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Travel Guide to Porto & Douro Wine Regions

Porto & Douro wine regions are two of the most famous wine-producing and wine trade places in Portugal. Forming a part of world-renowned Douro Valley, Porto has played a big role in the production of excellent Port wines. Since the start of the wine industry in this region, the land following the course of the Douro River has been worked by hand and shaped into terraces, which create spectacular landscapes. The valley of the Douro River provides a natural amphitheatre in which endless rows of vines are planted. The landscape leaves all who see it completely enraptured by its deep valleys and gorges, clean and crisp air, terraced Porto vineyards, and the clear blue waters of the Douro River. The cultural landscape of Alto Douro is protected by UNESCO for having an outstanding universal value.

Undeniably one of the crown jewels of Portuguese viticulture, Port Wine emanates from the breathtaking Alto Douro region. Recognized as the world's first demarcated and regulated wine region since 1756, Alto Douro is the exclusive producer of this fortified wine. The region's unparalleled beauty and evolving cultural landscape has earned it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique combination of the Douro Valley's terroir and centuries-old wine-making traditions results in the rich, diverse, and internationally renowned Port wine, a testament to Portugal's wine legacy

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Explore Porto and Douro wine region with the help of our travel guide:

Douro Valley
Terrace vinyeards of Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro Valley wines

Some of the world’s greatest wines from the world’s poorest soils.

In the heart of Portugal, the Douro Valley wines weave a tapestry of complexity and allure, captivating wine enthusiasts with their rich heritage and exceptional craftsmanship. Carved by the serpentine Douro River, this picturesque region boasts terraced vineyards that cling to rugged slopes, a testament to the dedication of generations of winemakers who have nurtured the land.

Although Douro Valley and Porto share a connection to Douro River and they have a common history of wine production, there are differences between these two wine regions. Porto, which is also the second largest city in Portugal is famous for Port wine production, while Douro Valley, situated 3 hours away from the city is also renowned for its fine unfortified wines, both red and white.

Douro Valley (2)

Long famous as the source of port wine, the Douro Valley is now also renowned for its fine, rich unfortified wines, both red and white.

Douro Valley is divided into three distinctive territories that produce different styles of wines.

The first area lies to the west in the Baixo(Lower) Corgo wine region. This is where Porto, the capital of Port Wine is located. The centre of Lower Corgo is the city of Peso da Regua which is home to the famous Museu do the Douro and the Solar do Vinho do Porto. Both of these attractions are a must-see to learn more and taste the wonderful nectar of Port.  

Cima(Upper) Corgo is the center of fine Port Wine production as well as the source of many high-quality unfortified wines. Town Pinhao in Upper Corgo produces excellent Port Wine. When visiting Pinhao, one cannot miss a visit to the Sao Leonardo de Galafura viewpoint near Peso de Regua.

The third sub-region Douro Superior stretches all the way to the Spanish border and it is the hottest and driest sub-regions. It is the youngest territory and a source of many high-quality wines.

What to expect from Douro Valley Wines

The Douro Valley is renowned not only for its esteemed Ports but also for its distinctive still wines that reflect the unique terroir and microclimates of the area. The symphony of grape varieties, from Touriga Nacional to Tinta Roriz, intertwines with the nuances of soil, elevation, and sun exposure, resulting in wines that exude a kaleidoscope of flavors and aromas.

Winemaking in the Douro Valley is an art that marries tradition with innovation. Ancient stone wineries stand in harmony with state-of-the-art facilities, where technology and research play a pivotal role in refining the winemaking process. The passion and commitment of winemakers echo through every barrel and bottle, a dedication that has earned the region worldwide recognition.

As you embark on a journey through the Douro Valley wines, you'll encounter a diverse range of vintages, each with its own story to tell. From elegant and fruit-forward young wines to complex and age-worthy Reservas, the Douro Valley caters to all palates and preferences.

Map of Douro Valley Wine Region

Douro Valley Wine Map

Grape Varieties of Douro Valley Wine Region

Red Grape Varieties:

Touriga Franca

Tinta Roriz

Tinta Barroca

Touriga Nacional

Tinta Cao

Tinta Amarela

White Grape Varieties:



Malvasia Fina




Port Wine: An unrivaled icon of Porto and Douro Valley

The most famous wine produced in all of Porto and Douro wine regions is Port. Many across the world have tried to imitate this fortified wine but nothing compares to the original. However, according to the EU regulations about Protected Designation of Origin, only one produced in Portugal is allowed to be labelled as "Port".

