While in Porto, we decided to travel to the Douro Valley for a day trip. We were really happy with the small tour with eFun. First, we stopped at a small cafe for a bio-break. Unfortunately, they only accepted cash so we could not buy anything. Next, we dropped two passengers at the Croft vineyard to taste ports. They had chosen the three wineries option. We went on a peaceful and beautiful boat cruise on the Douro River. Later, we all met up again for lunch and wine and port tasting at Casa Dos Barros. The lunch was surprisingly good and we had three courses! Finally, we had wine, honey and olive oil tasting at Quinta dos Castelares. There are so many vineyards and wineries to choose from so it would be nice to go back for some wine hopping!
- Wine and port tasting
- Beautiful views of the river, hills, and tiered vineyards
- Boat cruise along the River Douro from Pinhão
- Miradouro Vale de Mendiz
- Admire the large bridges spanning the valleys
Before you go
- Some of the smaller cafes only accept cash, but the wineries accepted credit cards
- The Douro Valley is about 1.5 hours east of Porto, and easily reached by car
- The boat ride was beautiful and relaxing but in February it was also quite chilly. We were glad we had worn coats
- We took Fun Tours for a day trip. It is about 1.5 hours from Porto to the places we visite d in the Douro Valley. Of course, we only saw a small part and if time allowed then a few days would have been better
- There are boat tours along the river and that was a nice way to appreciate the scenery too
- We stayed in Porto and just took a day trip out to the Douro Valley, so we did not stay in any accommodation
- However, I noticed that a number of the wineries offered rooms including Casa dos Barros
Our first stop was the Casa dos Barros and the Vintage Theory winery. During our visit, we had an excellent lunch in a tent outside in the garden. For the starter we had carrot soup and a green salad. During our meal we also tried the local olive oil, which was so tasty. Next, we tasted a delicious dish called bacalhau a bras, which is codfish mixed with thin sticks of potato, and topped with parsley and olives. Along with the meal we had Julinha red and white wines from the vineyard. Surprisingly, I liked the white wine better. Finally, for dessert we had chocolate cake with a 10 year old tawny port.
Then in the cellar, we tasted the the 20 year old tawny followed by the 30 year old one. There was definitely a difference in the tastes and the older ones were smoother.
Our second stop was Quinta dos Castelares for wine, olive oil and honey tasting. My favourite was the pinot noir rose wine, so I bought a bottle to take home. The honey had very distinct tastes and there were rosemary, chestnut and heather varieties. Finally, the olive oil we tasted with bread was so unique, spicy and delicious. It was much better than anything we can find in a supermarket.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, but it is helpful if you don’t want to have to organise winery visits and tastings on our own. It is also nice to have a driver
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes, most people speak English since they are used to having tourists
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: No, the area is quite spread out so a car is needed to get between vineyards and wineries
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