We often think of the Douro as a remote and distant place in terms of where we are. In fact, once we leave Porto, it only takes about an hour and a half to get to the beautiful Douro region.
Since direct access to this region is so much better today, it is possible to visit the Douro in just one day, and it’s a beautiful trip! However, we think a calmer and more relaxed visit is better, and for that we suggest 2 romantic days or 4 family days.
You’ll be able to visit some fascinating places such as Peso da Régua and Pinhão, two towns that are not far apart and are easy to get to, only separated by the road that in 2015 was declared to be the best road for driving in the world, the EN 222. In fact, driving along a road that follows the banks of the River Douro is something quite unique and exclusive!
But there are many other places that you can stop at and feel how beautiful the Douro Valley and its villages and vineyards are. For a start, you can go to some of the 14 viewpoints on the Douro and take pictures of the magnificent view from each of them. You will find breathtaking countryside! We recommend 3 viewpoints, because of their beauty and location: the São Leonardo da Galafura viewpoint, the São Salvador do Mundo viewpoint, and the Casal de Loivos viewpoint.
Despite everything we’ve already recommended, visiting the Douro is synonymous with visiting its loveliest vineyards and estates! For this, we have drawn up a list of the seven most stunning estates to visit: looking at their vineyards, maybe tasting their wines – who knows, even having lunch there and learning more about them. Go to all of them, even if you need to stay a week or a month, but be sure to see some of the most glorious landscapes in the world.
The jewel of the Douro. This estate is in Pinhão, in the heart of the Douro Valley, and the entrance is right on the bridge in front of The Vintage House hotel. In addition to the recently restored visitor centre, you can look around he vineyards and enjoy the sun and warmth of spring. Guided tours are available in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French. Quinta da Roêda is one of the most traditional estates in the Douro Valley.
An excellent wine experience. Quinta do Crasto is in Sabrosa, in the heart of the Douro Valley, and its wines have won many international awards. A visit to this estate shows you the winery, the vineyard area, the laboratory and the Casa Centenária, where you can taste and commnt on our wines. Visits should be booked in advance, and confirmed, but it is well worth it!
A truly classic Quinta of the Alto Douro. Visitors can enjoy the vineyards and their stunning scenery, take tours of the estate, and even try the birdwatching programme, which brings you into contact with the local fauna. Belonging to Real Companhia Velha, this is a beautiful estate for a family visit that can take a whole day and still leave you wanting to see more. We advise you to book in advance to get more useful information, as there are several routes to choose from for your visit.
One of the first properties in the region to get organic certification for its vineyards. In 1992, it was also one of the first to open doors to visitors, thereby encouraging tourism in the Douro region. Today, you can visit the estate using an audio-tour system (in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish and Japanese) as you wander through the vineyards, enjoying the mild spring weather. We offer 5 different experiences, and advise you to book your visit in advance.
One of the best viewpoints in the Douro. Quinta do Pôpa opened its doors to visitors in 2012, thanks to the encouragement of friends and family who were already enjoying the wines that have been produced there since 2003. There are five kinds of visits, so it is advisable to book online beforehand, especially if you want a visit with a tasting, accompanied by the winemaker, which we think is very interesting. The wines are cheeky, different and outgoing: this house likes to surprise, without losing the tradition bestowed by older generations.
The house of the man in the black cloak. With a completely revamped design, Quinta do Seixo is a contemporary place where you can take a guided tour of the winery, the cellar and the robot presses, backed up by multimedia resources that explain the entire wine production cycle. At the end, the wine tasting tales place in a room with a magnificent panoramic view over the Douro. Located in Valença do Douro, Tabuaço, this is a perfect place to visit with someone special.
A superb wine tourism experience. Here, you will find one of the most personalized visits to the Douro, where you’ll learn all about the vineyards and olive groves, the production of the wines, the foot-reading of the grapes, the ageing of the wine, its labelling and how it’s sold. The experience is complete, but you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can taste the wines, stay overnight in one of the five rooms available and delight in the magnificent view while you enjoy dinner.
Before setting off on this amazing trip, don’t forget that the Douro is a warm region, especially in the spring and summer. Take some water and a hat to protect yourself in the hottest part of the day, especially if you’re travelling with children. Don’t forget to take your mobile phone – not to make calls because only a few places have network coverage, but to be able to keep some wonderful photographic memories of the unique landscapes of the Douro!