Listed by UNESCO as World Heritage since 2001, Alto Douro Wine Region, as well as the whole Douro Wine Region, and the Douro International Natural Park are places of exceptional beauty, with much to see and discover! Come with me and visit Douro and Northern Portugal in a week that you won’t forget!
In an itinerary with over 600 km, I’ll show you some of the must-see places in this Portuguese region: Amarante, Lamego, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Miranda do Douro, Porto and others.
To fully enjoy this travel guide along Douro river, I recommend that you rent a car through the platform Rentalcars (affiliate link) so that you can easily move from place to place and visit locations that aren’t accessible by other means of transportation.
Thus, if you get to Northern Portugal by train or plane and want to visit Douro, rent a car and get on your way to visit this beautiful wine region.
Visit Douro and Porto in 7 days
If you take into consideration that this day will be shorter than the others, you should take the A4 highway and, before you visit Douro, make your first stop in Amarante. In this amazing city, I recommend that you spend some time exploring the historic centre since there are places you can’t miss:
- Church and Convent of (igreja e convento de) São Gonçalo
- São Gonçalo Bridge
- Church of S. Pedro
- Church of S. Domingos
- Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso City Museum
Apart from these points of interest, lose yourself in the beautiful and narrow streets of the historic centre and go for a walk alongside Tâmega river; you can also try the tasteful delicacies of this region and enjoy a pleasant meal in one of the restaurants that offer great views over the river.
Since you must be tired of your trip to Northern Portugal and Amarante, I suggest that you spend the night in one of the most beautiful hotels in this region that offers a privileged view over the historic centre – Hotel Casa da Calçada Relais & Chateaux (affiliate link).
As an alternative, you can choose Casa do Fontão (affiliate link) to stay for the night. This hotel is located 2 km away from the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo.
After having a magnificent breakfast at Casa da Calçada or Casa do Fontão, it’s time to get back to your travel guide of this Portuguese region. Return to the A4 highway and head to Vila Real, more specifically to Palácio de Mateus.
This beautiful 18th-century palace, designed by the famous architect Nicolau Nasoni, stands out because of its Baroque style and surrounding beauty of its gardens, lakes, forest and vineyard. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this Portuguese monument as well as the cellar and chapel.
- Site: www.casademateus.com
When you finish admiring Palácio de Mateus, head south to finally visit Douro!
Make your first stop at the amazing São Leonardo de Galafura viewpoint, 20 km south of Palácio de Mateus, and enjoy the breathtaking views this viewpoint has to offer. Here, you can admire Douro river, the wine terraces and much more – these are some of the characteristics that make Alto Douro Wine Region World Heritage.
Next, head to the town of Peso da Régua, located next to Douro river, and take the opportunity to visit Douro Museum.
The main goal of this museum is to offer its visitors the opportunity to get to know the identity, history, culture and development of Douro region, especially in what winemaking is concerned – definitely a place to go when you visit Douro region.
After lunch, cross Douro river and visit the beautiful old town of Lamego, located just 13 km south of Douro Museum.
There is so much to see in this town so you should spend the rest of your day here. Visit places like:
- Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
- Cathedral of Lamego
- Castle of Lamego
- Church of Chagas
- Church and Convent of Santa Cruz
After having explored the beautiful historic centre of Lamego, I suggest you spend the night at Hotel Vila Galé Collection Douro (affiliate link). Located by the south shore of the river, this four-star hotel is a great place to stay when you visit Douro.
Another possibility in this area is to spend the night at Casa Relógio de Sol (affiliate link). Take the opportunity to relax at this beautiful place that is also located close to the south shore of Douro river.
If you want to learn more about Lamego and its surroundings, read my Itinerary of one day to visit Lamego and the amazing Douro Valley.
Your third day of this Douro travel guide begins with an offer you can’t refuse: drive through the stretch of the N222 road between Peso da Régua and Pinhão, considered as the best in the world. Throughout 27 km you can admire, while driving, some of the most beautiful views of Douro Wine Region.
To make this day even more memorable, I suggest you visit one of the quintas (wine-producing farm complexes) of this region – after all, it’s because of Port wine production (but not only) that this region is known worldwide.
One quinta that you can visit is Quinta do Seixo, a Sogrape’s estate and representative of the Port wine brand Sandeman. This quinta is located on a hill and offers one of the most privileged views over Douro river.
Here, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of this region, in particular about Port wine production.
The other option is a visit to Quinta do Bomfim. Unlike Quinta do Seixo, this quinta is located close to the north shore of Douro river, in the beautiful village of Pinhão.
Belonging to the Symington family, this quinta focus its production on Port wine and Douro DOC and welcomes visitors since 2015. Take the opportunity to visit a small museum, an old ageing cellar, a lagar cellar and much more.
Important information: prior reservation is required to visit this quinta – you can do this reservation online, by going to the site mentioned above.
After your visit to one of these quintas, you can take the opportunity to enjoy your lunch in one of Pinhão’s restaurants, preferably with a table close to the windows so that you can admire the views.
