Douro Valley Tours
Douro Valley Day Trip from Porto
Experience the enchanting Douro Valley with our exclusive small group and private tours. Embark on a remarkable day trip from Porto or Braga, where you’ll discover the hidden treasures of this picturesque region. Indulge in delectable chocolates and cheeses while savoring the renowned Port Wine. Eliminate the confusion of choosing wineries and activities, as we expertly curate all the information for you. Join us for an unforgettable journey through the Douro Valley.
Where is the Douro Valley?
Nestled in the northeastern part of the country, the magnificent Douro Valley stretches along the course of the River Douro. This stunning landscape begins its journey from the lofty Urbión Mountains in northern Spain, descending over 2,000 meters before meandering through Portugal. Spanning an impressive 897 kilometers (557 mi), the Douro River proudly claims its position as the second-largest river in Portugal.
Protected by the Marão and Montemuro mountains, the region enjoys a sheltered haven from the Atlantic winds. The Douro Valley boasts a Mediterranean climate, gracing its visitors with scorching summers and crisp winters.
What does the word Douro mean?
It means Gold. We believed this river had gold, but the small rocks had low values.
When is wine harvest season in the Douro Valley?
The harvest season in the Douro Valley is a breathtaking spectacle that captures the essence of beauty. While the exact timing of the harvest remains uncertain, it typically unfolds between August and October. With its ever-changing whims, nature plays a significant role in determining the exact start and duration of this magical period.
The weather holds the key to this delicate dance of grape picking. In specific years, such as 2016, the harvest arrived as early as August, surprising both locals and visitors alike. This unpredictability adds to the allure of the experience as the Douro Valley adapts to the whims of Mother Nature, resulting in unique and remarkable vintages.
How is Port Wine Made?
At the wine estates, carefully chosen bunches of grapes are taken to the Lagares, or stone treading tanks where they are trodden by foot.
Today, many wineries use mechanical methods for crushing grapes with fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The traditional way has not been completely abandoned.
The most that will eventually become Port is fermented. It is precisely the same way as any other wine until it reaches the desired degree of sweetness. The fermentation process is arrested by adding grape spirit at 77% by volume. This spirit must comply with strict quality controls and be approved in advance by the Port Wine Institute.
After fermentation, Port Wine traditionally stays in the Douro Valley for one winter after making the cold temperatures encourage the wine and brandy to marry.
The following spring, most young wine is transported by road from the Douro Valley to Vila Nova de Gaia. A town located on the south bank of the River Douro opposite the City of Porto.
Before 26 June 1986, all ports had to be shipped from Vila Nova de Gaia. Since then, new laws have opened the way for Port Wine to be sold directly from the vineyards.
What kind of trees are in the Douro Valley?
The most common trees in Portugal are grapevines, oak trees, olive trees, orange trees, almond trees, and pine trees.
Extraordinary detail about the cork. Cork is extracted from the oak tree for the first time after 25 years!
After that initial frame, the tree renews itself every nine years, offering cork to work, repeating that ritual around 15 times throughout its lifetime. One tree can live for 160 years. The number refers to the year of harvest. For example, if you see one tree with the number 8, the last harvest was in 2018, and the next will be in 2027.
Where do cork trees grow in Portugal?
The cork oak is more concentrated in the south and center of Portugal, where the summers are long and dry.
Read here: cork gifts from Portugal.
Pine Tree in Portugal
You can see a pine forest during your hike and see lots of trees with bags of something attached. It is a tree sap (resin). That is not maple syrup!
What is pine resin used for in Portugal?
It is used for medicine (cough syrup or candy), perfume, body lotion, turpentine (a flammable substance used for coating objects), varnish, paint, and cleaners.
What is the Best Time to Visit Duoro Valley?
For an extraordinary experience, plan your visit between September and October, when the harvest season is in full swing. While the precise timing may vary slightly from year to year, this period offers a captivating glimpse into the vineyards’ bustling activity.
To witness nature’s breathtaking transformation, don’t miss the enchanting spectacle of October to early November. As autumn unfolds, the vine leaves burst into a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues, displaying a mesmerizing palette of oranges, reds, and purples. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the valley’s extraordinary beauty.
Alternatively, embark on an idyllic journey during the tranquil springtime, following the vine pruning. Experience the rejuvenation of nature as it emerges from surprisingly cold winters. The Douro Valley awakens, revealing a sense of serenity and renewal, providing a perfect backdrop for contemplation and exploration.
Whether you seek the bustling energy of harvest season or the serene revival of spring, the Douro Valley offers a wealth of captivating experiences throughout the year.
What are the Best Vineyards in the Douro Valley?
