Wine tasting, postcard landscapes and charming villages: do you want to discover all the facets of the Douro Valley? On a journey of more than 600 km, you will be able to discover essential places in this region of Portugal such as: Amarante, Lamego, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Miranda do Douro, Porto and much more. For wine lovers (or simply gourmets), the Douro Valley is an ideal destination. It offers the opportunity to discover the diversity of Portuguese wines, learn more about their history, admire the vineyards along the Douro, meet small producers… and finally participate in unforgettable tastings!
In this pretty town of Amarante, we advise you to take the time to explore the historic center, as it is full of unmissable sites:
- The Church and Convent of São Gonçalo
- São Gonçalo Bridge
- Sao Pedro Church
- Sao Domingos Church
- The Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Municipal Museum
Stroll through the narrow streets of the historic center and take a walk along the Tâmega River; also taste the typical desserts of this region and enjoy a pleasant meal in one of the restaurants overlooking the river.
Stop at Casa de Cello for a wine tour and tasting of two terroirs in the Vinhos Verdes region.
Then spend the night in one of the most beautiful hotels in this region, which offers a breathtaking view of the historic center – the Hotel Casa da Calçada Relais & Châteaux. You can also choose the Casa do Fontão 2 km from the church and convent of São Gonçalo.
Trace the history of the Douro to Lamego, the town where Port Wine was born. This historic city indeed produced in the 18th century a wine called “vinho fino”, which finally gave birth to the port which then began to be produced elsewhere in the Douro Valley. Discover the Palace of Mateus, this magnificent 18th century palace, the work of Nicolau Nasoni, which stands out for its Baroque style and the surrounding beauty of its gardens, lakes, forests and vineyards. For those with a sweet tooth, we recommend trying the delicious local pastries at Pastelaria da Sé.
Take the opportunity to visit this national monument and also discover its cellar and its chapel. Once you have finished visiting the Palace of Mateus, it is time to visit the Douro Valley!
Make a first stop at the fantastic viewpoint of São Leonardo de Galafura, about 20 km from the Palace of Mateus, and contemplate the exceptional panorama offered by this viewpoint. Here you can admire the Douro River, the terraced vineyards and the rest of the landscape – the characteristics of which make the vineyards of the Upper Douro Valley a World Heritage Site.
Next, head to the town of Peso da Régua, located on the banks of the Douro, and take the opportunity to visit the Douro Museum. This museum aims to introduce its visitors to the identity, history, culture and development of the Douro, especially in terms of vitiviniculture, making it a place not to be missed during your visit to the Douro Valley.
After lunch, cross the Douro and head to the beautiful town of Lamego, located 13 km from the Douro Museum.
There are so many things to see in this city that you have to devote the rest of the day to it. Visit places like:
- The Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
- La Sé, Cathedral of Lamego
- Lamego Castle
- The Chagas Church
- Santa Cruz Church and Convent
Take the opportunity to stop at Quinta De S. Bernardo for a visit and wine tasting in an exceptional setting.
After exploring the historic center of Lamego, we recommend spending the night at the Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro. Located on the south bank of the river, this four-star hotel is an ideal place to stay during your visit to the Douro Valley!
You can also spend a pleasant night at Casa Relógio de Sol. Take the time to relax in this splendid hotel which is also close to the south bank of the Douro.
Visit Pinhão and Vila Nova de Foz Côa
Once in Pinhão, climb up to the Casal de Loivos viewpoint (3 km from the city center) to admire the superb view of the Douro Valley. Then go down to the city center where you can admire the beautiful Azulejos panels of the station. Also take the opportunity to walk along the Douro River and take a one-hour cruise, which will allow you to have another perspective of the Douro Valley.
To make this day even more memorable, we recommend a visit to one of the wine estates in this region of the country. After all, it is thanks to the production of Port wine that this region is known internationally.
Visit the Quinta do Seixo, which is owned by Sogrape and represents the famous Porto Sandeman brand. This estate is perched on a hill and offers breathtaking views of the Douro river and valley. You can also visit the Quinta da Gricha, the estate offers tastings, but also rooms with a breathtaking view of the Douro.
Finally, to end this magnificent day, we suggest you visit the São Gabriel viewpoint. From there, you can admire the magnificent landscapes of the Douro and Côa Valley – undoubtedly a place not to be missed during your visit to the Douro.
Visit Torre de Moncorvo
This small town on the north bank of the Douro River will charm you, especially with its historic center dating from the Middle Ages where you can admire:
- Matriz Church (national monument)
- The Church of Misericórdia
- The Sacred Art Museum
- The ruins of the medieval walls of Dom Dinis
- The Chapel of the Sagrado Coração de Jesus
- The Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres
Then head to the Douro International Natural Park where you will discover authentic towns and villages as well as viewpoints with incredible views!
The first stop is the Miradouro do Penedo Durão, a sublime viewpoint where you will see the beautiful Portuguese and Spanish landscapes (on the other side of the river), a dam and you will undoubtedly have the chance to see many birds of prey (Egyptian vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon).
