Douro Valley: Portugal’s Stunning Wine Region Douro Valley: Portugal’s Stunning Wine Region

Douro Valley: Portugal’s Stunning Wine Region

The Douro Valley; one of Portugal’s most unique road trips. Snake your way across valleys, terraced vineyards, and mountains, on roads that have been awarded ‘World’s Best Drive’! From wine tasting to boat trips and panoramic views, the Douro valley will blow you away and is an absolute must-see on any Portugal travel route. Follow this travel guide for everything you need to know about the Douro Valley.

What is the Douro Valley?

The Douro Valley is one of the most stunning areas of natural beauty in the whole of Portugal. It runs from Porto all the way across to the border of Spain, and is the oldest wine region in the world! 

It is known for its amazing hillside vineyards that border the deep valley created by the Douro river. The warm summers, and countless hours of sunlight, also make it perfect for growing grapes and producing wine.

douro valley portugal

Experience a Wine Tour

One of the most popular things to do in the Douro Valley is to go on a wine tour. You can start these tours from Porto or book one yourself at one of the many wineries.

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You are taken to one of the traditional wine estates (Quintas) to learn about the production of wine, as well as enjoy wine tasting!

douro valley portugal wine tour

One of Douro Valley’s main products is the Port wine, but there are plenty of other local wines to learn about too. If you visit during the harvest in September, you can actually participate in the harvest itself: a unique experience in Portugal.

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Douro Valley: Portugal’s Stunning Wine Region

Other things to do in the Douro Valley

Tasting and learning about the Douro wines are the most popular reason to visit the Douro Valley. However, its high vantage points and amazing nature make it absolute heaven for those who want to hike, do adventure sports, or go on a beautiful road trip.

douro valley portugal wineries

Drive on Breathtaking Roads

We highly recommend hiring a car or a campervan in Portugal to explore all the amazing scenery the Douro Valley has on offer! Twisting roads snake their way up between vineyards and mountains to panoramic viewpoints across Portugal and Spain. We think this is one of the unique places to see in Europe!

douro valley portugal scenic roads

An absolute must-do on your drive through the Douro Valley is to drive along the road ‘Miradouro da Estrada Nacional 222’: a road voted ‘World’s Best Drive’! It is a 226 km long road. However, the road’s best part has to be between the two towns Peso de Regua and Pinhao.


Make sure to keep your eye out for multiple amazing viewpoints. For example, São Leonardo da Galafura, the most famous viewpoint in the region, sitting above patterned vineyards and the Douro River.

Another great viewpoint is the ‘Double Viewpoint De Loivos’ located here.

duoro valley portugal viewpoint

Go Hiking

The vineyards and hills surrounding the Douro River make it the perfect place for hiking! There are loads of hiking trails that snake their way around the valley for awesome views that can only be seen on foot. This is the perfect way to get into nature and enjoy the beauty of the region.

Tip: Temperatures can be very high in the summer, so it’s recommended to enjoy hiking in the cooler temperatures of the spring or the fall.

Discover the Douro River

The heart of the Douro Valley is the great Douro River itself. The perfect way to enjoy the views from the water is by taking a boat trip or kayaking.

Many of the wine tours from Porto often include a boat tour. However, if you are doing a self-guided itinerary, there are many great options to enjoy the river. See all Douro tours here.

How to get to the Douro Valley

The best way to explore the Douro Valley is by car or campervan so that you can enjoy the spectacular roads and viewpoints. Better yet, the Douro Valley is only a short 1 hr 15-minute drive from Porto. 

How to get to Douro Valley portugal

If you don’t want to drive a car, there are other ways of reaching the Douro Valley. Take the famous train route from Porto to Regua. The train is direct and takes just under 2 hours, with incredible river views throughout.

Organized Tour

The final option is to join an organized tour from Porto, which includes return transport. However, these tours are often busy and have a set itinerary which means you’ll only see a small part of the region.

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Where to Stay in the Douro Valley

We stayed at Quinta do Monte Travesso, where we did a wine tour and camped overnight. However, there are hundreds of beautiful Quintas to stay at throughout the huge region, so the options are endless.

The terraced vineyards and estates are also surrounded by lots of beautiful Portuguese villages. These are home to traditional B&Bs, which are great for a 2-night stay. 

Tip: Depending on how far you want to travel, consider staying in the charming town of Vila Nova de Foz Côa. It is located close to the border of Spain.

Best time to visit the Douro Valley

In order to see the landscape at its most luscious, visit during the spring months or in early autumn, September/October. Because the region has its own micro-climate, it’s extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter.


September is a really fun time to visit because of the harvesting season. However, it can be very busy, so make sure to book accommodation and tours well in advance. 

Blog comments (2)

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  • Rebecca


    I’m having a really hard time figuring out how to book a wine tour while staying in the Douro Valley (as opposed to Porto). I’m interested in doing one that includes lunch, a river tour, and grape stomping (date of travel: 10/6-7). It seems like everything I can find is with pickup from Porto. Do you have an advice?

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hey Rebecca, it could be worth contacting the tour group you’re interested in and seeing if they’ll pick you up en route. Alternatively, your accommodation may host their own full-day tours, so could be worth speaking with them. Hope you have an amazing time!

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