Port Wine

There are many different categories and styles of Port but they can be classified into four categories:

  • Ruby Port, which has fruity characteristics and ruby red colour. In a glass of Ruby Port, you will find aromas of red berries with notes of plum, cinnamon, and cherries. Ruby ports are consumed younger, after 2 years of ageing. This period of time helps wines to develop complex aromas but at the same time not to lose fruity characteristics.
  • Tawny Port has a longer ageing period in small barrels. Tawny Port has a nutty, oxidative character. The name of this Port comes from its pale "tawny" colour which is a result of oxygen interaction with wines in barrels.
  • White Port is something everybody would enjoy as an aperitif or base of the cocktails in the bars of Porto. It is produced from indigenous grape varieties such as Rabigato, Viosinho, Gouveio, and Malvasia and displays aromas of apricot, roasted nuts and baked apples.
  • Rosé Port is something innovative and vibrant from the northern part of the Douro. While producing Rosé Port, juice has minimal skin contact, which gives Rosé colour and fewer tannins to wines. The result is very aromatic, refreshing distinct wine, absolutely irresistible during hot summer days.

Top wineries to visit in Douro Valley

There is an abundance of possibilities to make your trip to Douro Valley an unforgettable experience. Visit Wineries in the Douro wine region and enjoy the breathtaking terrace landscapes with a glass of port wine.

Quinta Da Gaivosa

Quinta Da Gaivosa

The Quinta Da Gaivosa winery and the estate is perfectly located in the breathtaking Douro Valley in the area of Santa Marta. The estate sits on 25 ha of land. All of the wines at Quinta Da Gaivosa are produced by the Alves de Sousa family who has worked in the vineyards for 5 generations. Visit the Quinta Da Gaivosa to learn about the production of Douro Valley wines and enjoy a wine tasting in the beautiful surroundings.

Quinta De Sequeira

Quinta De Sequeira

The Quinta De Sequeira is a family-run winery and estate. The winery is located in the Vila Nova de Foz Coa and was established in 1899. The wines produced at Quinta De Sequeira are all made using only sustainable practices. This ensures that the natural environment is preserved for the use of future generations.

Rectangle (350 × 350 Px) (1)

Quinta De Covela

Quinta De Covela is one of the most perfectly located wineries in the world. This winery is perched along a terrace on the banks of the Douro River. It has sat proudly on this perch for over five centuries. The Quinta De Covela estate is situated on 45 hectares of land. Eighteen of these were used for the planting of vineyards. Visit the Quinta De Covela for a unique and tailored wine-tasting experience.

Discover more wineries in Porto & Douro wine region, starting from the riverside wineries in Douro Valley, finished with port wine houses in Porto.

Where to Stay in Porto Douro?

Caléway Hotel

Caléway Hotel is set in Vila Nova de Gaia 500 metres from Gaia Cable Car and D. Luis I Bridge. The 4-star hotel offers a bar, a garden and a terrace. All the rooms have a terrace or a balcony.

Octant Douro

Octant Douro is located in Vista Alegre, 40 km from Porto. Offering a stunning infinity pool the hotel overlooks the Douro River blending itself with the surrounding nature. The on-site restaurant offers panoramic views and serves regional gastronomy.

Quinta Do Pedregal Hotel & Spa

Quinta do Pedregal Hotel & Spa is located in Vila Nova de Gaia, located 20 km from the centre and within a 25-minute drive of the Porto centre. The rural-style unit features a garden, terrace and outdoor furniture. The property features an on-site restaurant with an outdoor terrace, a Spa and an indoor swimming pool.

The Rex Hotel

Set in a historic mansion overlooking Praça De República garden, this hotel in Porto’s city centre features ornate architectural details. Trindade Metro and Railway Station is 5 minutes’ walk away. Shops, cafes and restaurants are all situated near by the hotel.

What to visit near Porto?

