Douro Valley

Great Sights and Epicurean Delights at Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro Valley, Portugal is becoming one of the most fashionable wine stops in the world. Yet the tasty wine – specifically, port – that is produced in Douro isn’t the only thing that puts the region in the spotlight. Here, visitors get tipsy not only of the superb drink, but also of the intoxicating physical and cultural charms of the place.

The landscape of Douro in Portugal cannot be credited to nature alone, as the wine production activities have also helped contributed to the unique character of the area. Terraced vineyards blanket the countryside, while grapevines grow right to the edge of the Rio Douro. Lands have also been sculpted to make way for winery equipment and transportation, and quintas (estates) have been founded around wine factories. In addition, there are also manor houses perched next to quaint, ancient chapels on Douro’s high hills.

Not too long ago, Douro was one of Portugal’s best-kept secrets. Only a small number of tourists cruise along its winding roads for a quick getaway. Since 2000, however, the valley has been transformed into a popular tourist destination as the region’s top local winemakers united to boost its wine industry. This sped up the growth of the region’s tourism industry that revolutionized its 2,000-year old tradition of winemaking, and consequently placed Douro Portugal region on the world wine map.

Discovering the Spirit of Douro through Wine Tours

Tourists can soak up in this delightful tradition of winemaking through wine tours. Since the tourism industry in Douro started booming, wine tours have also improved from simple individual trips to organized and luxurious tour packages. Today, boutique hotels, burgundy swimming pools and luxury spas are now part of chauffeured wine tour packages. Of course, wine tours include “factory tours”, which allows tourists to partake in sampling of wines at distilleries.

Tourists will also surely be billeted in wine hotels, which are mostly located inside the quintas to offer guests a more authentic feel of the daily wine production activities. Even meals at these hotels are orchestrated to showcase the sublime and velvety flavors of port.

Douro Valley, Portugal: UNESCO Heritage Site

Wine making in Douro Valley Portugal area has been an important backbone of the region’s civilization that even villages, churches and other infrastructure have progressed because of the rich tradition and livelihood rooted from this activity

Douro Valley is honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of how its stunning landscape was shaped by its tradition of viticulture. The place delivers the criteria set by UNESCO, such as how the components of a landscape reflect the evolution of human activity over time and how it shows the relationship between people and their natural environment.

Even first-time visitors can clearly see how the valley’s villages, chapels, farm complexes, roads and terraces have all been constructed to be oriented towards winemaking. As tourists enjoy a sumptuous and unique meal amid such wonderful landscape, guests can agree that indeed, visiting Douro is a total sensory experience.

Douro Valley, Portugal can be reached by boat trip through the Rio Douro, or by train that is available daily at the Tamega Line, Linha do Corgo and Linha Tua.

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