A wine region worth discovering- the Douro Valley

26. Oktober 2016 • News • Views: 187

Looking for a weekend getaway in Europe– the Douro Valley in the northern part of Portugal is always a good choice. The scarcity of tourists and not too large countryside make the hinterlands a perfect place to let your body and soul relax for a few days. Departing from Porto and driving alongside the Douro river, it is only a one-and-a-half-hour to Pinhão, the heart of the Douro Valley. A prolonged weekend of three to four days is ideal for this roundtrip, especially in early autumn when the Portuguese climate will depict its best side.

If you have enough time you should consider an overnight stay in the Monverde Hotel in Amarante. It is a lovely spa hotel surrounded by vineyards. The interior design and art reveals that it is owned by a local wine producer, Quinta da Lixa – famous for its Vinho Verde.The hotel amazed with its beautiful architecture and numerous cottages where you can spend calm nights with the impression to sleep in the middle of the vineyard.

View from the balcony at the Monverde Hotel

View from the balcony at the Monverde Hotel

 

Heading further east towards Vila Real, you will arrive at the Alto Douro area. Following the winding streets to Pinhão you can see the beauty of this place. Steep vineyards and breathtaking views contribute to the unique atmosphere. As mentioned earlier, the winemaking tradition of this area makes it a place worth to visit. As the viticulture dates back over 2’000 years, this region unquestionably deserves its nomination as World Heritage Site in 2001. The nearby Quinta do Seixo, owned by Sandeman, offers a scenic view over the Douro river while tasting a selection of port wine. Internationally known wine houses attract people from US to Australia.

View from Quinta do Seixo

View from Quinta do Seixo

 

On the way back to Porto, I highly recommend to having lunch at DOC in Folgosa. The Restaurant serves a modern interpretation of traditional Portuguese food and offers an open terrace to the douro river. Their wine list offers a perfect selection of both international and regional winemakers. Due to the warm temperatures I choosed a local white wine named “Guru” – reminds me of a white burgundy, full- bodied with a good acidity and 12% alcohol.

Lunch at DOC in Folgosa

Lunch at DOC in Folgosa

 

Finally, Porto was the last stop of the Portugal trip. In line with the winery tradition, where grapes were shipped from the vineyards, down the Douro river until they reached the large warehouses of Porto.

View of Porto from the Yeatman Hotel

View of Porto from the Yeatman Hotel

 

Where to eat:

Lunch:

Restaurante DOC

Estrada Nacional 222

Folgosa

Phone: +351254858123

 

Dinner:

Restaurante ODE Porto Wine House

Largo do Terreiro 7

Porto

Phone: +351913200010

 

 

Where to stay:

Hotel Monverde

Quinta de Sanguinhedo

Telões

Phone: +351 255 143 100

 

Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel

Largo de São Domingos 45-55

Porto

Phone: +351 223 402 740

 

 

What to do:

Drinks:

The Yeatman Hotel

Rua do Choupelo

Vila Nova de Gaia

Phone: +351 22 013 3100

 

Wine Tasting:

Quinta do Seixo

Valença do Douro

Tabuaço

Phone: +351 22 783 8104

 

Art& Culture:

Vila Real – Casa Mateus

Fundação da Casa de Mateus

5000 VILA REAL

Phone: +351 259 323 121

 

Porto- Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves

Rua D. João de Castro, 210

4150-417 Porto

Phone:  +351 226 156 500

Scenic Drives:

Road N323 from Vilarinho de São Romão to Pinhão

Road N222 from Pinhão to Peso da Régua

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