5 Reasons to visit the Douro
See the best options in the Douro to occupy your time, satisfy your stomach and leave you relaxed, always with beautiful views over the landscape.
We all know that the Douro is one of the most beautiful regions in the world. We may not know where to choose when we are there, overshadowed by so much natural beauty. With that in mind, we’ve prepared these tips!
01. The unforgettable landscapes
The Alto Douro Wine Region is synonymous with unforgettable landscapes. Each viewpoint presents us with a different and unique view, which will be forever marked in our hearts, with the certainty of wanting to return there. The vineyards always accompany the landscape of this setting, unique in the world, where a wine is produced that stands out from the rest.
02. Port wines
Among the landscapes to lose sight of, we see the vineyards worked by man over centuries, which lead us to the precious nectar that is produced here, our Port wine. There are hundreds of farms producing everything from olive oil to table wines and, of course, Port wines to suit all tastes. Port wine is very diverse and you will surely find one that will fit your taste.
Within red Port wines there are two styles, Tawny and Ruby. Tawny Port is the most common, with a lighter color rich in taste from the wood where it was aged. Having spent a long time there and having acquired its characteristics, we can feel in our mouth, aromas such as dried fruits. This wine goes very well with desserts based on eggs and nuts. We will therefore have no difficulty in accompanying it with the many typical Portuguese desserts.
Ruby Port wine is the youngest Port wine, which retains the aromatic flavors of the fruit, has a color very similar to a red table wine and goes very well with strong cheeses, dark chocolate desserts and even, for those who like it, a nice wild boar stew.
For those who prefer a white Port wine there are also options that go very well with desserts or even appetizers. More recently, Rosé Port wine has also entered the market, which is much appreciated for making cocktails, such as a tonic Rosé Port wine, which will certainly refresh you on the hottest days.
03. The historic villages
Passing through here also means touring the historic villages and getting to know their customs and traditions. Two examples are Provesende and Favaios.
Provesende is a small village that still has the emblazoned houses of prestigious families who once lived here. Not to be missed in this village is the Mother Church; you may not be impressed by the exterior, but when you enter, you will see a rich Baroque decoration in gilded woodwork with which the church was enriched in the 18th century and you will easily find it difficult to look at a single point. This church is considered one of the jewels of the Douro.
Favaios is the village that gives its name to the Moscatel that is produced there. Here, a visit to the Adega Cooperativa de Favaios is recommended. You can take a tour with a guide from the winery itself who will show you the whole production process, from the vineyard to the bottle, and at the end you can enjoy a tasting of Moscatel with different years of aging. You can also visit the Museum Center of Favaios – Museum of Bread and Wine – and you will understand why this village has acquired this nickname “the village of Bread and Wine”. Por falar em pão, pergunte a alguém onde fica a Manuela “Barriguda” e faça uma visita a esta padeira que todos os dias faz o pão de trigo tradicional de Favaios.
04. The N222 road
A road not to be missed is the N222, particularly the stretch between Régua and Pinhão. We will always have the Douro River as company and we will pass by several farms, many of them known worldwide. Along the way you can see the Bagaúste Dam and who knows if you will see a boat going up or down the river through the second largest lock on the Douro River in Portugal. A fantastic opportunity to enjoy what is considered one of the best driving roads in the world.
05. The Rabelo Boats
Arriving at Pinhão, we can see the Rabelo boats, which once transported the barrels of Port wine down the river, through very difficult routes, to its mouth in the city of Porto. Getting on a Rabelo boat and taking a ride on the Douro River, allows you to have another perspective of this beautiful scenery and appreciate the calm that lives here, also contemplating the wildlife that this river houses. Stay a little longer…
In the middle of all this, we can always visit a wine producer to taste the most appreciated wine of the region. Some farms have accommodation so you can stay here and watch the beautiful night sky filled with stars.