If you’re visiting Porto, Portugal’s second city, it’s almost obligatory to sample its famous port wine. But why not delve a little deeper into heart of the region’s vineyards, following the river which flows through the picturesque Douro valley? Further inland, the scenery changes and there are different treats for the traveller, such as prehistoric rock art and medieval castles.
I’ve designed this itinerary for 6-7 days but it can be adapted to suit specific interests, budgets and your preferred pace of travel. The aim is to help you explore the vibrant riverside city of Porto, learn about port wine, visit the vineyards it comes from and taste other Douro wines, as well as discovering a little more about Portugal’s history and diverse countryside.
Arrive in Porto by plane or train and spend a day or two getting to know the city’s highlights and secrets. Go on a tasting tour at one of the Port wine cellars to get you in the mood for your trip down the river. Explore the city with a private guide, a Segway tour, a tour bus or tourist train or put on some comfortable shoes and lose yourself in the narrow streets of the Ribeira district. Spend some time indulging your interests, whether they be art, history, shopping or relaxing. Just tell me what you like and I can give you tips on the best places to go.
Take a cruise down the Douro River on a traditional wooden rabelo boat as far as Pinhão where you can stay overnight on a wine estate after a tour of the vineyards and tasting session.
Next stop is Foz Côa, a beautiful area where you can find prehistoric rock art in situ. Visit the architecturally brilliant museum and take a walking tour to one of the major sites. With enough notice, you can arrange a night tour.
Back on the water, this time on a private boat as far as Barca d’Alva with scenic stops, port wine and a traditional Portuguese lunch. End the day in a luxury complex of restored stone cottages in the historical village of Marialva. Explore the village and the surrounding area on foot, bike or horseback or just relax by the pool.
Return to Porto by boat or by train and see the city lights from a night cruise with dinner.
Originally from England, I started travelling in 1997 and since then, I've lived in six different countries and travelled independently to around 30 so I'm very experienced in researching and planning trips. After organizing several trips for friends and family who've visited me in various countries over the years, I've also become good at finding special places and things that others will love and would never normally find out about. And that’s exactly what I’d like to do for you - build a trip to Portugal that’s tailored to your preferences combined with my insider knowledge of the country and its hidden treats. I moved to Portugal in 2007 and love it so much I have no intention of leaving. Apart from the generally great weather, it’s a fascinating country full of odd traditions like the masked characters that run wild in villages during lent. I enjoy exploring my adopted country and use every opportunity I get to travel around Portugal, taking lots of photos, trying the food and getting to know its culture, countryside and history. I live in the centre of Portugal, which is a great base for making short trips to other parts of the country. I've spent a lot of time getting to know Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra and have been gradually discovering the highlights and off-the-beaten-track treasures of the entire country. When I'm back home, I share my experiences and tips for travellers on my blog, <a href="http://juliedawnfox.com/" target="_blank" >Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal</a>, and use my insider information to help other people make the most of their time in Portugal by designing customised itineraries. Let me know if you'd like me to create one for you. Full profile ⋅ Leave a Review
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