, despite many efforts, to conquer the city, being later expelled by the Suevo people, with the support of the Romans.

Hermeneric, King Suevo, extended the walls of the castle, which he had founded on the hill of Pena Ventosa (where now stands the Cathedral), building around them houses for the troops. This town was given the name of Cale Castrum Novum (new castle of Cale) acquiring the denomination of civitas. At the bottom of this hill was the Portus Cale (port of Cale, present Ribeira), that gave rise to the name Portucale, name given to the new castle, and that would be to designate the city from the end of Century IV. The ancient castle was on the other side of the river Douro, at the site of Gaia, Cale's advanced defense post. Both castles have been for centuries in the arms of the city of Porto, with the center of the image of the Virgin Mary, who has always protected the town, which is why it is also known as the "city of the Virgin." Requiem, King of the Suevi, converts to Christianity in 448, the solemn conversion of the people Suevo will occur in 561, the 1st Council of Braga. Portucale became a diocese around the year 582. Three years later Leovigildo, the Visigothic king, conquered the city, a domain which he held until the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors, which in 716 by Abd al-Aziz subdued the city to the Empire Muslim for about 25 years.

The city was again taken by D. Afonso I, king of Asturias, whose kingdom had left the Christian reconquest, in the middle of the century. VIII. The southward attack on the Moors led to the city being almost abandoned for more than a century, remaining only part of the rural population. Later, king Afonso III of Asturias decides to promote its repopulation, that of that was in charge the count Vimara Peres, in 868. In 910, the territory of Afonso III is divided by its children, Ordonho stays with Galicia and has the support Of the Portucalenses counts. It is defeated in 916, by the emir Abd al-Rahman III, in Valdejunquera. In 950, Gonçalo Mendes assumed the leadership of Terra Portucalense, who in 962 revolted against Sancho I of Leon, being followed Gonçalo Moniz, count of Coimbra. On the death of Afonso V of Leon, Bermudo III succeeds, who is defeated by Fernando I of Castile, in 1037, replacing the dynasty of Lion by Navarre. Nuno Mendes, Count of Portucale, in 1071 revolts against Garcia, lord of Galicia and Portucale and brother of Afonso VI, king of Leon. He is defeated and killed. In the century X, the Muslim domain was already limited to less than half Spain. D. Afonso VI king of Leon, lord of the Reconquest, threatened by a new attack by the Moors, appealed for help to the noble Christians beyond the Pyrenees.

Several French nobles came to help. Among them, two Burgundians stood out for their valor: Count Henry, grandson of Robert II, King of France; And his cousin D. Raymond. As they were great warriors, their achievements conquered the friendship of D. Afonso VI, who married them with his daughters, the oldest, D. Urraca, with D. Raimundo and D. Teresa with Count D. Henrique. The king of Leon divides his estates by his daughters, and in the year 1096 Henrique left the land to the south of the river Minho; A Galician province to which the old Cale already had given name - county Portucalense; And the county of Coimbra. This year D. Henrique granted a charter to the city of Guimarães. Both Count Henry and his wife, D. Teresa, tried to free themselves from the feudal ties that bound the county to the King of Leon. After Henry's death in 1114, the Galician family of the Travas attempted to intrude In the reign of D. Teresa, provoking the revolt of the northern nobility of the Portucalense that in S. Mamede (1128) removed D. Teresa from power and gave it to her son D. Afonso Henriques.

He fought on three fronts: to free himself from the bonds of vassalage towards his cousin Afonso VII, king of Leon and Castile; To extend the territory in the fight against the Moors; And, through the diplomatic channel, to render vassalage to the Holy Faith, obtaining from this the recognition of the kingdom of Portugal. In 1115, Queen D. Teresa (during her son's minority) granted exemption from the diocese of Oporto in relation to the Bra- caean metropolis. In 1120, he donated to the then bishop D. Hugo, the town that was close to the respective Cathedral, as well as several royal and royal estates located around it, which in 1123 granted the first Charter of Porto. The name of Porto appears only in chronicles of the thirteenth century, with the kingdom of Portugal already definitely formed. The simplification of Portucale's name for Porto should be to avoid confusion between the designation of the city and that of the kingdom.

The Douro River estuary that separates Porto (north) from Vila Nova de Gaia (south), covers an area with about 20 hectares and it is a local natural reserve since 2007. This makes that region one of the best place for bird whaching, especially migratory and wader species.

Some species of seagulls such as the black-headed gull Larus ridibundus, the lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus, and the sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos are the most abundant species that can be seen during all the year.
Other birds might be seen at certain times of the year; for example, the heron Ardea cinerea and the small egret Egretta garzetta can be easily observed during the winter.
Another species that can be sighted in large numbers from the month of October is the white-faced cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo.

Porto is considered one of the most beautiful areas in the country due to the incredible scenery surrounding the Douro River and its banks with the typical vineyards that produces the famous Port wine.

