Welcome to the Douro Valley, one of the best luxury vineyard holiday destinations in Europe, a picturesque and charming region of Portugal. Famous for its spectacular landscapes with verdant hills, terrace vineyards, and historic villages that seem frozen in time, Douro Valley is rich with historical and culinary culture dating back over 2000 years.
Perfect for a viticultural escape, the Douro Valley is the birthplace of Porto, the ambrosial drink to which the region owes its world renown. A major red and white wine producer, the sun-soaked earth is ideal for cultivating grapes. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley is prized for its local wine tastings and beautiful vineyard trellis plantations.
When visiting the Douro Valley in Portugal, don't miss the historic Porto cellars, where master winemakers show you what makes this product so unique. There, you can sample a selection of local wines with delicious Portuguese dishes like bacalhau, dried and salted cod, or cozido, a meat and vegetable stew.
Here is a selection of our best tips and addresses to visit the Douro Valley and Portugal's vineyards:
When you set off on your Indian summer road trip in the south of Europe, don't forget to stop at the magnificent and authentic Douro Valley. Follow up with a luxury agritourism stay in Italy beside Le Collectionist, discovering the best vineyards in Tuscany.
Whether you're after a quiet train ride, a road trip in a vintage car, a cruise, or a hike through the vineyards, Douro Valley is the ideal place to breathe in the fresh air and take a break with an exquisite glass of wine. Discover our selection of activities for visiting the Douro Valley:
Hop into your vintage Chevrolet Bel Air Cabriolet and cruise through the Douro Valley. Discover the secrets of Provesende, a historic village, before stopping at one of Portugal's Michelin star restaurants to sample the region's wines and other specialties. On the road to Pinhão, explore the village of Favaios, famous for its Muscatel wine and panoramic views. Finish your road trip with a visit to one of the Pinhão region's oldest viticultural Quintas, with centennial vineyards.
One of the best ways to explore the Douro Valley's terraced vineyards and magnificent landscapes is by boat. Enjoy the sun, the scent of grapes that pervades the air, the traditional villages along the riverbanks, the stone homes perched on hills, and centennial monasteries.
Douro Valley is paradise on Earth for hikers. With its many sinuous trails snaking between villages and hills, it holds exceptional landscapes. Whether on foot or on bicycle, stop along the way in the region's historic villages like Lamego, Pinhão or Vila Real, where you'll find castles, palaces, and remarkable churches.
Made up of a locomotive from 1925 and five retro wagons, the historic Douro steam train runs along the riverbank from Régua to Tua. Soak up a bygone atmosphere while sipping a glass of Porto and listening to traditional Portuguese songs. After admiring the scenery, stop off at Pinhão, in the blue and yellow azulejo-covered station, to discover the traditional grape picking and barefoot treading still used today.
Inaugurated in 2010, Museu do Côa was built by the talented Portuguese architecture duo, Camilo Rebelo and Tiago Pimentel. Arguably one of the biggest museums in Portugal, it stands gracefully at the mouth of the Côa River as a meeting point of the region's two world heritages: the prehistoric art of the Côa Valley and the Douro vineyard landscape.
Museu do Côa, Rua do Museu, 5150-620 Vila Nova de Foz Côa
In Régua, Museo do Douro is the gatekeeper of the region's viticultural identity. A World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley has been cultivating grape vines for thousands of years. In this museum, discover wine-making from production to transport by boat in the "rabelos," without forgetting the traditional grape harvesting and landscaping practices.
Museu do Douro, Rua Marquês de Pombal, 5050-282 Peso da Régua
Casa de Mateus is a true reference point in the Portuguese landscape. This baroque building, which has been a national monument since 1911, is one of the most beautiful in the Douro Valley. Within its walls, discover the Portuguese wine tradition that has shaped this region by exploring the surrounding vineyards and tasting unique local wines.
Casa de Mateus, Largo Morgados de Mateus, 5000-291 Vila Real
Quinta da Romaneira, one of the Douro's vastest domains, has been cultivating grapes for nearly 300 years in soil rich with history. In 2004, it was completely renovated with new, more modern architecture, allowing it to be at the forefront of viticulture while preserving its traditional roots.
Quinta da Romaneira, Cotas, 5070 - 252 Alijó
Originally planted by Cistercian monks, Quinta Ventozelo's soil has been cultivated since the Middle Ages. Exceptional due to its impressive size and long history, the present-day iteration results from many owners' visions throughout the years, each of which transformed the quinta over the centuries.
Quinta de Ventozelo, Ervedosa do Douro, 5130-135 S. João da Pesqueira
After three centuries of wine culture in the Douro Valley, H.O. Wines now perpetuates the Horta Osório family's heritage from within the Menin Wine Company. Their state-of-the-art winery has one of the most beautiful tasting rooms in the valley, with a breathtaking view of the vineyards for an unforgettable wine experience.
Menin Wine Company, N 322-2 Km 20, 5060-056 Gouvinhas Sabrosa
Nestled in the heart of the breathtaking Douro Valley and its many vineyards, Villa Ermida is the ideal refuge for a viticultural escape.
Among the vines, you're only a few feet from the trellises. In this working vineyard, you'll find a modern wine cellar with exceptional offerings for an immersive tasting of the region's best wines.
Villa Ermida in the Douro Valley
With a direct view over the Douro Valley, Quinta da Tojeira is another exceptional place from which to enjoy northern Portugal's vineyards.
While you soak in the wide open pool or lounge on the terrace, gaze out at the incredible panorama of the valley with a glass of Porto in hand, produced only a few minutes from your home.
Quinta da Tojeira in the Douro Valley
In the Douro Valley, admire the vines and olive trees from the arched opening on the terrace of Casa Rio. Dive into your private pool, prepare a picnic facing the panoramic view of the hills, or discover the vineyards from your villa.
Casa Rio in the Douro Valley
With a staggering view of the Douro Valley, the famed Portuguese chef Rui Paula offers a creative cuisine from local produce.
What does this mix look like on your plate? Gastronomic cuisine that is both contemporary and traditional, accompanied by the most complete wine list in the region — 950 references including the mystical Barca Velha and the rarest Porto wines!
Doc Restaurante, Estrada Nacional 222, 5110-204 Folgosa
Known for its efforts towards sustainability, Mesa de Lemos distinguishes itself with the prestigious green star in the Michelin guide.
Chef Diego Rocha is a Douro Valley native who wants to highlight the region's products, all while respecting the millennial soil with eco-responsable cuisine. Here, natural ingredients that haven't travelled far are key.
Mesa de Lemos, Passos de Silgueiros, 3500-541 Silgueiros
For a traditional meal made up of fresh organic produce straight from the garden, a farm to table experience is ideal.
During a suspended moment in the valley, savour local dishes authentic to Douro, of course with a delicious glass of Porto on the side and scents from the wood-burning stove filling the air. In a setting that is both chic and rustic, enjoy a panorama of the vineyards and hills that make up the region's legendary reputation before returning home to your luxury villa rental.
What better place to uncork a bottle of wine than one of the oldest working factories in Portugal? Founded in 1588, Croft is ideal for sharing a picnic made up of traditional Portuguese meals with friends and family.
Savour your picnic with a refreshing glass of Croft Pink, the first rosé Porto wine, on a shaded terrace facing the vineyards, olive groves, and Douro river.
Croft, Quinta da Roêda, 5085-016 Pinhão
It would be difficult to single out one region of Portugal as the most beautiful, given the country's rich and exceptional landscapes. However, for us, the Douro Valley is ideal for wine lovers, Comporta is a wild paradise in Portugal, and the Algarve's unspoilt beaches are perfect for nature lovers.
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