A Destination Guide to the Douro Valley

 

Portugal is a country teeming with culture, incredible architecture, delicious food, and jaw-dropping scenery. In this guide, we will be focusing on Porto, a city famous for its wine that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

To truly explore the North of Portugal, you need local insight and expertise. Check out our guided tours from Porto to see the variety of places we like to take visitors to highlight our extraordinary food, wine, history, and scenery. If you have any questions about our tours in the region, please do get in touch.

For now, buckle up, and we will tell you everything you need to know about the Douro Valley before your trip.

When are the best times to visit Douro Valley?

Portugal has such a temperate climate that you could visit any time of the year! That being said, here are the times of the year that most people prefer to stay.

March-May: Capture the country waking up after winter when our flora and fauna start to blossom and nature comes alive again. The temperature during this period ranges from 16 degrees centigrade to 26 degrees centigrade, making it very comfortable for most visitors.

If you prefer to visit when it’s a little warmer, May to September is the best time to visit. The nearby beaches will help you stay cool and help you catch those rays you have missed at home!

What should you pack for your trip to Douro Valley?

We get this question a lot, so let’s go through an ideal packing list for visiting the Douro Valley…

  • Sunglasses and a sun hat!
  • Comfortable shoes: You'll most likely be doing a lot of walking and exploring, so it's a good idea to take care of your feet.
  • Sandals: In the warmer months, you'll want to be able to slip on and off a pair of sandals after you've hit the beach or the pool.
  • Ear Masks and Ear Plugs: If you struggle to sleep in a new place, it's always a good idea to pack these. Porto is a bustling city, but once you leave to explore the rest of Northern Portugal, you’ll enjoy a calm and relaxing pace, so you should sleep well!
  • Swimming Costume: This one is self-explanatory!
  • Smart clothing: In Porto, the locals dress in a smart-casual style, so perhaps pack a nice summer dress or a smart shirt, trousers and dress shoes.
  • Layers: Depending on the time of year you visit, maybe pack a cardigan or jumper to keep you wrapped up in the evenings! But if you're visiting from a colder climate, you probably won't need them.

How to Get Around the Douro Valley

Porto is a bustling city, which is ideal because there are plenty of transport links for you. You can travel around Porto either by bus, on foot or on the metro.

The city’s transportation system is designed for the ease of use of tourists. Whether it’s the tram, metro or bus, they are relatively inexpensive, convenient and take you to the most popular tourist destinations.

How much should you budget for your visit to Douro Valley?

When planning your holiday, one of the most important things to consider is your budget. Luckily, Porto is one of the least expensive cities in Europe and is also one of the best value for money city breaks you can get!

We’d recommend your accommodation budget to be around £50 per night (although some accommodation prices can be as low as £15).

Make sure to have a total budget of around £100 a day; this will cover you for attractions and grabbing a bite to eat!

Make Sure to See the Sights in Douro Valley!

Porto is a classic, historic Mediterranean city with cobblestone streets, quaint coffee shops, winding paths and plenty of history.

Here are some things you can’t miss when visiting Porto…

Of Course, Try the Wine

Porto is world-renowned for its Port Wine, also known as vinho de Porto. It’s a sweet red wine paired well with cheese, chocolate, pickles, and olives.

Make sure to plan a relaxed wine and cheese evening to experience one of our best and most beloved regional specialities!

Take a Day Trip to Peneda-Gerês National Park

Take a trip to the jewel in Northern Portugal’s crown: Peneda-Gerês National Park. Explore its imposing mountain ranges, breathtaking waterfalls and hiking trails.

For the best experience in this beautiful spot, take a look at our Gêres Private Tour, which includes food tasting as well as a ride in a horsedrawn carriage!

Where To Eat in Douro Valley

If you’ve ever had the privilege of trying Portuguese cuisine, you’ll know it’s something truly special. There’s plenty to choose from, whether it’s Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts) or Arroz de Pato (duck rice).

Here are two restaurants to get you started when in Porto…

Taberna Dos Mercadores

Le Monument Restaurant

Taberna Dos Mercadores is a classic Portuguese restaurant that proves it doesn’t always have to be quality versus quantity. Sometimes you can have both!

Relax in their laid-back setting and browse their extensive wine range, which decorates the walls. If you’re unsure what to go for food-wise: we recommend our regional dish, the “Arouquesa” meat pot.

Check out their Instagram!

If you want a fine dining experience, then Le Monument Restaurant is your place in Porto. This Michelin-starred restaurant that specializes in contemporary Mediterranean cuisine is, predictably, pricey, but it’s certainly worth it for the experience!

Make sure you try their raw seabass with horseradish and dill, and – for the vegetarians – you mustn’t miss their green asparagus from Guimarães scented with mint.

Check out their Instagram!

 

For a truly local experience, check out our all-inclusive Porto Private Tour.

On this tour, we will try Porto wine in our very own wine caves and enjoy a delightful traditional lunch.

You’ll leave having embraced our food, wine, and culture all while enjoying the views of Porto.

 

There you have it; we hope you’ve found this guide helpful for your break to Douro Valley. If you like to find out more about the tours we offer, take a look at our Porto City Tours, and if you have any questions at all, please get in touch.

Romantic Getaway

Romantic Getaway: Douro Deluxe

FromEUR€460
This premium, romantic experience in the Douro Valley includes world-class food and wine, cultural sights, and amazing natural landscapes. Learn more.
The Path of History

Santiago de Compostela Private Tour (All Inclusive)

FromEUR€115
Explore treasures from Spain and Portugal in one day with Your Tours Portugal. Visit Santiago de Compostela, enjoy idyllic scenery, and sample local food.
Best Seller

Discover Our Douro Valley Private Tour (All Inclusive)

FromEUR€150
Come share with us a day of authentic experiences full of tradition, in the oldest demarcated wine region in the world – the Douro Valley.

Ready to experience Portugal?

Contact us now