Douro Valley Wine & Vineyard Tour

To visit the Douro valley and its vineyards, we suggest a tour designed for those wishing to experience great wines and to enjoy the Douro wine region. During six days, you will be taken through the best the Douro valley has to offer.

Six days
500 km / 310 miles (round trip)

Port Wine Lodges

The trip starts in Porto with a visit to the port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia (the first of many wine tastings throughout the week). Sandeman’s and Croft’s are two of the best well-known, but there are various guided tours to the 18th century warehouses of Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from Porto.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the medieval charm of Porto’s Ribeira district. Here are some suggestions of local restaurants:

  • Adega São Nicolau (R. de São Nicolau, 1): One of the most picturesque restaurants in the area with tasty cuisine and a small terrace overlooking the river Douro.
  • Dom Tonho (Cais da Ribeira 13-15): The famous “francesinha” is one of the specialties of this restaurant offering panoramic windows overlooking the Douro.
  • DOP (Palácio das Artes, Largo de S. Domingos, 18): The chef Rui Paula explores the classic flavours of the Portuguese cuisine.

    port-wine-lodges

    A visit to Porto should include a cruise upriver on a rabelo boat, the traditional cargo boats that used to transport the port wine barrels down the river to the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia. There are pick up points either at Cais da Estiva in Porto or on the Vila Nova de Gaia side (the same of the port wine lodges). The ticket costs about €12.50 per person for a 50 minute trip.

    Where to Stay
    See here the best accommodation deals in Porto.

    Penafiel and Amarante

    Drive east to Penafiel (40 km/25 miles) for some vinho verde and cheese tasting at Quinta da Aveleda, which organizes guided tours to its vineyards and beautiful gardens.

    Continue to Amarante (25 km/15 miles), a city with several highlights. The main one is the old bridge (or São Gonçalo’s bridge), symbol of the city, from where you have a stunning view of the river Tâmega and the historical buildings. Visit the church of S. Gonçalo, built in 1540. Around the old bridge, there are a number of cafés with terraces that sell regional pastries, and a few good restaurants.

    Where to Stay
    The Hotel Casa da Calçada is a luxury hotel set in a 16th century building, next to the old bridge. Largo do Paço, inside the hotel building, is a Michelin star restaurant, serving regional menus with matching wines.

    Peso da Régua

    Next, head to Peso da Régua (60 km/37 miles). Perhaps not the most beautiful place in the region, Peso da Régua is considered the capital of the port wine. Pay a visit to the Museu do Douro (Douro Museum) to learn more about the area and the history of the port wine.

    Take a detour to the Casa de Mateus, a baroque country house of the eighteenth century which produces the famous Mateus Rosé wine. There are two types of visit: one that includes the house interior, the chapel and the gardens, and another one that visits the gardens only.

    Where to Stay
    The Casa Romezal, surrounded by vineyards, offers stunning views of the Douro valley. It is a rural accommodation with all the comforts and amenities. The Quinta do Vallado is a design hotel surrounded by vineyards stretching along the the river Corgo.

    Pinhão

    Back in the Douro valley, head towards the town of Pinhão (30 km/18 miles). En route, the viewpoint of S. Leonardo at Galafura offers great views of the river and the Douro valley.

    Pinhão’s train station is considered the most beautiful of the Douro region, with tiles that depict the production of the port wine from the grape harvesting and stomping to the transport of wine on rabelo boats downriver to the lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. There’s also a wine museum and a wine shop.

    Where to Stay
    We suggest the Vintage House Hotel – Douro in a former wine estate of the eighteenth century, alongside the Quinta Nova – Luxury Winery House, set in a manor house surrounded by a vast land of vineyards.

    Foz Côa

    Cross to the south bank of the river Douro and head to Vila Nova de Foz Côa (65 km/40 miles). At the Côa Archaeological Park, take a guided tour to see the open-air Paleolithic art. The tour price is €10 (€12 including the museum). See the Côa Park website to make a reservation.

    Where to Stay
    This area offers mainly rural style accommodation. In Vila Nova de Foz Côa, the Bairro do Casal – Turismo de Aldeia has rooms in typical stone and wood houses. Another option is the Quinta das Aveleiras in Torre de Moncorvo, a farm with vineyards, olive, almond and hazelnut trees. The hotel provides bicycles to explore the region.

    Lamego

    On your way back to Porto, stop to admire the medieval bridge in Ucanha (110 km/70 miles) and the monastery in Tarouca, the first Cistercian monastery in Portuguese territory, founded in the twelfth century.

    In Lamego (10 km/6 miles), climb the more than 600 steps of the staircase to the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, whose construction began in the eighteenth century only to be completed in 1905.

    The last stop of this tour before returning to Porto is the Raposeira cellars in Lamego, which produce the sparkling wine of the same name. They have a tasting room for visitors.

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