What to do

What you cannot miss when visiting Alto Douro

Douro Azul CC BY-NC-ND

Classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO, the Alto Douro Wine Region produces the famous Port Wine, internationally known for its quality and flavor. In this region, the first demarcated region in the world, the ancient vineyard tradition has produced a cultural landscape of remarkable beauty. Take a stroll by boat through the Douro River, discover the region's vineyards and lose yourself in the pleasures of a small glass of Port Wine.

The wines and the vineyards

The cellars and vineyards of Douro are the perfect place to know the history of wine. Visit a vineyard where the precious nectars of the region are produced, such as Quinta da Pacheca, and be lulled to sleep by nature's seduction in fabulous balconies overlooking the Douro.

If you visit the Douro Region in September/October, don't miss the chance to take part in the grape harvest and get to know a tradition that has survived several generations from the inside. The grape harvest is a unique experience. Inhale the scent of the vineyards, share in the joy that transpires from the workers' songs, and you will leave Douro enjoying a glass of wine in a whole new way.

Douro International Natural Park

Created in 1998, the Douro International Natural Park occupies an area of 85,150 hectares and comprises two plateaus, one on the north and other on the south, where over time the Douro and Águeda rivers dug up deep granite valleys with steep slopes, some of which as high as 200 meters!

Visit the Mirandese plateau, the valley of Ribeira do Mosteiro in Freixo de Espada à Cinta, and the reservoir of Santa Maria de Aguiar, in Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. The natural parks of Alvão and Douro International are favorite spots for bird watching and practicing outdoor activities.

Vale do Côa Stone Engravings

It is the largest outdoor complex of Paleolithic rock art in the world, classified as a World Heritage Site. The rocky banks are an art gallery decorated with paintings and engravings like you have never seen before. The banks of the Côa, a tributary of the Douro whose name became universal, contain 25,000 years of prehistoric art, a legacy of mankind's spiritual past which was classified by UNESCO. An outdoor art gallery that covers 17 kilometers and show you the creative genius of our ancestors, from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Iron Age.

The Art and Archeology Museum of Vale do Côa was opened in 2010 and combines Paleolithic art with other forms of art, displaying a temporary collection and a permanent one, allowing you to see what the stone engravings don't show.

Alvão Natural Park

Side by side with the Marão Mountains, the Alvão Natural Park was established in 1983 and is a privileged refuge where you can watch animals and birds threatened by extinction. In Alvão, don't miss the village of Ermelo and the impressive waterfalls of Fisgas do Ermelo.

Douro Museum

Visit the Douro Museum in Peso da Régua, where you can not only see the objects that represent the history and evolution of the region, but also have a snack and enjoy a drink. Head to the Viewpoint of São Leonardo de Galafura and contemplate the river valley and the Mountains of Marão.

Douro River Cruises

There are several different companies offering tours on the Douro river, from Barca d'Alva to the city of Porto or Vila Nova de Gaia. You can explore these cities in the morning and join one of these cruises in the afternoon, or even go on a eight-day tour and get to know the whole surrounding area, which includes the Douro Wine Region, World Heritage Site.

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios

Head to Lamego and visit the Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Before that, notice the facades of the many manors and palatial homes and visit the See, in which the paintings lining the vaults were authored by Nasoni.

Climb the 686 steps that lead visitors to the top of the Shrine. Nasoni also designed some of the baroque works that decorate this set, including a gorgeous granite fountain located just outside the shrine.

You will see that the effort of climbing the baroque staircase is well worth it. Because of the beauty of the monument itself - the granite gives in to movement, the woodcarving is coated with gold, the tiles are replete with white and blue - but also because of the panoramic view presented to those who reach the top. Stop for a few moments to enjoy the view.

Pinhão

Head to Pinhão, about 65 km from Amarante, on the right bank of the Douro river and in the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region. Have lunch in one of the many hotel units built into the landscape, which is dominated by old estates and large terraced vineyards.
Once in Pinhão, visit the beautiful, tile-decorated railway station from which you can go on a nostalgic train ride through the Douro Valley.

Tua Valley

Start your Tua Valley tour with a stroll along a section of railway line, known as one of the most beautiful railway lines in the world. Find out more about the history, heritage and local traditions with a visit to the Roman baths of São Lourenço and the castle of Ansiães. And recharge your batteries with a traditional snack in the village of Tralhariz.

Completed in 1880, the Tua railway line was built in the steep rock and within a few years it might be submerged by the recently approved dam for the Foz-Tua region. The Tua river, which flows 100 meters above sea level, is flanked by cliffs reaching heights of 676 meters and granite blocks with hundreds of meters in diameter. When you come back to the Douro, it is possible that the landscape has already changed.

Need help planning your trip to Douro, in the North of Portugal? Get in touch with us! We can give you several suggestions, such as where to stay overnight, what are the best restaurants and the most representative dishes in the regional cuisine, and also give you the best tips to make the most of your stay in Porto and the North of Portugal.

Accept our travel itinerary for the region and discover the best that Porto and the North of Portugal have to offer. Contact us so that we can help you prepare the perfect holidays in our region.

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