Discovering Portugal’s Douro River Valley, an Oenological Treasure
With the lively port cities of Lisbon and Porto, a long and dramatic coastline, and an interior that yields hills, valleys, and spectacular vistas, an exploration of Portugal is an evocative experience. Despite its small footprint the country enables visitors a view of the old and new, the past and present, most importantly accessibility to its culture and history through the warmth and hospitality of the country’s inhabitants. These are the characteristics and qualities that will become the basis for our trip as we move from the coast to the magnificent Douro River Valley.
Our itinerary will have us arriving in Porto which is located on Portugal's coast at the mouth of the Douro River.Porto has a grit and authenticity that reflects its past. Exploring the city by foot will provide insight into a country that exhibits old world charm juxtaposed with a legacy of Moorish influence in art, poetry and even pastry! Visitors will no doubt hear the soulful and sometimes sad chords of Fado guitar in the background on city streets and in cafes and cozy eateries. Just sitting still, sipping a glass of Port may be the best way to absorb these sights and sounds.
Our primary destination will be further upstream on the Douro River where we’ll find the source of the Port libation, some very special varieties of grape grown in the Douro River Valley. This is an extremely dry and arid region, a micro climate that provides the necessary elements to produce a small grape with high concentrations of sweetness which yields a selection of Port with varying degrees of taste and intensity. The terraced vineyards reach down from the mountains to river’s edge providing a backdrop that takes your breath away. We’ll be on the river paddling downstream and our accommodations will range from restored and updated stone vintner’s huts, to quaint riverside inns. As always the highlight of our trip will be the interaction with the locals….this is how we open windows to the world in our own special way!!
Enjoy some photos from one of our trips to Portugal.