During the months of February and March, we highly recommend a visit to the Douro valley. The almond blossom brightens the landscape offering a stunning view with an aura of tranquillity.
Legend has it that the almond trees were found in Portugal even in the times of the Moors. A young king commanded the cultivation of the almond to gratify his Nordic princess, who missed her homeland. When they flourished, the horizon was covered in a snow-like mantle, but with the advantages of not being cold and of filling the air with a sweet fragrance.
The almond is one of the fruits most widely cultivated in the Douro region, in the municipal districts of Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Mogadouro, Torre de Moncorvo and Vila Nova de Foz Côa. These districts are part of the Almond Route, which we invite you to experience. During these months, a number of attractions are organised to promote these country locations for your enjoyment.
The Almond Blossom in Northern Portugal
Board a Comboios de Portugal (CP) train to get acquainted with the Northern districts of Portugal, where the almond blossom decorates the fields with touches of white and pink. You can choose one of three routes:
Route A: Pocinho, Foz Côa (visit the Côa Museum), Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo (time for lunch), Castelo Rodrigo, Barca d'Alva, Penedo Durão (panoramic view), Freixo de Espada à Cinta and Pocinho.
Route B: Freixo de Numão, Penedono, Trancoso (time for lunch), Marialva (guided tour of the Castle), Meda, Longroiva, Foz Côa and Pocinho.
Route C: Pocinho, Moncorvo Tower, Mogadouro (time for lunch and visit to the Museum of Archaeology), Cerejais (panoramic view), Alfândega da Fé and Pocinho.
Along the way, you watch as the barren valley slopes transform into terraces ready for planting the vines that produce the famous Port wine. It is also worth visiting the Mirandese plateau, the Ribeira Monastery valley in Freixo de Espada à Cinta.
The International Douro Nature Reserve, which comprises the municipalities of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Miranda do Douro and Mogadouro, covers 122 kilometres, and is well worth a visit. Here you can enjoy a rich landscape and an area dedicated to observing birds, such as the griffon vulture, the Egyptian vulture, the black stork, the golden eagle and Bonelli's eagle, and more.
In Pocinho, indulge your senses with almond blossom, but also don’t miss a side-trip to the Pocinho Dam, which is framed in beautiful vistas.
The Côa Museum is a cultural space conceived to promote the historical and cultural heritage of the Prehistoric Rock Art Site of the Côa River Valley recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The building features strong interaction with the landscape, with magnificent views over the Côa Valley. The museum particularly highlights the rock carvings, which are examples of the first manifestations of symbolic creation by humankind.
Would you like to come and see this unique and unforgettable natural phenomenon? Come to the North of Portugal! Contact us for more information or an individually tailored visit plan for the best ways to see the almond trees in blossom. It will be our pleasure to assist you.