Then visit the beautiful town of Freixo de Espada in Cinta, located approximately 12 km from the Penedo Durão viewpoint. Take the time to discover the historic center, in particular:
- The Rooster Tower (Torre do Galo)
- The walls of the old castle
- Matriz Church
Depending on the time of year, you can go down to the Congida River Beach for a swim or simply admire the Douro River, which here acts as a natural border with Spain.
To end your day, discover the 3 viewpoints located about 20 km from Freixo de Espada À Cinta. The first is the Miradouro do Colado which offers a superb view of the village of Mazouco and the Douro International valley. The Miradouro do Carrascalinho offers you a different perspective thanks to its plunging view of the river. The last viewpoint of the day is the Miradouro da Cruzinha which will give you a view of the Douro River and the Spanish village Salto de Aldeiadávila. On site, you will find tables so that you can end your day with a picnic.
To rest after this beautiful day, sleep at the Casa Das Aguas Ferreas hotel, located very close to downtown Mogadouro.
Visit Mogadouro and Miranda do Douro
Take advantage of your visit to Mogadouro to visit:
- Church and Convent of São Francisco
- The ruins of Mogadouro Castle (built in the 12th century)
In the afternoon, you have the option of leaving for Porto (which will allow you to have 2 full days in the capital of northern Portugal) or to discover Miranda do Douro, located 30 minutes from Mogadouro .
In Miranda do Douro, lose yourself in the historic center to discover:
- Matriz Church (former cathedral)
- The ruins of the Paço Episcopal
- The ruins of the castle of Miranda do Douro
In Miranda do Douro you can spend the night at the Hotel Parador Santa Catarina or at the Casa dos Edras
After visiting the Douro Valley, it’s time to hit the road to the beautiful city of Porto, the second largest city in Portugal and one of the most beautiful in the country. Explore the beautiful historic center of the city and its close surroundings to discover fantastic monuments, fountains, churches, chapels, belvederes and of course the authentic districts.
Here are the places not to be missed:
- Clerigos Tower (Torre dos Clérigos)
- Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral)
- Sao Bento train station
- The Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa)
- Sao Francisco Church
- Luis I Bridge
- Serra do Pilar Monastery
- Port wine cellars
- The Bolhão Market
- The street of Santa Catarina
- The Fernandina Wall
- Santa Clara Church
- The Ribeira district
- The Lello Bookshop
If you start your visit to the Douro Valley with Porto, discover the Douro vineyard thanks douro best wine tours. And if you prefer the boat, embark with BI Heritage Tours for the Wine Venture & Boat Trip in Douro Valley.
FAQ & Useful resources
How to reach the Douro Valley from Porto?
It is better to rent a car to visit the Douro Valley and thus be free to move around. Some agencies offer to rent a car in the center of Porto and leave it when you leave at the airport.
How do you get to the Douro Valley from Porto without a car?
The best is to go through a guided tour in a minibus with a French guide, there you don’t waste time in a boat, you will really be able to see the Douro Valley and do real wine tastings in cellars such as:
-Raposeira Cellars (visit and wine tasting)
-Tedo cellars (visit and wine tasting)
-Caves d’Aveleda (visit and wine tasting)
What is the best viewpoint in the Douro Valley?
It is in Sao Leonardo that you have the best spot. On the other hand, you will have to go through Regua to get there.
How to visit the Douro Valley by boat?
Discover the Douro Valley by boat: Cruises depart along the Douro. It’s a nice option, but you won’t have time to see a lot.
How to visit the Douro Valley by train?
The Linha do Douro, a historic train pulled by a steam locomotive (leaves from the center of Porto and goes east to Pocinho), it will allow you to see more things than by boat. This railway line is one of the most picturesque in Europe. It will cost you €13.30 for a 3h20 one-way trip.
Where to sleep in the Douro Valley?
If you want to treat yourself, you can sleep in The Vintage House, an 18th century wine estate, which notably offers you a heated swimming pool on the heights of the Douro, all in the heart of the city.
The Quinta Do Tedo which is located between Regua and Pinhao. The setting is crazy and the food is really good.
For a good value for money and very well placed, the Original Douro.
Sleep at Quinta da Azenha, in Folgosa, a traditional family hostel with simplicity. A room costs from 50 euros per night. You will love having breakfast there at the family table.
Where to eat in the Douro Valley?
In Folgosa, treat yourself to DOC, the restaurant of starred chef Rui Paula, considered a reference in modern cuisine. Suspended by stilts above the Douro with its long terrace. If you want to treat yourself, opt for the Douro menu which offers pairings of dishes with wines.
Located in Peso da Régua, Aneto & Table is the small restaurant of Aneto Wines, a small family business that produces Douro wines. Because yes, we don’t only produce port in the Douro, but also good quality white, red and rosé wines. Aneto wines go well here with a menu combining typical Portuguese dishes and modern creations.