There is no better way to discover, understand and feel Douro Wines and Port than visiting its region of origin.
Travelling through the Douro Demarcated Region, the River Douro Valley, the wine-growing cities, towns and villages, a gratifying experience is guaranteed for both the wine-lover and the leisure traveler. The route passes through three emblematic places classified as World Heritage by UNESCO: the Historic Centre of Porto (1996), the Côa Valley (1998) and the Alto Douro Wine Region (2001).
In these places, visitors can contemplate a unique region where, in two of them, as poet Miguel Torga says, visitors can be dazzled by "the wonder of a landscape that ceases to be so as it is unmeasured".
A stroll through the city of Porto reveals remarkable historical architecture, several handicraft boutiques and impressive buildings and statues that capture and portray its history. Also, in the historic irreverence that has characterized it for centuries after its foundation, Porto today is bustling with new talents in cuisine and a vibrant and refreshingly diverse artistic offering. Crossing the River Douro from the Ribeira, "...an ancient cluster of houses...", as Rui Veloso sings, over the Luís I Bridge, one finds the famous Port cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. Here, travellers can experience a variety of different styles of this unique wine before heading up into the majestic Douro Valley.
The River Douro feeds the region's excellent terroir, which produces two Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) - Douro and Porto. As highlighted by Wine Enthusiast magazine, the Douro region offers visitors the opportunity to explore and experience ancestral practices, in a truly unique Mediterranean setting (Seven Best Wine Travel Experiences of 2020).
When travelling through the Douro Valley, one of the world's most emblematic tourist destinations, travellers can enjoy unique experiences based on Douro and Port wines and the local gastronomy in the quintas (estates), famous for their hospitality. But that's not all: this region of incomparable natural beauty, which includes 21 municipalities, spread over three sub-regions, Baixo Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior, also has much to reveal and offer to all those seeking relaxation, history, heritage or culture.
The centenary reputation of the Douro Valley has now become a destination for outdoor adventure: routes of silence, trails through the valley, ideal for mountain biking and hiking. Several local businesses rent bicycles and lead guided tours through vineyards, cork oak forests and historic wine villages. Many specialized travel companies offer tours lasting anything from an hour to a six-day journey starting in Porto and continuing via train across the Douro, crossing the oldest demarcated and regulated region in the world - the Douro Demarcated Region (1756). Some include a visit to the prehistoric rock engravings of Vila Nova de Foz Côa and end by rowing back to Porto on the River Douro. And what better way to explore this region than by immersing yourself in its terroir?
These days, everyone is eager to travel to get away from everyday life and take refuge in these parts. The Douro and Port Wine Route provides this opportunity: to disappear for a few days within a safe and healthy environment, to experience a unique region, famous throughout the world for its unrivalled beauty and wine heritage.
Because as Fernando Pessoa stated:
"After all, the best way to travel is to feel".
Rota dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto