Going to Portugal and not visiting the Douro Valley region should be banned! This part of the country is one of the most beautiful, with breathtaking landscapes. The Douro is well known for its wine tourism – and I already warn that wine lovers will be delighted throughout the trip.
We had an incredible experience there with the help of Zé Ricardo, one of the guides at Douro First. If you want to take a personalized tour there, I highly recommend his work and that of the company! However, if your idea is to do the whole tour without a guide, be sure to plan your itinerary well. Now, let’s go to the tips!
When to go
Summer is undoubtedly the best time to go to the Douro. This warmer period usually lasts between May and September. Between August and September the vines tend to be even more beautiful, as it is the time of harvest. For this reason, this is also a great time to travel around the region.
In any case, the other months of the year also leave something to be desired. The climate gets a little milder and the days are shorter, which can disrupt some of the tours!
How to get
To get to know the entire Douro region you will need a car. I recommend that you rent it in Porto, which is one of the largest cities close to this area. The drive from Porto to the Douro takes an average of one hour to an hour and a half, which is not a tiring journey.
Ah, another caution you should take is regarding the rental car. The roads in this region are very winding and in many parts they are not paved. For that reason, choose a car that can handle this type of ride and is not too short, you know?
Where to stay
There is no lack of good Douro hotel options. The most luxurious ones end up being a little off the winery route, but it is a great investment for those who are also looking for a place to rest. Six Senses, for example, is one of the best rated and reserve champions.
Paulo and I opted for the Douro Valley, also one of the most incredible in the region. They have a wonderful infinity pool overlooking the Douro River (and it yields beautiful pictures!). Both the rooms and the food were great, so it was very worth it. If you want to see 8 other hotel options, just click here 😉
Where to eat
The Portuguese cuisine is full of incredible flavors and spices. As nothing is very exotic, it is practically impossible not to like the country’s food. Thus, the cuisine of the Douro would not be much different. One of the most traditional places to eat cod there is the S. Leonardo Restaurant. In addition to fish, they serve mutton that left Paulo sighing.
AN Casa Pasto Chaxoila it’s the Varieties and Dishes are other places that are worth your visit. In addition to them, most “farms” have a restaurant. THE Quinta do Crasto Yes it is Pacheca are always among the most visited.
Taste the real Port wine
I couldn’t stop talking about Port wine, right? The drink that we hear so much is produced in this region, and it only has that name because the port is where the goods were taken. We went to Fifth Order of the Night, in Peso da Régua, to learn more about the wines and also the oils made there.
We found that Port wine actually has some variations, such as white, tawny and ruby. In addition, each of them has a different type of fermentation. If you are interested in the subject and want to know more information about it, just watch this video. In it we share several interesting curiosities!
Boat trip on the Douro
One of the experiences I most loved having in the Douro was riding a boat along the river. His current used to be very strong, but some dams were built that made his waters calmer and ideal for boating.
If you can make this tour at dusk, the scenery will be even more beautiful. As I told you at the beginning of the post, Zé Ricardo, from Douro First, also guided us during this activity.
Other places worth visiting
In addition to wines and the Douro River, there are other must-see things in the region. One is to go to Bisalhães to meet the potters. They are responsible for producing the black clay pottery, which is one of the oldest traditions in this region.
THE Mateus Palace, in Vila real, also cannot be left out of your itinerary. Both the architecture and the palace garden are beautiful. Admission is paid and you can choose to visit just the garden or this green area, plus the palace. I promise you will not regret spending that money!
Are you curious to know more about the Douro? You can get an even more complete picture of the region by watching the videos that are on our channel 😉