Douro Valley is perhaps one of Portugal’s most beautiful regions, famed for its strong wine tradition and the excellent quality of its wines. It is, after all, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, known for its charming wine producing estates and rows of terraced vineyards carved into the mountains, that have earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. Here’s a handful of tips on what to do and see when visiting the Douro Valley.
Unmissable Wine Tasting Experiences
Upon arrival, the idyllic beauty of its perfectly aligned terraces welcomes us with a sense of being at home. That’s one of the great things about Douro: it’s less touristy and you won’t see a crowd anywhere. Just you and the vineyards.
One of the best things to do in Douro is obviously a wine tasting contemplating those terraces with a glass of some of the best wines in the world in your hands. Most of the wine producing farms and vineyards have different wine-related activities so that one can choose from more relaxed wine tastings, to deeper ones, in the company of the winemaker. Here you will be able to engage in lively conversations about your favorite wines, learn about the production and, of course, taste some premium Douro wines. Have a look at the best wineries in the Douro Valley to help you plan your trip.
For those really interested in the wine making process they can take part in more engaging tours like blending your own wine or taking a wine course in Douro.
The Flavors of Traditional Portuguese Cuisine
The Douro is one of the best regions in Portugal to taste Portuguese cuisine at its best. There aren’t as many good restaurants as there are good wine hotels in the region, so it is advised to follow some recommendations to the best restaurants and places to eat in the Douro Valley. From traditional restaurants and wine farms serving dishes that stood the test of time, to modern ones presenting the best of traditional Portuguese cuisine with modern twists, without overlooking a great and vast selection of wine.
Enjoy the view!
Besides wine tours in the vineyards and wine producing estates, in Douro there are multiple viewpoints to observe the meanders of the river. In Pinhão, Tabuaço and Peso da Régua you can have breathtaking views of the river and its vine-covered slopes. If you prefer to see the slopes from down under, there are different cruises in the Douro that will take you on a luxury sailing boat or yacht, showing you the best Douro views and sharing the history and curiosities of the region.
A look into the past
For those who want to know more about Douro culture, there are a lot of places to visit. The Pinhão train Station is famous for its tiles dedicated to the cultivation of vines and portraying the daily life in ancient Douro, from the work in the vineyards, to the harvesting, wine production and shipping in the typical Rabelo Boats.
On the south bank of Douro you can visit Lamego, one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Portugal, where you can climb the blue and white tiled flight of steps of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Shrine.
From the window of the train
One of the best ways to travel through the Douro region is by train. The train route in Douro takes you mostly near the river, where you can have great views of the estates and vineyards in Douro. In the summer, there’s a special train track from Régua to Tua, one of the most beautiful train routes in Portugal.
Douro is one of best wine regions in the world but its offers on what to do and see go far beyond wine. So whether you’re visiting the Douro Valley for the wine or for the view, don’t forget to get to know its culture and absorve the true feeling of Douro.
If you are planning on visiting Douro and want your trip to be perfect, just tell us what your dream tour in Douro looks like and our team will prepare a totally customized tour to meet your preferences.