What to visit, and how to travel through, the Douro Valley

This is a question that some of our readers ask me, and instead of replying on an email, I will make my suggestions here.

If you only have one day to visit the region, make sure you go to the Douro as early as possible. A car will help you moving around,  because one of the things that is hard to find in the Douro is public transportation. However, there is a train line that connects the Douro and Porto. The first train from Porto – Campanhã to Régua leaves Porto at 6.35am and gets to Régua at 8.52am. In total, you have 13 daily connections between Porto and Régua during a week-day and 12 on the weekend.

If you plan to go further east to Pinhão or Ferradosa, the first train from Porto is at 7.25am, arriving in Pinhão at 9.41am and in Ferradosa at 10.13am. To go back to Porto from Ferradosa, the last train is at 5.55pm and from Pinhão at 6.30pm, arriving in Porto Campanhã at 11.10pm. Trains’ timetables change often, not always for better, so please check CP – Comboios de Portugal site before starting your journey.

If you are traveling by train, you better schedule visits to wineries in advance and ask winemakers to pick you up, if they can. Otherwise, you will have to take a taxi. By bus, you can go from Régua to Lamego, from Régua to Pinhão and to S. João da Pesqueira, but there are very few buses that run everyday.

If you are in Régua, you must go to the Douro Museum. It is a very nice place where you can better understand the history of the region and its people. Take a look as well at the Casa do Douro building, which was once a very important organization in the regulation of Port Wine industry. Rota do Vinho do Porto may help you find wineries that are open to receive you.

Further East there is the small village of Pinhão. Due to its location, on the north bank of the Douro river, at the mouth of the Pinhão river, it has a very beautiful landscape, with plenty of Quintas to visit. You will find several famous wineries, but don’t forget to contact those you want to visit in advance to ensure that they’re ready to receive you. In Pinhão, right in front of the train station, you will find one of the nicest hotels in the Douro, The Vintage House.

If going to Ferradosa, located slightly farther east and nestled at the beginning of the sub-region of Douro Superior, you will also need to schedule your trip in advance. In Ferradosa there is no buildings or houses, but a very small train station, a nice restaurant located 10 minutes from the station and the most beautiful landscape in the Douro valley. It is a great place to see, but there are no taxis or buses at the station, and public transportation is poor to say the least. Again, call taxi or wineries prior to your visit so that they may pick you up. Ferradosa train station serves S. João da Pesqueira, the town where our winery and the most of our vineyards are located. Maybe because I’m from here, I consider this area to be one of the most stunning views in the Douro. That being said, you’re always invited to come check it out yourself!

There are plenty of other places you can visit, such as: São Salvador do Mundo, São Leonardo da Galafura or the city of Lamego, but to avoid making this post too large, leave your comments and I will try to help you organizing your trip to the Douro valley.

