The region of Douro Valley in Portugal is inarguably one of the most stunning wine regions in the world, and no, we are not exaggerating when we say that this region will make you spam all your social media feeds with it’s gorgeous scenery!
The Douro river runs through the Upper Douro valley with vineyards covering every piece of land possible. All these vineyards are located on the slopes of the mountains and hence have the characteristic terracing effect.
The port wine vineyards stand tall and proud in absolute harmony with the natural beauty of the region. From big wine houses like Quinta Nova and Quinta do Noval to plenty of small family-run boutique wineries, this valley has a new property to visit at every turn of its meandering mountain roads.
The wineries have an impressive array of tastings and tours that usually involve devouring incredibly enjoyable Portuguese delicacies paired perfectly with Douro wines and of course, Port. Gorge on some Caldo Verde: the famous kale and potato soup of Portugal, whole lamb or poultry roasts with baked crispy potatoes, some blood sausages or tripe cooked with beans and then finish the meal with some soothing desserts like the Laite Crème (a simple concoction of eggs, cream and sugar cooked to perfection) or cookie-cakes. After stuffing yourselves with these delights, cycling along the winding mountain roads and taking in the magnificent view of the valley can prove to be almost therapeutic.
If you choose to take a break from all the Port wine tasting (which could be necessary since it contains around 20% alcohol!) you can opt to visit one of the small towns situated atop the Douro valley. One such quaint town is Lamego. With the characteristic Portuguese orange-roofed houses and manicured boulevards with cobbled stone streets, this town seems to be right out of an advert for Portugal tourism at its finest. It is known locally for its production of delicious red cherries, with these trees dotting every tiny street of the township. The centre of the town is where the magnificent Baroque Church called the Santuario Nossa Senhora dos Remedios stands tall amongst a sea of greenery. Though there are over 600 steps to climb to reach this church at the top, the view from each flight of stairs will make it absolutely worth all the effort. A small castle from the middle ages will also find you making your way through the steep alleyways of the city to reach the castle’s grounds for a breathtaking view of the whole city with the Douro valley in the background.
Once you’ve taken in the scenic beauty of the region and cradled in Mother Nature’s lap, you can head over to the bustling city of Porto. Situated just an hour’s drive away from the quiet serenity of the Douro Valley is the iconic city of Porto with its numerous wine cellars located along the coast of Vila Nova de Gaia waiting for you to visit them. This city is sure to charm you, with its friendly faces, old architecture, mouth-watering food, absolutely exhilarating night life and, of course, the whiff of the sweet Port wine which can be felt all over the city. Prepare yourself for an exciting night out at the Rua de Santa Catarina or the bar district of the city by first feasting on the local specialty called Francesinha – a sandwich with beef and sausages covered with molten cheese, served in a pool of lip-smacking sauce and a side of crisp, hot fries. Aren’t we in food paradise already?
Surely, these are more than enough reasons for the Douro Valley to be a top destination for your next wine holiday. So get in touch with our local travel expert and help yourself to a tailor-made vacation in this incredible wine region!
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