Located about 100 km from the city of Porto, the Douro Valley is the most famous wine-producing region of Portugal and arguably one of the top places for wine-lovers in all of Europe. It is the birthplace of Port wine, the strong and sweet wine that was once very popular amongst elites and literary circles alike. Not only does the Douro Valley feature spectacular views of nature and vineyards, but it is also home to some of the best food in western Europe. You may end up finding it hard to decide which was better – a trip to Douro Valley, or a trip to more popular Tuscany! Let’s take a closer look at Portugal’s most famous winemaking region.
The Oldest Demarcated Wine Region in the World
Grape and wine production has dated back over 2000 years in the Douro Valley, when the region was more or less under the control of the Roman Republic. However, the boundaries for the valley were demarcated in 1756, which makes this region the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. As such, and due to local support, the region was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of 17 in the whole of Portugal.
Enjoy Bed and Breakfast, Portuguese Style
One of the best ways to experience the Douro Valley is by staying at traditional bed & breakfasts in the area. Known in Portuguese as quintas, these estates are surrounded by vineyards and the natural beauty of the landscape. Many of these quintas are over 100 years old and have been lovingly restored and converted into lodging by locals knowledgeable in the local winemaking culture.
Some of the Best Food in Portugal
The cuisine of Douro Valley is some of the best in all of Portugal, but we hope you’re not planning to visit while on a diet! Northern Portuguese cuisine is known for being heavy on meat, fish, stew, and more. Your best bet is to ask a local to guide you in the direction of their favorite tasca. Here, you’ll find delicacies such as roast suckling pig, octopus salad, or salt cod – also known as bacalhau. A trip to Douro Valley means you’ll hardly ever feel hungry – and you’re never too far away from some of the best food and wine you’ll ever have!
Explore the World with AESU!
Are you ready to plan an adventure of a lifetime? AESU offers unique, thrilling travel programs for college students and young professionals at affordable rates. Each trip is action-packed and informal—designed just for people your own age. We are also able to design custom tours just for your group.
2022 tour dates are now available! If you have any questions or want help booking your next adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.