Are These the 10 Most Charming Places in the Douro Region?
Besides its better known and popular side, the Douro region hides other natural beauties that do not always appear in tourist itineraries. And these may very well be the 10 most enchanting places in the Douro that you really must visit this year!
Peso da Régua
Situated in the most central part of the Douro, the city is considered the capital of the Demarcated Region and one of the most influential riverside towns in the Douro Wine Region. Between Porto and Pocinho, the city of Peso da Régua is worth a visit, both for its natural beauty, and for the places of great interest: the Douro Museum, the Solar do Vinho do Porto, the Casa do Douro, the viewpoint of S. Leonardo da Galafura, the Sete Esquinas Chapel, the Capela do Cruzeiro and the Alto da Fonte do Milho archaeological site.
In addition, its lovely pier overlooking Lamego is the embarkation and disembarkation place for most of the cruises that sail the Douro River daily. Peso da Régua has several farms that are dedicated to wine production and welcome visitors. Just make an appointment to taste some of the best Douro wines and typical products of the region.
Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
Another hidden treasure of the Douro is in Lamego. Very close to Régua, Lamego is the second largest city in the region, and has a number of vestiges from Roman times, so its greatest "tourist secrets" are almost all related to history, tradition and culture.
The fountains are, for example, a recommended place to visit in addition to the magical Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Built at the top of the hill, the Sanctuary provides a sublime view over the city. To reach the chapel at the top of the hill there are 686 steps. But you can rest easy because there are benches along the steps. Enjoy the weekend and take a trip to the Douro, passing through this charming town!
Carrazeda de Ansiães
To get here, we recommend taking the historic train trip on the Douro line, along the 46 kilometers that separate Peso da Régua from Tua. The journey is made having always on the horizon the landscape of the Douro River and the beautiful vineyards that are World Heritage by UNESCO.
Lovers of the outdoors have a special appreciation for its two tourist circuits: the Castle and Mills Tourist Circuit and the Castle and Douro Tourist Circuit. These circuits operate between March and September, are free of charge, but are limited to a minimum participation of eight visitors.
Miranda do Douro
Inhabited since the Bronze Age, Miranda do Douro was an important city in Roman times and the vestiges they left behind make it a cultural, social and religious reference. The streets are very narrow, but this turns out to be an advantage since you will be able to see and appreciate up close the ancient doors of 16th century houses that lead to the Cathedral.
Inside, appreciate the magnificent altarpieces and linger on the image of the Infant Jesus of Cartolinha. The former Convent of the Trinitarian Friars is now the Municipal Library. We told you there was a Douro to be discovered in these places!
Casal de Loivos Viewpoint
In the Douro Region you can find more than a dozen belvederes whose views promise to leave you completely awestruck. However, we have to choose one to integrate this list of 10 charming places and, this time, the choice falls on Casal de Loivos.
Located in the municipality of Alijó, the viewpoint has already been considered one of the most beautiful in the world by the BBC and has a privileged view over the terraced vineyards so characteristic of this region and over the villages dotted here and there by the slopes. From here you can also see the Douro River and its cruises crossing the calm waters.
Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley
The Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley, in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, hides a great prehistoric pearl of rock art in the open air. Also considered World Heritage by UNESCO, the park has 26 kilometers and more than 60 rock nuclei. These are rocks that hide secrets and centuries of history. All this in one of the places in the Douro where you can breathe nature.
This Archaeological Park also has a magnificent Museum, which you can admire on our fantastic cruise between Porto and Pocinho. Enjoy some of the most typical experiences in the Douro and have fun in a full day!
It is very likely that this is the first time you are reading this name. It is a village in the municipality of Tarouca that was, in 2011, classified as a Douro wine village. It is hidden, but, as this text aims to highlight, it is charming because it is located on the hillside that descends to the Varosa River and is a place with a great historical heritage.
The most important monument in Ucanha is its tower, which has earned the title of national monument, since in medieval times it was the main place of defense near the bridge, as well as serving as a checkpoint and toll collection station. There is also a fluvial beach here and our cruises pass through there. An example of this is our emblematic Douro Charming Cruise, which provides an authentic three-day trip through the best of the Douro, reserving some space in the itinerary for this remarkable place lost amidst incredible terraces!
Situated on the left bank of the Douro River, Pocinho is also one of the Douro's lesser-known places, but one that always attracts those who visit. Being a place with a breathtaking view of the Douro and its valley, Pocinho can also be discovered through the magnificent boat ride that passes by there.
The railway bridge is the most visible and, as a counterpoint, it also has very narrow alleys to walk. But beware: the hills of Pocinho cannot be seen in a car trip: only by boat, which gives it even more touristic exclusivity.
Home of one of the most delicious Moscatel wines in Portugal, Favaios is produced in the Douro, and more specifically in this village lost in the middle of the region that dates back to the Iron Age. Green, green and more green mark a landscape in which the voices you hear are so friendly that they will seem familiar to you.
Ah! And when you come here, we assure you that it will never be a once in a lifetime trip. The farms in this region are very proud of their history and offer unique and very typical experiences to those who want to get to know them, accompanied by good wine tasting and traditional music. There are also beautiful chapels and the Museum of Bread and Wine.
Bathed by the rivers Douro and Bestança, Cinfães is located in the district of Viseu. To close our Top 10, we could not escape from another region that, although hidden, tells us very old and charming stories.
The first people who inhabited the region would have been the Celts, whose mixture with other nomadic peoples would have resulted in the origin of the Iron Age Lusitanians. The first settlements resulted from the Roman conquest and today are connected by medieval roads and bridges in a surprisingly good state of preservation. The handicrafts include basketry, wooden or leather clogs, weaving, tinware, and hat making. And you can not leave, of course, without entering the Romanesque churches of Escamarão, Romanesque Tarouquela and São Cristóvão de Nogueira.