Published: April 20th 2010April 17th 2010
When we arrived in Porto we managed to find an open tour office and decided to take the next day (Friday) off (so to speak) and let a tour company take us for a trip up the Douro River. We had a majestic journey 100km up the river. This journey took 8 hours and we’re now returning on the train which is also very scenic. This is a fantastic way to see the Douro region. We travelled on the river on a lovely traditional boat and were accompanied by a group of very nice French-Canadians. After we left the city area we entered a stunning area of the river which was surrounded by forests, large boulders and cute bays and towns. Further up we entered the Port wine region where the river is surrounded by terraced vineyards. As you can see from the photos attached, the little towns on the river bank use every square inch of their terraced properties to grow grapes and other fruit. The cherry and peach trees are all in blossom and very pretty. We believe the tour guide said there are 80,000 separate vineyard properties in total in the Douro region! Not all of these produce
Porto take 2
we love the coloured buildings, a real change from the rest of spain and portugal
wine however they sell their grapes to the port manufactures. We enjoyed some lovely port, vino and a nice meal which on board the boat.
Twice along the journey we came across locks/dams which don’t seem like much to many people, however one of the dams was the highest in Europe (35 meters) which is a bit of a novelty for us Brisbanites.
Our boat journey ended in the home of Port, a town called Regua. One of the tour guides on the boat informed us the Portuguese generally don’t like Port, they must be crazy! We had a 30 minute wait in Regua for the train back to Porto so we decided to sneak out for a tasting and we weren’t disappointed!
We enjoyed a port lesson and more thorough tasting session when we got back to Porto! We would recommend Vinologia to other travellers who may be interested in this! We tried a few white ports accompanied by dried fruit and some rubies and tawnies accompanied by dark chocolate. After getting a taste for it we had to try a vintage and the lovely man who worked in the bar who we had been chatting
to gave us a complimentary (and generous) sample of a 40year old and another special port (can’t remember the name but it was divine!)!
The next morning (no, we didn’t have sore heads from the port!) we had a nice walk around the city and went up the Torre dos Clerigos which gave us a fabulous view across the city. The 225 steps were worth it. We then left Porto bound once again for Spain!
We absolutely loved our time in Porto and would love to have spent more time there - not just because of the Port! It is a really beautiful city.
There are more photos below