The Douro Valley, home of Port, is one of the oldest and most beautiful wine regions in the world. Wine has been made here for 2000 years and since 2001, it has been a Unesco World Heritage site, protecting its long tradition of viticulture and outstanding cultural landscapes.
The Douro wine region is located in the North-East of Portugal, between Barqueiros and Mazouco, on the Spanish border. The upper Douro Valley lies about 100 kilometers inland from the coast and is protected from the harsh Atlantic winds by the Marão and Montemuro mountains.
The region is mountainous and the majority of vineyards are planted on terraces, many supported by ancient dry-stone walls, creating striking landscapes.
See below for wine and food tours in the region, grape guides, things to do and much more!
The closest airport to the Douro region is Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, which is about 15 km from the centre of Porto. Arriving at the airport in Porto, you will be able to rent a car. You should then get on the A4 motorway and follow the directions to Amarante or Vila Real (+/- 95 km).
You can also travel by train. At the airport there is a Metro station (tube station), line E, which will take you to the Campanhã train station in about thirty minutes. There you can take the train to Régua (Douro Valley centre).
There is also an airfield in Vila Real where you can take a flight to the Lisbon airport or to Bragança airfield. Trips are regular but not necessarily frequent.
Portugal’s currency is the Euro. £1 is currently worth approx 1.12 Euro and 1$ is currently worth approx 0.86 Euro cents
May or June is the perfect time for good weather and beautiful landscape colours. September and October is harvest and is also a good time for a wine trip.
2-3 days are just enough to get a flavour of the region, but to explore it more in depth a week tour is the best if combined with the historic cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia and some visits and tastes of Vinho Verde (between Douro Valley and Porto city).
Essência do Vinho (Essence of wine festival): A wine tasting event, where the top ten Portuguese wines are selected by a renowned international jury. Find it at Palácio da Bolsa (the Stock Exchange).
Easter: Visiting Porto during Easter is a magical time. Not only does the city transform into a colourful delight, but your palate will be wooed by all the gastronomic treats.
Serralves em Festa (Serralves Festival): One of the largest contemporary arts festivals in Europe.
The festival of St John (Festa de São João) June 23rd
A wonderful, crazy festival all about street music and barbecues. Walk the streets with a plastic hammer hitting people on the head! An amazing fireworks display ends the celebrations.
Regata dos Rabelos (Rabelo Boat Races): Every year, in late June, you can watch the rabelos (wooden sailboats) that used to transport port wine down the river, sail again in these races.
Rhythms of the World Festival (Festival Ritmos do Mundo) in Gaia.
A stunning Portuguese and Brazilian adventure through music, workshops, exhibitions, food and drink and much more.
São Pedro da Afurada on 29th June, Vila Nova de Gaia
Saint Peter (Pedro), was the patron Saint of fishermen and his day is celebrated with fireworks, street parties and processions in Afurada, Vila Nova de Gaia.
The International Printmaking Biennial of Douro
A festival of beautiful graphic work, celebrating Douro artists from around the world. Usually takes place from August to October.
The Douro Jazz festival: One of the best , most iconic jazz festivals in Europe, bringing in musicians from all over the world.