The Port of Leixoes rests on an artificial harbor off the Atlantic Ocean on Portugal’s northern shores in the town of Matosinhos. The City of Porto can not have a deep-water harbor due to a sandbar that blocks access to the river. The Port of Leixoes, an artificial harbor, is protected by two curved breakwaters. The Port of Leixoes exports the city of Porto’s most famous product, port wine, which was named after the city that makes it.
One of the country’s most important seaports, the Port of Leixoes serves the city of Porto some nine kilometers to the south. Porto (or Oporto) is the second biggest city in Portugal and the regional capital of the Porto region. The city’s historic center was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996. Porto is the economic and cultural center of the region, home to about 220 thousand people; however, the urban area contains over 1.7 million people.
The Port of Leixoes was established in 1890 when the first docks were completed. The Port of Leixoes was expanded again in the 1930s and 1970s. While the Port of Leixoes exported hundreds of thousands of tons of port wines during the 20th Century, it was remodeled to support large-scale container traffic in the late 1990s and can now handle Panamax container ships.