Oscar

20 Comments Added

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  1. Gunnar Ljunglof Monday March 28th, 2011 | reply
    Hi Oscar Thanks for the info. My wife and I are planning to go to Douro in september and are of course grateful for all the travel info we can get. We will have our base in Pinhao and do daytrips (with our own car) in the surrunding area. Regards // Gunnar
    • Oscar Quevedo Wednesday March 30th, 2011 | reply
      Hi Gunnar, Good to know you are planning to come over. Closer to the date let me know your plans and lets try to plan a visit to our winery. Send me an email to oscar at quevedo port wine dot com once you know your schedule.
      • Gunnar Ljunglof Thursday March 31st, 2011 | reply
        Hi Oscar Will do. Thanks.
      • Ewa Szawel Thursday October 5th, 2017 | reply
        Hi, I'm going to visit Ferradosa in 2 weeks. Could you recommend any place to stay for few days?
        • quevedo Thursday October 5th, 2017 | reply
          Hi Ewa, take a look at this page, they have a great location in the heart of Ferradosa area. http://loja.douro.biz/en_GB
  2. G-man Friday April 1st, 2011 | reply
    Looking forward to seeing you in may oscar!!
  3. G-man Saturday April 2nd, 2011 | reply
    Oscar, we're having trouble finding a reasonable place in porto that's not over 200 Euros a day, can you help? If we also wanted to visit the areas around, do you suggest we stay in porto and travel from there as day trips?
    • Oscar Quevedo Saturday April 2nd, 2011 | reply
      Hi G-man, take a look here https://www.hfhotels.com. Check the Hotel Tuela or Hotel Fenix, both are in the Boavista area, few hundred meters away from the metro, which is the best way to move around in Porto, and also close to Casa da Música. It's a nice neighbourhood. Take a look and if you don't like it we can check something else.
      • G-man Thursday April 7th, 2011 | reply
        Hey looks like we're probably visiting you the 12th of may. Would you be free and can we possibly arrange some transport with you? =)
        • Oscar Quevedo Friday April 8th, 2011 | reply
          Seems good. I'll be in the Douro so you can take the train from Porto and I can pick you up at Ferradosa train station.
  4. Catalina Friday August 17th, 2012 | reply
    Hello, Maybe you can help me plan my family's day trip to the Douro. We want to spend a day visiting the Douro, but because there is so many vineyards and Quintas we would love to have a recommendation on a couple of vineyards or Quintas. I particularly would like to visit a smaller vineyard and a larger one, just to see the contrast. We are thinking about renting a car and driving ourselves, although we are not sure if it would be best to enlist in a tour. Any recommendations on a place to have lunch along the way? We will be coming from Porto. THANK YOU
  5. Ericka Cotton Monday April 21st, 2014 | reply
    So glad I was referred to this website! My Mother and I are planning to visit Portugal in May with 2.5 days in Porto/Douro (including travel from Lisbon) I would love to get your recommendations on wineries to visit for the one-day excursion…should we go by boat into Douro and travel back by train or vise versa? We are not planning to rent a car, but would be open to a personal but reliable car/tourism vendor as well, depending on cost. Any advice? Thank you!
    • quevedo Monday April 21st, 2014 | reply
      Hi Ericka, thank you for your nice words. My suggestion is that you go by boat from Porto to Régua, visit Quinta de Santa Eufémia near by Régua (take a taxi, it's not too expensive) and go back to Porto by train. For the boat you can check http://www.barcadouro.pt/cruzeiros but there are others. Another option, as the boat take few hours is that you go by train. If so, you will have time to visit Museu do Douro in Régua and have lunch at Douro IN or Restaurant CP. Enjoy!
      • Ericka Cotton Monday April 21st, 2014 | reply
        This is great. I will research these options. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to get back to me so quickly. Cheers!
  6. Belj Wal Sunday March 4th, 2018 | reply
    Hello, We are planning a trip to Porto. We would like to visit wineries and villages in the Douro valley with a guide. Can you please suggest a local agency that can help us? Thank you. Walter
    • quevedo Monday March 5th, 2018 | reply
      Hi Belj, I suggest you take a look into www.catavino.net. Cheers, Oscar
  7. Lidia Nascimento Saturday April 13th, 2019 | reply
    Hello, Thank you for this post. I am super lost, and I am usually very good at planing. After reading a lot about the wineries, I was able to chose the ones that seems most interesting, but they seem to be far from one another. We decided to stay at the Quinta de La Rosa. I really wanted to visit Quinta do Vallado and Quinta do Crasto. My question is, how do I get from winery to winery? Is it realistic to plan to uber from one spot to the other?
    • quevedo Sunday April 14th, 2019 | reply
      Hi Lidia, there no Uber in the Douro. The best way, if you don't have anyone with you that wants to drive, is to take a taxi from winery to winery. Enjoy!
  8. Marsha Tuesday April 21st, 2020 | reply
    Hi Oscar, i have been searching endlessly for ideas and inputs for travels through the Douro Region. My husband told me that this is his biggest wish for his 40th Birthday, and i would like to take him for 4 full days. We are winemakers and therefore very itnerested in learning more about the region, also from a cultural perspective. Could you recomment how we shape our trip? We thought for now: arrive in Porto, train to Regua, get a drive and visit farms and villages until Pinhao (2 days), train to Ferradosa, stay there for 1 day, and then back to Regua. What can you suggest, from a travel perspective, to hotels, restaurants, any tipps are welcome. Like i mention we would like to do 4 full days. I am so greatful for your insider knowledge and thank you in advance.
    • Oscar Quevedo Wednesday April 22nd, 2020 | reply
      Good morning Marsha! First of course we'd be happy to receive you for a visit at our Quinta, we are in Sao Joao da Pesqueira, 10 mins from Ferradosa. The best part of the train ride is from Regua to Ferradosa for sure!! you'll see the landscape dramatically change and the views becoming more beautiful with each curve of the Douro. There is a lot to do in the Douro!! Regua is being transformed and slowly has more to offer in terms of quality experience for food and wine lover. There is a wine museum in Regua if you want to learn about the region and its history. Near the trains station, there are a few boutiques for wine and food. You can walk in the streets to discover the typical Douro atmosphere. Around Regua, there is Lamego, a nice city with a santuary. It is a good excercise to walk all the way up to enjoy the view. You can also get there by car. There are also a lot of Quintas offering tours, Lamelas, Pacheca, Vallado to name a few. Pinhao is a small but warm village in the middle of the Douro. The train station is beautiful and it is worth going by the river to have a beer and enjoy the beautiful view. There are a few restaurants worth there as well, I like very much Veladouro, simple grill food, but great quality. Around Pinhao there are a lot of Quintas as well, the most famous are Bomfim, Roeda, de la Rosa. De la Rosa offers are nice food experience at their restaurant too. If you want to visit small villages in the region, Favaios, Alijo, Provesende are good example. There is a nice view point in Casal de Loivos, all the way up behind Pinhao. Around Ferradosa, at the train station there is a restaurant if it can be useful. If you are in for a hike to see fantastic view on the Douro, you want to get to Sao Salvador del Mundo. Then if you'd like to visit our winery, please let us know and we can organize a visit and a tasting. Around what time of the year you would come? For with the current situation it is hard to make plans but let's hope for the best in a near future! If you have any other questions, do not hesitate. Regards

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