- Gastronomy and wines
Discover the famous Port wine and excellent table wines produced in the Douro, the first wine region in the world to become demarcated, in 1756, and where wine tourism concentrates around wine all aspects of local environment, culture and gastronomy. Discover this region of unrivalled beauty.
The Douro, given its unique natural qualities for the production of excellence wines and their long history – a true human saga of 250 years – is a choice destination. Between Barqueiros and Barca d’Alva the wild slopes of the valley turn into ledges, creating an impressive landscape, considered World Heritage in 2001.
You will like
- Learning about the centuries-old wine tradition that has produced the cultural landscape of remarkable beauty which characterizes the Douro
- The affection and cordiality of those who welcome you
The Port wine business, which started being shipped on Rabelo boats from the Douro into Porto in the 13th century, and then to faraway destinations and delight of other peoples, namely the English, allowed the construction and recovery of a beautiful and rich heritage.
While visiting the region, you won’t remain indifferent to the manor houses, convents and churches with rich and diversified architectures – Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. You must stop by the viewpoints to enjoy the landscape, and the farms and manor houses are the best places to rest.
The Rota do Vinho do Porto gathers producers, wine tasting shops, tourism accommodation in rural spaces, river cruises operators and restaurants, among others. In these places, you will be able to taste the famous Port wine, but also DOC Douro wines, muscatel and sparkling wines.
What you need to know
- In Gabinete da Rota, at the Instituto do Vinho do Porto, in Peso da Régua, and at the tourism offices of the region you can ask for additional information
- In the wine tasting centres you can enjoy the best wines from the region
- In a short five day trip, you can observe all this richness and stay at one of the farms of the Rota do Vinho do Porto
Visit the vineyards and the wine cellars – visit the great Port wine houses and the small traditional productions – taste and buy some wine to go. If you have time, you can even participate in the farm works around harvest, in September and October, helping to cut the grapes from the vines and to tread the fruit in the traditional wine press.
The harvest is the most important and lively event of the entire Douro valley. Work is simultaneously a celebration for the people of the Douro. In the lagaradas, people play the concertina and sing, setting the pace by treading the grapes in the traditional way.
From this effort and passion spring the table wines, white and red, brandies, sparkling wines from the Varosa region and the muscatel from Favaios. And, of course, the solemn and ineffable Port wine, a treasure of knowledge and a centuries-old art: ruby, tawny, vintage or Late Bottled Vintage (LBV).
What to do
- Take a trip down to Douro in a historical train with locomotives from the early 20th century and embark on a reunion with the past, when Port wine used to be carried on the river
- If you are on a schedule, you can visit the region in a more original way, flying over the Douro by helicopter
- Visit the Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, in Lamego, the Casa de Mateus, in Vila Real – known around the world for appearing on the label of the Mateus Rosé wine – and the Mosteiro de Tarouca.
The Douro is also synonymous with good food. Taste the regional bread baked in a wood-fired oven, the enchidos and the bolas de Lamego and Vila Real, the excellent river fish, the dishes of mirandesa meat, maronesa meatand lamb, and the large assortment of traditional pastries.
The museums, the wine tasting shops and centres, the wine hotels and the typical rural tourism houses complete the offers in the Rota do Vinho do Porto.
Spend the night in a farm with a unique environment. For example, you can stay at Quinta da Pacheca or Quinta Nova Nossa Senhora do Carmo.
How to get there
For Porto, there are low cost flights, for example, from London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly, Vatry and Charles de Gaulle), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Majorca.
Summer only, there are low cost airlines flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.
With regular tariffs, there are flights from London – Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris – Orly.
From The Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport, the best way to get to the centre of the city of Porto is by Metro. The trip will take approximately 30 minutes.
To the Douro, follow national road 108 up to Entre-os-Rios and continue along the Douro River to Régua - alternatively, you can take the IP4, which connects the districts of Porto, Vila Real and Bragança, and then continue on the national and municipal roads.