Vila Nova de Gaia - The home to the most famous port wine cellars

Vila Nova de Gaia is situated across the Douro River from the city of Porto. This area is located along the south bank of the Douro River. You guessed it right, the Douro River separates Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, which seems to be one city on both sides of the river. Vila Nova de Gaia is by far the most famous area of Portugal for the production of port wine. It is here that one can find the most renowned port cellars and warehouses that are open to visitors. If you are looking to taste port, there is no better place to do so than in Vila Nova de Gaia. This site is where centuries ago, barrels of the port were located onto passing boats and transported down the Douro River. The most popular port lodges to visit include Sandeman and Grahams Port. After an afternoon of port tasting, why not head down to the Praia de Granja beach for some relaxation, breathtaking views and wonderful seafood?



Porto - Vibrant & dynamic city

Porto is considered one of Portugal’s most vibrant and dynamic cities. This incredible and beautiful city has the perfect blend of rich history and modern luxury that every traveller enjoys. The city of Porto is best known for the production of port wine but there is far more to the city than just this. There is something to offer everyone in Porto. The narrow streets of the Ribeira district take one back into history and allow for the perfect spot to relax and sip on a glass of wine. For book lovers, a visit to the Lello Bookshop cannot be missed. This unique bookshop is unlike any other in the world. It is also the place that inspired JK Rowling to write the Harry Potter books and the setting for the Hogwarts Library!

Discover some of the top port houses and wineries to visit near Porto.


Peso da Regua - Traditional Shipping Centre of Port Wine

Peso da Regua is a small town that sits on the banks of the Douro River. The town is surrounded by a natural amphitheatre made of imposing slopes of shale, cut into the rock that is covered in vines. The most interesting fact about Peso da Regua is that is was the world’s first demarcated wine region. The most popular activity in Peso da Regua is port tasting and visiting one of the port houses to learn more about the production of this fortified wine.

For those who would like to taste not only port but also the local table wines, there are many wine tours on offer. The wineries take visitors to the various wineries in the area. Other attractions in Peso da Regua include the Museu do the Douro. This museum is situated on a terrace beside the Douro River and has a wonderful terrace for enjoying the view. Visitors should also be sure to see the Miradouro de Sao Leonardo de Galafura lookout point, the Douro Historical Train, the Miradouro de Sao Domingos, the Capela de Sao Pedro de Balesemao and the cathedral at Lamego.

Natural places to visit in Douro Valley

Porto and Douro wine regions are undoubtedly two of the most beautiful areas of the world. The natural scenery is made up of the ocean, the Douro River and the magnificent river valley. These valleys are carved with terraced vineyards that resemble a stairway directly to heaven. This area is considered a natural wonder of the world and when visiting it is very clear why that is.

Douro International Natural Park

The Douro International Natural Park lies along the length of the Douro River. It is also the border between the countries of Portugal and Spain. Inside the borders of the Natural Park, the Douro River valley runs for approximately 122kms long. Within the forests of the park, there are endless spans of juniper, oak and chestnut trees. These provide the perfect habitat for wildlife such as the Red Kite and the Common Buzzard.  

In some areas of the Natural Park, vineyards have been planted along the steep valley slopes. These vines produce the grapes used in the production of port wine.   The Douro International Natural Park can be visited at any time of the year but the best times are when the temperature is milder in April to June. Once inside the park, there are many activities on offer. These include cruises and birdwatching tours.

Peneda Geres National Park

Peneda Geres National Park is located on the plateau of Castro Laboreiro along the mountain ranges of Geres, Peneda, Amarela and Soajo. This national park is the only official national park in Portugal and was established in 1971.   Visitors to the Park are spoilt for choice when it comes to sights and activities.

Peneda Geres National Park
Peneda Geres National Park, Porto & Douro, Portugal

The area inside the national park covered with lush flora growing along the river banks. Besides the natural beauty, the Peneda Geres National Park is also home to the castles of Castro Laboreiro and Lindoso. These castles are remnants of the Roman occupation and are open to visitors to the park. Throughout the park, there are also numerous walking, hiking and driving paths to admire the views and the natural environment.   While visiting Peneda Geres National Park is be sure to stop at one of the park’s restaurants to try the traditional dishes of goat meat, porridge, ham and sausages.  

Praia do Carneiro

The Praia do Carneiro is a beach in Portugal that is situated at the mouth of the Douro River. The beach is easily recognized by the location of the lighthouse that marks the entrance to the river. The beach is located in front of the magnificent Fortaleza de São João da Foz. This fort was built in the 16th century in order to protect the river mouth from potential enemies.   The Praia do Carneiro is not your typical swimming beach – the sand is hard, and the water quality is not always perfect. Despite this, it provides the most incredible views of Porto and is the starting point of a number of lovely seafront walks. Relax on the Praia do Carneiro during the summer and in the winter marvel at the giant waves crashing on the lighthouse.

