Douro Valley Tours
Douro Valley Day Trip from Porto
One of the best activities to do during a trip to Portugal is a guided tour in the Douro region. At the same time, you will get the chance to enjoy some chocolate or cheese with your Port Wine.
Many visitors feel disorientated when deciding which wineries they should visit or what to do in this valley. We organize all the information for you!
Where is the Douro Valley?
The Douro Valley is home to the River Douro. That is located in the northeaster of the country. This river rises in the Urbión Mountains in the north of Spain at around 2000 meters. It is the second-largest river in Portugal, with 897 kilometers (557 mi).
The region is sheltered from Atlantic winds by the Marão and Montemuro mountains. It has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and cold winters.
What does the word the Douro mean?
It means Gold. The river means River of Gold.
When is wine harvest season in the Douro Valley?
That is the most beautiful time of the year in the Douro Valley! Although we don’t know when the harvest will be! Harvesting begins in August or September and continues until the beginning of October. The weather can change the harvesting. For example, in 2016, the crop was in August!
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.
Although today, many wineries use mechanical methods for crushing grapes with fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The traditional way has not been completely abandoned.
The must 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 of the 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?
September and October are best for seeing the harvest, although the exact times vary each year slightly. The most colorful year is October to early November when the vines turn orange, red, and purple. After the vine pruning, spring can be a quiet time to visit where nature comes back to life after often surprisingly cold winters.
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?
The best is to take the train from Lisbon to Porto. The train will take you from Lisbon Santa Apolónia Station to Porto Campanha Station in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Once in Porto, you will have our private pick-up to the Douro Valley. Why? Because that is more comfortable than the urban train from Porto to the Douro Region.
For Tailor-Made Tours in Portugal, please get in touch with us.
What to do on the Douro Valley Tours?
- 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. And, what is possible on your next tour in Portugal.
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. For a FREE trip, consultation contacts us.
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
This small-group tour is limited to eight travelers for personalized attention from the guide: amazing day trip Walking Tours, book online.
- Full-day Douro Valley tour from Porto with an expert guide;
- Enjoy a lunch of typical Douro cuisine at a renowned local restaurant;
- Visit two traditional wine estates in the heart of the Douro valley for a wine tasting;
- Learn about the history, culture, and people of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro region;
- Explore a whole typical village and taste local products.
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, going 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.
That is included the transfer from your hotel to Braga or Porto and Porto Train Station.
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.
Walking in Portugal
Portugal is a fantastic destination to explore on foot.
With one-of-a-kind history and culture, fantastic gastronomy, and a perfect climate, we provide a fun holiday experience for everyone! With only three easy hikes in distances running from 5 miles per day. This tour offers a great blend of walking and wine!
- Small group tours in Portugal. Personalize service! Maximum group size of 6 travelers.
- Guided Hiking Tour in the Douro Valley. Located in Northern Portugal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first wine region demarcated in the world in 1756.
- Discover ancient wine cellars in the Douro Valley Tours (full day with lunch and wine tasting).
- 1 Hands-on cooking class 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 town.
- 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 a luxury service 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 valley is authentic Portuguese jewelry. Nature works together with the man—creating the perfect combination to give life to the Douro region, primarily rural and concentrated in the wine industry.
The area carried to the four corners of the world for the success of the wines produced here. More specifically, the remarkable Port Wine. This title was given unanimously, rewarding the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
It was bounded by “Marquês de Pombal” in 1756. Its privileged sun exposure with a distinguished local clime together with the hard work of Douro people.
It’s a unique landscape! The quality of its wines and fertile soil were big reasons. That led Douro to be considered a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2001. The Douro is an admirable example of how the man worked the vines’ terraces to grow — intervening in the landscape without invading it.
Portuguese wine is so much more than Port Wine! Discover excellent wine produced in Portugal — from Vinho Verde to Peninsula de Setúbal — in this uniquely accessible, entertaining guide. Read our eBook: Portuguese wine.