Best 3 Ways to Explore The Douro Valley

Douro

Get ready to explore the Douro, one of the most beautiful and enchanted places in Portugal. Douro is filled with breathtaking views where the river seems to be always the center piece. Discover amazing wine, produced in wonderful and awarded Quintas, vintage railways and stations , relaxing cruises and even two of the best driving roads in the world are located here.

Alto Douro Wine Region has been producing wine for 2000 years and it is the birthplace of the famous Port Wine. It has also been classified as a World Heritage Centre BY UNESCO in 2001.

There are three ways to visit the Douro and all of them will take you a full day; either by car, train or boat. They all will give you different views of the Douro, so if you can, do all of them.

By Car 

This is probably the most intimate way to discover Douro. You will be driving on one of the best driving roads in the world, the N222 that goes alongside the Douro river, discovering all the magnificent views and exploring all the Quintas and their wonderful wine accompanied with tasty tapas.

Following this guide, you will also have the opportunity to explore the most famous and beautiful viewpoints on all of Douro.

If you’re staying in Porto, it is a great idea to rent a car and explore this beautiful Portuguese region.

Beware that It is possible to travel through the Douro Region using the freeway, it will take you a lot less time but the views are close to none. So instead take the backroads, the famous N222 and enjoy some of the most scenic sights in the world

Road Trip in a Private Car with a Driver

If you are not feeling driving and exploring for yourself, but want to do the Douro in a car and especially in a private car, just for you, send us a message and we will send you a quote.

Road Trip starting point

Starting in Peso da Régua, one of the main cities alongside the Douro and the starting point for this road trip, until reaching Pinhão, the N222 will prove to you why it is considered one of the best driving roads in the world.

Use this city only as a reference, because there is not much to see and do here.

Road Trip Map

Click on the map to open on Google Maps

douro road trip map

Road Trip recommended stops

Eclusa da Barragem da Régua

Eclusa da Barragem da Régua

This is your first stop of this tour, the Eclusa da Barragem da Régua is a wonder of engineering. This dam was built to help the vessels to go up the River Douro and it is right in the middle of a magnificent view. It is also a great starting point to admire the Douro and get you ready for the views that are coming further ahead.

When you are done, enjoy the trip on the N222 until your next stop.

Wine Tasting

Quinta do Seixo
Quinta do Seixo

During your road trip, take the opportunity to stop in one of the most famous vineyards in Portugal. Quinta do Seixo, is an amazing Quinta do a wine tasting and even lunch, all while enjoying great views.

Take a look at their website to book your experience, to make sure that it is not fully booked when you reach there.

Website: Quinta do Seixo

Quinta do Bomfim

If Quinta do Seixo is not able to welcome you, a little ahead is the Quinta do Bomfim. Also a great experience and with the ability to have a picnic on the vinyards.

Website: Quinta do Bomfim

Quinta das Carvalhas

Another great option is this area is the Quinta das Carvalhas. Contact them to book your visit.

Website: Quinta das Carvalhas

Miradouro de Casal de Loivos

Miradouro de Casal de Loivos

After leaving the Quinta do Seixo, head above the city of Pinhao. There you will find the Miradouro de Casal de Loivos. This viewpoint is one of the most known of the Douro.

When you stop here and take a look for the first time at the Douro from a high position, you will be overwhelmed and feeling transported to another reality.

Miradouro de Vargelas

Miradouro de Vargelas

Waiting for you at the end, your last stop is the Miradouro de Vargelas. This viewpoint will literally take your breath away while you enjoy pure nature carved by mankind, in a very symbiotic way.

By Train

Douro train

If you like trains and especially vintage trains, the Douro has a great option. Old locomotives and coaches were restored in the last couple of years and even the tracks were closed for many years.

Now it is possible to travel alongside the Douro on vintage trains enjoying all the sightseeing.

Leaving everyday from Sao Bento Station, right at the center of Porto, there are even some days where the trip is done on an old steam train. Imagine doing the Douro at the sounds of those vintage trains.

Take a look at the website of the train company for the most up to date schedules.

Douro Historical Train

By Boat

Douro by boat

Another great option to give you an insight into the Douro, is do it by boat. There are several companies that depart every day and even include lunch and wine tasting.

Doing a cruze along the Douro will provide you with great views and you will be doing the route that the old ships transported the grapes and wine to Porto, to be made the great Porto Wine.

Check out this options for boat tours:

Staying in Douro

Staying in Douro is a great option even to visit Porto. If you have a car, you  can hop on Porto for a day and do our recommended Free Walking Tour.

And also, if you are staying in Douro, it is possible to even do the oher best driving road in the World, the N304. Read our guide here:

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