Discover the ultimate Porto & Douro Wine Experience with our exceptional Wine Tour Guides. Immerse yourself in the world of exquisite wines as you embark on unforgettable Guided Wine Tours in Porto & Douro.

Authentic food to try in Porto & Douro Valley

A visit to Porto and Douro Valley is not only about the wine, port and rich history. This area has a wonderful culinary history and a range of traditional foods that are as good as the local wines. Thanks to the long and winding Douro River, many of the local dishes are made with excellent fresh fish. When paired with fresh and crisp local wine, this food experience could not be better. Portuguese food is absolutely delicious and every bite is a tasting journey.

Francesinha - The most popular dish in Porto

Of all of the wonderful cuisines in Porto Wine Region, there is nothing more popular than Francesinha. This dish was first prepared in the 1960s. Francesinha can be considered a Portuguese twist on a traditional French sandwich. A real treat for meat lovers, Francesinha is a sandwich that is filled with ham and steak. The sandwich is then covered in cheese. To top this all off, the cheesy sandwich is then drowned in a sauce made of beer and sometimes even with a dash of local Port! When visiting Porto, you will have endless choices of local restaurants offering traditional Francesinha. Take a visit to one and don’t miss out!


Dine and Drink with the Locals

When visiting the Porto & Douro wine region, every visitor should make time to visit the fishing town of Matosinhos.

Matosinhos is most famous for its bustling outdoor fish restaurants and its long white beach. This area is a firm favourite among the residents of Porto who flock here throughout the year.  Matosinhos offers more than just the beach and excellent fresh seafood. The Castelo do Queijo is a beautiful old fort on the coastline that is open for visitors to explore. There is also the Parque da Cidade, the shopping market and a selection of paths to walk on along the coast.

Without a doubt, the highlight of Matosinhos is the range of fish restaurants on offer. These restaurants specialise in serving the fresh catch straight from the nearby harbour. The fish is cooked outside on open-air grills and the smell with a lure you in from meters away. For a perfect day of sun, sea and excellent food, a visit to Matosinhos is a must.

Caldo Verde - A comforting traditional soup

Caldo Verde is a green soup that in English would be known as Kale soup. This soup is simple yet absolutely delicious and is a staple in the Porto and Douro wine regions. The best part is that it is extremely healthy as the main ingredient is Kale. Along with the kale, the soup is flavoured with Portuguese chorizo sausage. This mixture is then thickened with potatoes. Additional flavour is added with garlic and herbs. Whether visiting Porto and Douro in the winter or summer months, there is nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of Caldo Verde.

Pitos de Santa Luzia - The Perfect pastry

Pitos de Santa Luzia is a delicious treat that must be tested by all who visit the Porto and Douro wine regions. This dessert is made by cutting a square of puff pastry and then filling the pastry with cinnamon and pumpkin jam. The ends of the pastry are then folded to resemble an envelope. Pitos de Santa Luzia is traditionally served warm and paired with homemade vanilla ice cream.  Going back into the history of the dish, Pitos de Santa Luzia was traditionally presented as a gift from single women to their prospective partners. For those looking for their perfect match, give this perfect pastry a try.  

Insider Tips about Porto and Douro Wine Region

Where to eat in Porto and Douro Wine Region?

Toca da Raposa in Ervedosa do Douro

  • Address: R. da Praça, 5130-073 Ervedosa do Douro, Portugal
  • Menu: Portuguese food, European food, Vegetarian options
  • Specialties: Meat and risotto

Recommended by Quinta Do Tedo

Castas e Pratos in Régua

  • Address: R. José Vasques Osório, 5050-280 Peso da Régua, Portugal
  • Menu: European, Contemporary, Portuguese, Vegetarian and Vegan options
  • Specialty: Meat, seafood

Recommended by Quinta Do Tedo

Bistro Terrace at Quinta do Tedo

  • Address: N-222, EM512, Folgosa 5110-207, Douro Valley, Portugal
  • Menu: Portuguese, International, Spanish, Fusion, Vegetarian options
  • Specialties: Meat, seafood

Recommended by Quinta Do Tedo

Where to stay in Porto and Douro wine region?

