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Self Drive Douro Valley Revisited (6 days)

Exquisite quintas in dream venues

Port and Douro Wine route

Porto is one of the top-10 wine destinations and a place made for strolling. The city moves around Avenida dos Aliados y Praça da Liberdade. The historic town centre is near the River Douro, in the Ribeira quarter. On both River banks you have an animated promenade. Cross the River and visit one of the port bodegas. 

Departing and ending from and in Porto or any place of your choice. Your route will be adapted according to your point of departure. This is a sample tour tailored in such a way that you make the most of your journey!

This is a self drive tour, various options are open to circulate along the douro river, including the great  historical vapor train that operates almost every day from Regua to Tua.
The route runs along the bank of the river Douro, with the five historical carriages being hauled by Steam Engine 0186, which was built in 1925 by Henschel & Son. Plan on a unique trip back into the past through beautiful World Heritage landscape.  If you are in the area, this is not to be missed. Can you imagine a better way of discovering the Douro route? Wait, there is also the Douro cruise boat. Frankly speaking, few wine regions, make it so attractive for the visitor.

Tawny Port, Ruby Port or Douro wines in the cellars

Day 1 & 2: Porto

Arrival and visit the historic town centre, the Ribeira district, near the Douro River. Cross the Ponte Luis I Bridge and walk along the river banks in Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can visit several traditional Port cellars. 

 Evening: dinner in the port area of Matosinhos, with plenty of seafood restaurants.

The next day: Rabelo experience. Rabelos are the typical small boats that shipped the port wine from the Douro to the Porto wine cellars.

Afternoon: visit a small port winery – tasting session.

Day 3: Porto  - Vila Real – Peso da Regua

You leave Porto for Vila Real, the trip takes you about one and a half hour.

Stopover in Vila Real, a small provincial town. 

Day 4: Peso da Regua

We suggest a boat trip to Pinhao and back to Peso da Regua. 

Museo de Douro, where the Douro wine culture is explained in a very pleasant way. At the end of the visit, you can have a drink in the museum café.

Quinta do Vallado – Peso da Régua: visit the Quinta and tasting. 

Day 5: Peso da Regua – Lamego

Trip to Lamego, a small but attractive town. Highlight: Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios from the 18th century in rococo style.  686 steps! From the city centre to the sanctuary. 

Day 6: Lamego – Mesao Frío – Guimaraes – Porto

The last day brings us to Guimaraes and back to Porto, passing by Mesao Frio.  Guimaraes is the origin of Portugal as the battle of Sao Mamede  had as result the Portuguese independence in the 12th century. 

We have selected for you an urban hotel in Porto where you find  accommodation combining  comfort and design. In the Douro Valley, you will stay in luxury hotels at more than acceptable prices. You also can opt to pass the night in well selected wine hotels or Quintas, to complete your wine experience in the Douro Valley. 

Price inclusive:
•Comprehensive maps and information pack 
•Holiday pack included
•Any date year-round
•Accommodation in high standard hotel or rural wine hotels
•Room and breakfasts 
•3 to 5 wines will be offered for tasting in each winery visited

Price exclusive of:
•Airport transfer
•Luggage transfer
•Spa and/or treatment
•All types of personal expenses
•Dinners

Note: a guide can be hired on a daily basis

All prices advertized or quoted are expressed in euro (€) and are per person, based on shared room. 
The advertized price on the webpage is only indicative. It is calculated on an average party size (5-6 pers), qualitative hotels out of peak season, and no extras.
It takes a bit of customization to include the holidays request and nature of the group before coming up with a tour proposal that meets your interests and expectations. The price quoted to you can be adjusted upwards to reflect possible increases in transportation costs (including fuel), government taxes (including VAT). On any specific tour, a constituted group of 5 travelers (or more) means a different quote per person than 2 travelers, as we've elaborated the tour package on an average group size of 6 (guided) and 4 (self drive).

The information you provide us through the Get a Quote or Booking Form is important for us as it containts useful elements such as period of the year, accommodation type, group or party size, if all participants will share room or not. These points are essential to us to complete the quote in line with your budget. When we are asked to adjust itinerary or arrange tours in special periods of the year, prices can go slightly down or up, we try to moderate the price fluctuation by entering into agreements with our service providers. The accommodation availability is the main factor that can affect the advertized price of the original program.

We ask for clarity in order to streamline the communication: your group should be represented by one spokesperson. This one-to-one dialogue has many advantages over a one-to-many communication. Communication is more direct, misunderstandings are easily avoided.
 
Check here the easy steps of the booking process.

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  • Port wines disclose their secrets
  • Historical places in the towncenter of Porto
  • History and actual functionality of the old port houses
  • Matosinhos, seafood surprise in the less known port area
  • Unique sightseeing spots in the river Douro landscape
  • The Douro micro-climate
  • Well organized guide posts on the highways
  • Friendly, calm and cordial locals who often are polyglots

Pierre Balsam
Over the years,  I have consistently progressed into wine and wine-making, multiplying experiences in the world of wines, either in wineries or simply writing articles for lifestyle and travel magazines. Prior to this I have worked in operations and logistics assignments involving seamless material flows between production plants. I guess my organisation skills come from these years.
My interest in wine started like an affair with sparkling wines, particularly Champagne and then Cava. It triggered a learning process on all possible wine topics. I am constantly thrilled by the intriguing chemistry betwen the wine and the people behind wines.  This is so true for oenology. We understand the underlying wine culture with a bit of time, a stroll in the vineyard as we exchnage with the winemaker. Wine through travelling is also very rewarding, time and time again, it fuels fantastic discoveries. 
I am a keen promoter of wine escapes, convinced this entertaining approach fits everyone's taste.
I have enthusiastically embraced Slowwines travel venture, leading small groups on more than 15 different destinations.
No doubt this is a great project with a great future.
 

Client Testimonials

6 days - Self Drive Douro Valley Revisited

from €790 pp

Places of interest

  • Porto town centre, Ribeira and Matosinhos
  • Vila Nova de Gaia
  • Museo de Douro, Peso da Régua
  • Santuario de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, Lamego
  • Guimaraes, historic town centre
  • Quintas in the Douro region.
  • Spectacular landscape.

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