We strongly recommend these vineyards because of wine tourism, landscape, accommodation services, and tasting rooms.
- Quinta do Seixo
- Quinta de La Rosa
- Quinta do Pôpa
- Quinta do Bomfim
- Quinta da Pacheca
- Quinta do Vallado
- Quinta do Crasto
- Quinta Nova
- Quinta da Roêda
- Quinta das Carvalhas
How strict is the legal buying or drinking age in Portugal?
The legal age in Portugal to buy and drink alcohol is 18 years. The wineries and cellars offer special packages for children. Contact us for more details.
Which cities or villages in the Duoro Valley will we visit during these tours?
Regua, Pinhao, and Lamego.
Our favorite village is Pinhao, situated in the Douro’s heart, classified by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This village is located on the right bank of the River Douro. Pinhao is the center of the demarcated port wine region, with the most diverse and famous port wine-producing estates.
Admire a fantastic view of the vineyard-covered slopes. Visit the Pinhao historic railway station, one of the most exemplary of the Douro, with its impressive 24-tile panels showcasing the region’s landscapes and wine tradition.
Where to stay in the Douro Valley
The best villas are Pinhao and Regua. We can book a villa with a pool, a spa hotel, a wine hotel, a luxury hotel, or a small Quinta. If you want a budget, please get in touch with us without any cost.
How to get from Lisbon to the Douro Valley?
When planning a journey from Lisbon to the captivating Douro Valley, the most convenient option is to take the train to Porto. Start your adventure by boarding a train at Lisbon Santa Apolónia Station, which will transport you to Porto Campanha Station in approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes. This efficient and comfortable train ride allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic views along the way.
Upon reaching Porto, we offer a seamless transition with our private pick-up service that will transport you directly to the Douro Valley. This personalized transfer ensures a smooth and hassle-free journey from Porto to the enchanting region of the Douro. We prioritize your comfort and convenience, which is why we recommend this private transfer.
For those seeking tailor-made tours and unforgettable experiences throughout Portugal, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We specialize in creating customized itineraries that cater to your specific preferences and interests. Let us craft a remarkable journey for you, showcasing the very best of Portugal’s charm and beauty.
What are the main attractions and highlights of a Douro Valley Small Group Tour?
- Explore the Douro Region during a guided walking tour;
- Discover the Douro’s history in its Port Wine Museum;
- Eat the local food at a winery, and a Portuguese Chef prepares this lunch;
- Take a boat trip from Porto to Douro River and discover its beautiful landscapes;
- Stay at a Boutique Hotel or Villa in the Douro Valley;
- Visit different wineries and taste the Port Wine.
No one knows better than you what you want. But our staff has the experience and knowledge to show what is available.
Get in touch with us and let us know your plans if you would like us to customize an exclusive tour for you. We offer luxury wine and food tours for private groups of a minimum of 2 travelers. All of our private driver tours are available year-round upon request.
How many dams and locks are on the Douro River?
This river was once dangerous and wilder. Now, with a series of hydroelectric dams.
In Portugal, the Douro has 5 dams: Crestuma – Lever Dam, Carrapatelo Dam, Bagaúste Dam (Régua Dam), Valeira Dam and Pocinho Dam.
In Spain, the Douro has 5 more dams: Castro, Villalcampo, San José, Los Rábanos and Cuerda del Pozo.
Are you looking for the Douro Valley Tours?
Check here our Holidays to Douro Valley, Portugal.
Wine Tour Douro Valley, Portugal 1-Day
Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of the Douro Valley, Portugal’s renowned wine region, with our exclusive 1-day private tour. Among Portugal’s 29 wine regions, the Douro stands as the most celebrated and oldest, boasting terraced hillsides and deep valleys that have garnered UNESCO World Heritage recognition. Embark on a journey that will indulge your senses with the finest Port wines and table wines produced from this exceptional terroir, recognized and awarded on a global scale.
Our intimate small-group tour, limited to just eight travelers, ensures personalized attention from our knowledgeable guide, making this an unforgettable day trip filled with remarkable experiences. Set off on a captivating walking tour, taking in the breathtaking landscapes and absorbing the rich history and culture of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro region.
Savor the flavors of Douro cuisine with a delightful lunch at a renowned local restaurant, immersing yourself in the region’s authentic culinary traditions. Visit a traditional wine estate nestled in the heart of the Douro Valley, where you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in wine tastings, discover the remarkable nuances and flavors that this fertile land has to offer.
As part of our comprehensive experience, you’ll also have the chance to explore an entire typical village, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the local way of life. Sample the finest local products, connecting with the region’s heritage and traditions in a truly immersive way.
Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to embark on a tailor-made journey through the Douro Valley. Book your amazing day trip today and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Hiking in Douro Valley
A day hike Douro Valley with Lunch and Wine Tasting
Come for the ports and wines, winding scenic roads, postcard-pretty villages, and excellent regional restaurants!
This Guided hiking offers easy walking while traveling up the Douro Valley. You are allowing us to explore the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions.
It is about a half-hour journey: the day starts in Pinhão, with an excellent view over the River of Gold. It is time to begin our hiking along the vineyards, olive, and fig trees.
The lunch will be in a small restaurant. After lunch, it is time to go along some of the region’s most beautiful paths until Pinhão. We will visit the train station, famous for its tiles. We will see a wine estate and taste the favorite Port wine to finish the day.
An excellent way to know the magnificent scenery of the Douro River. UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscape.
Difficulty: Easy. Duration: 1 day.
Boat Trip Porto to Douro Valley
Boat trips are an excellent way to get a series of views from a boat’s relaxing deck. Tours can range anywhere from an hour-long excursion to a two-day journey.
Many of the tours incorporate trains. It allows you to go downstream by boat and then return by train, or vice versa. There are a wide variety of trips catered to suit individual preferences.
Do you want to book a cruiser? Contact us!
The Douro Valley is a favorite destination for travelers visiting Portugal. Worldly recognized for the Port wine and river cruises, there’s plenty you can do. Here you have a 6-day tour in Portugal.
Portugal Vacation Package – 7 DAYS
Portugal is one of the trendiest destinations in travel. We can’t get enough of Portugal’s stunning natural vistas, jaw-dropping architectural wonders, and a seemingly endless supply of world-class food and wine! From the winding streets of Lisbon and Porto’s colorful character to the spectacular panoramas of Sintra and its fairy-tale palace.
The charm of Portugal is something you have to see to believe. Its historical position in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa brings this destination to life with a unique blend of Roman, Christian, and Moorish influences found nowhere else on Earth!
Enjoy the top attractions in sunny Portugal as you explore the must-sees of both Lisbon and Porto’s northern towns.
- Small-Group Tour groups are limited to 8 passengers.
- Enjoy a private guided city tour of Portugal’s capital, Lisbon.
- Explore Porto with a private guide.
- Full-day Douro Valley Tours with lunch and wine tasting (two glasses of Port Wine).
- With a private guide, visit Sintra, Nazaré, and Fátima.
Self-guided Wine Tour Porto to the Douro – Luxury Tour
5-Day self-guided holiday in Porto and the Douro Valley through the dramatic vine-filled landscape offers spectacular views of Pinhão. You can travel independently and enjoy a luxury service in the most famous wine region. Booking dates are flexible, and luxury service is available most of the year. In case of an emergency in Portugal, you can contact us 24 hours per day.
- Admire the views and wine in the Douro Valley.
- Enjoy the best trails in this Unesco World Heritage Classified region. Optional: Douro hiking tour. It is a self-guided hiking adventure in the best vineyard in this region.
- Learn more about the Port Wine when you visit the local wine cellars.
- Optional: Luxury Yacht Sailing along the Douro River. Private Sailboat Cruise.
Short History About The Douro Region
This remarkable valley is a testament to the harmonious collaboration between nature and mankind, resulting in an exceptional blend that has given life to a primarily rural area renowned for its thriving wine industry.
The fame of the wines produced in the Douro region has reached every corner of the globe, with the remarkable Port Wine standing out as its prized ambassador. This distinction comes as no surprise, as the Douro holds the esteemed title of being the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, a recognition unanimously bestowed upon it.
The journey towards this prestigious designation began in 1756 when the visionary Marquês de Pombal officially defined the region’s boundaries. The Douro’s favorable sun exposure, distinctive local climate, and the unwavering dedication of its people contributed to its success in the wine industry.
However, it is not just the exquisite wines that make the Douro region exceptional. Its landscape is truly one-of-a-kind, shaped by the ingenuity of human intervention while respecting the natural surroundings. The terraced vineyards, meticulously crafted by generations of winegrowers, exemplify the delicate balance between human cultivation and environmental preservation.
The Douro’s remarkable quality wines and its fertile soil played pivotal roles in its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. This prestigious accolade pays homage to the Douro as an exemplary model of how human interaction with the land can enhance and preserve the natural beauty of a landscape.
As you explore the Douro region, be captivated by its storied past, the craftsmanship of its winemaking traditions, and the awe-inspiring landscape that has earned it global acclaim. Immerse yourself in this living testament to the harmony between nature and human endeavor, a true masterpiece of Portugal’s cultural heritage.