The best Douro viewpoints: breath-taking natural scenery
Tips and Suggestions
Now, it is not possible for us to travel, but we can dream and plan. And why not start, as soon as security conditions allow so, through a wonderful route to the viewpoints of the Alto Douro Region? Here, the landscapes are unique and ravishing, with stunning breath-taking scenery. Get away from the crowds and leave - by car, train or boat - towards the Douro Wine Region, where, in the unique beauty of its landscape, one of the most famous nectars of the Gods is produced: Port wine. Be inspired by nature and enjoy!
Discover the most spectacular views of Douro:
The term Alto Douro (Higher Douro) refers to the 2 banks of the Douro River in the districts of Vila Real and Bragança and became official in 1756 after the creation, by the Marquis of Pombal, of the General Company of Agriculture of the Alto Douro Wines. The lands of the Douro Wine Region are majestically characterized by the terraced vineyards in an amphitheater, the traditional Wine Estates that extend along the banks of the Douro River and the bucolic valleys and the rocky escarpments of the mountains. Pinhão is the major wine producing center in the Douro region, while Régua is its commercial center. When travelling through this region, one is always attracted not only by the beautiful and unique natural landscape, but also, by the originality of the humanmade landscape.
In the Alto Douro Region, visitors will find some of the most beautiful natural viewpoints in the country, from where they can observe amazing and impressive artistic aspects of the Portuguese landscape. Come get to know them:
São Leonardo de Galafura viewpoint: "Nature in Excess"
Peso, Galafura, Poiares, Loureiro, Moura Morta and Vinhós or, more precisely, Baixo Corgo make up a pleasant sequence of natural viewpoints. The city of Régua overlooks the Douro River and faces a chain of hills where, over the years, human labor, has built Portugal’s most beautiful agricultural amphitheater. Here you´ll see millions of vineyards arranged in beautiful terraces which normally belong to “Quintas” or Wineries/Wine Estates.
Next to one of the roads that go down from Vila Real to Régua is where we find the São Leonardo da Galafura Viewpoint. From here, better than from anywhere else, one can appreciate the splendid landscape of the Douro Wine Region, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Miguel Torga, Portuguese poet, was passionate about this place - so much so that he dedicated a poem to it, entitled “São Leonardo da Galafura”, which is today written on the façade of the church we can find here. For the poet, this 640m high viewpoint is not a panorama that our eyes behold: it is for him «Nature in Excess».
Casal de Loivos: an unique view over the Douro
Another great viewpoint of the landscapes of the Douro Wine Region. It is located to the north of Pinhão, being accessible by road. The panorama is intense and sublime, having been considered by the prestigious BBC as one of the most beautiful views in the world. A real inspiration!
São Salvador do Mundo Viewpoint: the perfect harmony between Man and Nature
The São Salvador do Mundo viewpoint is located on the left bank of the Douro River in the heart of the Douro Demarcated Region, next to the road that connects São João da Pesqueira to the Valeira Dam. The site consists of an imposing granitic cone with an altitude of 493 meters and with a steep slope towards the river. From this viewpoint the main panoramic sight is of the Douro River´s Valley and its tributaries, creating a landscape of great beauty, complemented by the huge rugged and robust slopes that contrast with the vineyards, olive trees and orchards. In the background there is a glimpse of the Valeira Dam and the historic Cachão da Valeira, famous for being the place where Baron of Forrester died.
The view from this point is magnificent, allowing a unique and intense perspective on the Douro River, the Valeira Dam and the surrounding landscape.
Next to the viewpoint is the Santuário do Salvador do Mundo (Sanctuary of the Savior of the World), a group of 10 chapels, most of them from the 16th century, nestled on a rock overlooking the Douro, where silence is total and Nature is dense, something you´ll find grandiosely unique. The Sanctuary was traditionally sought after by girls who wanted to get married because, according to the legend, if they knotted existing broom flowers, they would easily find a good groom to marry.
Douro Valley oozes peace and serenity and hides truly idyllic landscapes. Check out our Cruise and Tour options to discover the true essence of the Douro.