Quinta do Tedo

  • Address: N-222, EM512, 5110-204, Portugal
  • Facilities and services: Restaurant, Mini Bar, Swimming pool, Bikes available (free); Cycling; Hiking; Canoeing

Vila Gale Douro

  • Address: Lugar dos Varais - Cambres, 5100-426 Lamego, Portugal
  • Facilities and services: Restaurants, Bar, Swimming pool; Spa and wellness center; Fitness center;

Porto Deluxe

  • Address: Av. da Boavista 741, 4100-146 Porto, Portugal
  • Facilities and services: Kitchen on appartament, balcony, city view,

The best wine bars in Porto and Douro wine region

Aneto Wine Bar in Régua

  • Address: 5050-280 Peso da Régua, Portugal
  • Wine menu: Local wines

Wine Quay Bar

  • Address: Rua, Cais da Estiva 111, 4050-080 Porto, Portugal
  • Wine menu: Regional and International wines

Douro In

  • Address: Av. João Franco, 5050-256 Peso da Régua, Portugal
  • Wine menu: Portuguese wines

What to do in Porto and Douro wine region?

Visit Douro Museum in Régua

  • R. do Marquês de Pombal, 5050-282 Peso da Régua, Portugal

Sip wine looking at Luís I Bridge

  • Address: Cais da Ribeira, 4050-509 Porto, Portugal

Take a walk in Avenida dos Aliados

  • Address: Avenida dos Aliados, Porto, Portugal

Most Frequently Asked Questions about Porto and Douro Wine Region

Where is Douro Valley?

Douro Valley is located in northern Portugal and it is home to the famous Port wine.

The name of this region comes from the essential Douro River, which travels from Spain throughout Portugal until Porto, where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

What are the most famous sub-regions and appellations in Porto and Douro?

Cima Corgo, Baixo Corgo, and Douro Superior are the three sub-regions dividing the Douro wine region.

The main appellations here is the Douro DOC (Denominação de origem controlada) and Porto DOC for port wines.

The city of Porto is not precisely in the Douro wine region, but near it, and that is where historically where held the commercialization and bolt transportations of the fortified Port wine - which justifies its name.

What are the main grape varieties in Porto and Douro?

Among the hundreds of grape varieties, seven red varieties stand out in the Douro wine region, namely Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional, selected for their excellence in the production of Port Wine, whereas Sousão and Tinta Amarela make great still wines.

On the white side, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Moscatel, Rabigato, and Viosinho are the main grapes.

What is the best wine to try in Porto and Douro?

It's impossible leaving Douro and Porto wine region without drinking a fortified Port wine. Great with different desserts, the intense flavor of the thick Port wine is unique. For those who are looking for still wines, the blends with Touriga Nacional are fantastic and worth trying.

Where can I drink wine in Porto?

An unforgettable experience for wine lovers is to sip excellent wines on the narrow and cobbled street of Ribeira do Douro, Porto city. Here you are just a few steps from the Vila Nova de Gaia and amid a street with iconic caves, tabernas, and wine bars.

Is it worth visiting the Douro Valley?

Without a doubt, visiting the Douro Valley is an unforgettable and worthwhile experience. From its breathtaking landscapes and world-class wines to the warm hospitality of its people, the Douro Valley offers a journey of discovery and enchantment that leaves a lasting impression on every traveler. Whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, this picturesque region promises an unparalleled adventure that will leave you with cherished memories for a lifetime.

Can you visit Douro Valley without a tour?

Yes, you can visit the Douro Valley without a tour. The region is easily accessible by car or public transportation, allowing independent travelers to explore at their own pace. Many vineyards and wineries in the Douro Valley welcome individual visitors for tastings and tours, offering a chance to experience the essence of the valley firsthand. However, it's essential to plan ahead, research the wineries in Douro Valley you wish to visit, and consider making reservations, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure a seamless and enriching experience.

How many days do you need in Porto and Douro Valley?

For a truly immersive experience, we recommend spending at least 4 to 5 days in Porto and the Douro Valley. This timeframe allows you to savor the highlights of Porto, including its historic landmarks and delectable cuisine, while also granting ample time to venture into the breathtaking Douro Valley.

Discover Porto & Douro With Local Wine Guides

Check out our local wine tour guides with their wine tour offers to have everything organized when visiting the Porto & Douro wine region.

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Map of Wineries in Porto & Douro

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Subregions in Porto & Douro

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