It is possible to observe numerous species of plants in the Douro International Natural Park, such as Antirrhinum lopesianum and Aphyllanthes monspeliensis (species considered rare), Coronilla minima, Lathyrus setifolius, Linaria coutinhoi, Triloba malcolmia, Narcissus jonquilla, and many others. In Portugal many of these species can just be found in that natural park.

In the city center there is a botanical garden with 4 hectares and a great diversity of species. It is currently organized into three levels: at the first level we have the formal gardens, divided by high hedges of centenarians camellias; the second is the xerophytic garden plants with some greenhouses with cactus, tropical plants and orchids and finally the third level has the arboretum with the collections of conifers and native plants.


One of the most complete Dive shops.

Instalações do Centro de Mergulho do Porto


Instalações do Centro de Mergulho de Peniche


Instalações do Centro de Mergulho de Peniche

History of the center

Know our roots.


This project was born from the idea of ​​extending the ha Haliotis intervention area to the north of the country based on its implementation in the national market and its long experience in PADI training. Supported by four Porto instructors, who carried out much of their training in recreational diving and technical diving, as well as part of their PADI professional training at Haliotis, the project allowed the dream to materialize in this reality of Haliotis Porto.

The facilities of Haliotis Porto are located in the city of Senhora da Hora in the Municipality of Matosinhos. This is a modern city that incorporates the fishing traditions of the North coast. Matosinhos was until recently a heavily industrialized municipality, but has been increasingly dedicated to the tertiary sector, while maintaining the oil heritage with the presence of the huge Petrogal refinery.

It is also in this city, which is located Exponor, one of the largest business fair venues in the country. It is here that we find one of the most important ports of the Great Harbor: the Port of Leixões, Portugal's largest artificial harbor, built at the end of the 19th century.


The temperature of the water varies between 12 and 15 degrees so it is advisable to use at least, wet suits of 7 mm. Visibility varies between 3 and 10 meters. The dives are made between 25 and 30 meters, so the use of enriched air is an added value. The conditions of the sea allow practicing dives practically throughout the year, with autumn and spring being the best months with calm waters and mild temperatures.

The U1277 was one of the last German submarines to be launched into the water during World War II. Its dimensions were 67.23 meters long, 6.20 meters of pontoon, 4.74 meters of mouth and 9.55 meters of height and its crew was formed by 47 men. Its initial mission would be to patrol the northern entrance of the English Channel.

It was sunk on the night of June 3, 1945, by the crew that surrendered to the Portuguese authorities, weeks after the German surrender, off the Cape of the World, Matosinhos.

It was rediscovered for diving in 1973 where it lies 31 meters deep, on a sandy bottom. The stern is completely silted and is tilted to port at about 45 degrees. Although it presents a considerable degradation for some decades of stay in the sea, it is still possible to observe much of the periscope. At the bow, which is already partially destroyed, we can still see the torpedo lances and the rudder.

Usually you can also see huge shoals of pout, huge congers and octopuses, lavagantes and white and pink anemones. The U1277 is undoubtedly an icon of diving in Portugal, exhibiting perhaps the most representative and seductive wreck of the Portuguese coast.


Meet the members of our team, who work daily to provide the best underwater experiences.

Mário Vasconcelos

Dive Center Manager mario.vasconcelos@haliotis.pt

Diving certifications PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer 
PADI EFR Instructor 

Nautical certifications Coastal skipper

Mariana Vasconcelos

Dive Instructor mariana.vasconcelos@haliotis.pt

Diving certifications PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
PADI EFR Instructor

Carlos Soares

Dive Instructor carlos.soares@haliotis.pt

Diving certifications PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer 
PADI EFR Instructor 

Nautical certifications Local skipper

André Andrade

Colaborador Haliotis Porto

Diving certifications PADI Rescue Diver

Rita Silva

Instrutora de Mergulho

Diving certifications PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer
PADI EFR Instructor

Pedro Mesquita

Colaborador Haliotis Porto

Diving certifications PADI Rescue Diver

Luís Ribeiro

Colaborador Haliotis Porto

Diving certifications PADI Rescue Diver

José Teixeira


Diving certifications PADI Advanced Open Water Diver


Rua Damião de Góis 120
4460-292 Senhora da Hora

Tel +351 220 984 227 
Telm. +351 916 779 390   
Telm. +351 912 388 702    
Telm. +351 927 599 970    
Telm. +351 962 837 783 

How to get here

Informação Legal

Licenced by Instituto de Desporto de Portugal

Licenced by Instituto de Desporto de Portugal

All insurance by Mútua dos Pescadores

All insurance by Mútua dos Pescadores

Operator Maritimo Turistico with licence Nº17 by Capitania do Porto de Peniche

Operator Maritimo Turistico with licence Nº17 by Capitania do Porto de Peniche

Tourism licence 9/2009

Tourism licence 9/2009

Company registered in RNAAT with activities recognized as Nature Tourism

Company registered in RNAAT with activities recognized as Nature Tourism

Licened by Instituto da conservação da Natureza

Licened by Instituto da conservação da Natureza

Company registered in RNAAT with activities recognized as Nature Tourism

Company registered in RNAAT with activities recognized as Nature Tourism