Recommendations for the Douro Valley
August 22, 2013 2:07 PM   Subscribe

We have ten days to explore the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, seeking any recommendations for good places to visit, stay, eat.

We are carnivores and enjoy wine so no problems there. We like some activity, walking, cycling, etc, nothing extreme. interested in a bit of history, good views and finding out about and stuffing down quality local food and booze.
posted by biffa to Travel & Transportation around Portugal (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We stayed at the Casa da Levada in Travanca do Monte on the recommendation of another Mefite. It's a lovely village, a BEAUTIFUL property with nice views and the hosts are very friendly. The only thing I will say is that the nearest restauraunt is in Amarante, although the hosts will prepare a very nice dinner for you on request (it does cost extra). The last night we were there we had dinner at the house with some British tourists and got very drunk talking about the Napoleonic wars, it was a good time. :)

We were only in the area very briefly but Amarante was nice, and we had a good time just wandering around there, what with the food, pastries (oooh the pastries), a nice cloister, pretty bridge, etc. IIRC there's also a fairly nice modern art museum in the center of town.

Although we had a great time up there I have to say it's Lisbon I really miss. Got to get back there sometime!

Oh, and: rent a narrow car. :)
posted by selfnoise at 2:28 PM on August 22, 2013

We really loved the Quinta de la Rosa in Pinhao, although the other place in Pinhao gets rave reviews apparently.
posted by semacd at 2:40 PM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just stayed at Quinta do Vallado in Regua in July, it's a vineyard and they have a winery which you can tour. It's a modern operation but they still make some of their wines the old fashioned way (foot stomping). There's a modern section of the hotel and an older section, we stayed in the modern section and it was a lot more luxurious than we expected. The food in the restaurant was great as well.

Regua has a Douro wine museum which was interesting. We ate at the Restaurant Gato Preto (black cat) and really enjoyed it. If you're an adventurous eater and they have the "tripas" on the menu order it - it's a hearty tripe stew and it was excellent.

We took a boat from Porto to Regua, stayed 3 nights at Quinto do Vallado. The boat trip from Porto to Regua was ok - but the boat trip from Regua to Pinhao was really out of this world. The views from the water are really unbeatable. We also took a train to see Tua, and then took a train back to Regua.

I definitely recommend Pinhao, it was beautiful and there are LOTS of great wineries nearby. Quinta do Noval was one we visited and really enjoyed - the restaurant there also had great food and great views. When you're tired of tasting all that wine there is a tidal beach on the river in Pinhao which is lovely if the weather is nice. Also, visit the train station even if you don't travel by train. It is covered in beautiful tile work. There was also a cool outdoor market at the dock the day we arrived, but I'm not sure if that's an every day thing.

Have a great time!!
posted by amelliferae at 4:06 PM on August 22, 2013

Thanks for the great suggestions all. Sun has just gone down behind the hill west of Pinhao awhile I sat smoking a cigar, quaffing port and then washing down with super bock ( yeah, yeah, classy I know). Quinta Rosa was unavailable so we are in a hotel above the town and quite cosy. Sunday lunch at Quinta da Nova was excellent. Most likely we will do a local boat trip tomorrow then maybe boat from Regua back to Porto at the end of the week. Will check out pinhao fluvial beach when we get the chance. Going well so far.
posted by biffa at 11:49 AM on September 9, 2013

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