In the afternoon, I suggest you visit another place listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site – the prehistoric rock art site in the Côa Valley.
The first stop you must make in the Côa Valley Archaeological Park is in the Côa Museum.
In this modern building, perfectly integrated with the surrounding nature and offering a privileged view over Côa and Douro rivers, you can see the permanent exhibition as well as temporary exhibitions related to rock art; you’ll also have access to a library with specific books on the matter.
Apart from the visit to Côa Museum, you can also visit one of the three rock art sites: Penascosa, Ribeira de Piscos and Canada do Inferno.
- Site: www.arte-coa.pt
Finally, to conclude this wonderful day in this region I invite you to discover São Gabriel viewpoint, 16 km southeast of Côa Museum. From here, you can admire the magnificent landscape, both of Douro Valley and Côa Valley – definitely a place to go when you visit Douro!
I suggest that you spend the night in the small town of Torre do Moncorvo, close to the north shore of Douro river. Here you can choose between one of these two beautiful places: Casa Dona Maria Luiza or Quinta das Aveleiras (affiliate links).
After a well deserved rest, explore the surroundings of Torre de Moncorvo.
This small town on the north shore of Douro river will amaze you, especially its historic centre from the medieval and Renaissance periods where you can admire:
- Main Church or Igreja Matriz (Portuguese monument)
- Church of (Igreja da) Misericórdia
- Museum of Sacred Art
- Ruins of D. Dinis medieval enclosure
- Chapel of Sagrado Coração de Jesus
- Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres
After lunch, head to Douro International Natural Park and discover the beautiful town of Freixo de Espada À Cinta, located 40 km east of Torre de Moncorvo. Here, spend some time admiring the historic centre and its:
- (Torre do) Galo Tower
- Walls from the old castle
- Main Church or Igreja Matriz
Depending on the time of the year, you can drive to Congida river beach and go for a swim or just admire Douro river that plays the role of natural border with Spain.
To finish your day, drive northeast towards Miranda do Douro, at a distance of 87 km from Freixo de Espada À Cinta.
In Miranda do Douro, you can spend the night at Hotel Parador Santa Catarina or at Casa dos Edras (affiliate links) – the latter is located further away from the town. But don’t worry! You’ll have plenty of time to explore Miranda do Douro in the morning.
On the fifth day of your visit to Douro, I suggest that you stroll through the streets of Miranda do Douro and discover beautiful places like:
- Main Church or Igreja Matriz (cathedral up to 1762)
- Ruins of the Episcopal Palace
- Ruins of the old castle of Miranda do Douro
Next, go down to Douro river and visit Douro International Biological Station. Here, you can try something different: go on an environmental cruise in Douro river and enjoy this experience that provides interesting and relevant information.
Don’t miss the opportunity to go on this cruise and admire the fauna and flora and the magnificent cliffs with a height of 200 metres.
In the afternoon, and after having explored Douro International Natural Park, make your last stop in this region, in Mogadouro. In this pleasant village located in the northeast of Portugal you should spend some time admiring places like:
- Church and Convent of São Francisco
- Ruins of the castle of Mogadouro (built in the 12th century)
- Centre of the village
If you want to know more about Douro International Natural Park, please read my Travel guide of 2 days to Douro International Natural Park.
After your visit to Douro, it is time to get back to the A4 highway and make your way to the wonderful city of Porto, the second biggest city in Portugal and certainly one of the most beautiful. It will be close to a three-hour drive so I recommend that you stop to rest at some point.
Once in Porto, you’ll have many hotels to choose from so you should read my article on the best hotels in Porto. My suggestion is that you choose a hotel close to or in the historic centre so that you don’t have to spend too much time in public transportation.
Tip: If you have rented a car, take the opportunity to return it once you arrive to Porto in order to save some money for the remaining days in this city.
Days 6 and 7
Surely, after you visit Douro, you’ll probably want to explore the beautiful city of Porto, one of the favourite places for those visiting Portugal and, in particular, the north of the country.
Discover the magnificent historic centre, World Heritage since 1996, and surrounding area and admire amazing monuments, fountains, churches, chapels, viewpoints and, of course, authentic quarters. Take the opportunity to go to places like:
- Clérigos Tower
- Cathedral of Porto
- São Bento Train Station
- Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa)
- Church of São Francisco
- Luis I Bridge
- Serra do Pilar Monastery
- Port Wine Cellars
- Bolhão Market
- Santa Catarina Street
- Ferdinand Wall (Muralha Fernandina)
- Church of Santa Clara
- Lello Bookshop
Apart from these wonderful locations, there are many others to be discovered!
Important information: discover much more in my detailed guide of two days in Porto.
Are you going to visit Douro and Porto? Then don’t hesitate to book your hotel room and your car by clicking the links below. This way you are helping me in the development of my blog and I’ll be able to offer you free tips and travel guides so that you can better prepare your visit to Portugal. Thank you!
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