Defined by terraced vineyards and steep mountain slopes, Douro is one of the oldest and most prestigious winemaking regions in Europe. The region enjoys Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC) status and will tantalise your palate with deliciously sweet Port and light-bodied Douro Branco. Charming villages dot the region and are great bases for touring the Douro Valley.
Things to do in Douro
Guided tours of the Douro winemaking region are an easy way to visit the best vineyards and estates. You’ll love touring traditional “quinta” wineries, where you can wander through the vineyards and see the wine being aged in enormous oak barrels.
Some of the oldest wineries have been bottling Port for more than 2000 years and contribute to the region’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can learn about the long history of winemaking in Douro, as well as popular indigenous grape varieties like Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. Other vineyards specialise in Douro Branco, a crisp and acidic white wine with a minerally palate.
A boat cruise along the Douro River is a fantastic way to enjoy the region. As you sail along the famous waterway, you’ll pass by rolling vineyards and medieval monasteries. Another option is a scenic drive through the region, stopping to explore charming hillside villages and admire the spectacular views from lookouts like Casal de Loivos.
The picturesque village of Pinhão is a launchpad to the Cima Corgo subregion. The village is surrounded by terraced vineyards and set on the banks of the Rio Douro. There are some beautiful wineries to visit within walking distance of the village centre.
Getting around Douro
Rental cars are a fast and flexible way to explore the Douro winemaking region at your own pace. Some popular towns and villages, including Pinhão and Provesende, offer train stations. The region is a two-hour drive from Porto.