This beautiful, tranquil region of Portugal offers a chance to relish the simple pleasures in life, from the flavours of fresh, locally grown produce to the views of stunning landscapes all around you. Over the centuries, the steeply sloping banks of the winding Douro River have been carefully crafted into flourishing vine terraces that today produce the grapes for the region’s world-famous port and wine. A wine-lover’s paradise, this is a delightful area in which to escape the crowds and explore quaint villages and historic towns at your own unhurried pace.
Douro Valley - Explore the magnificent Douro Valley
Near the beautiful second city of Porto, our Douro Valley villas occupy a rich, rural area of natural beauty. Vineyards wind the valley slopes, rising out of the Douro river. Unsurprisingly the wine and here Port is fabulous, with plentiful local produce making the cuisine just as tempting.
Douro Valley Local Charm
The pretty, unspoilt towns and villages of the Douro Valley retain an old world charm and warm, friendly hospitality. Narrow cobbled streets, traditional whitewashed houses and terracotta roofs rub shoulders with ornate Baroque churches and impressive palaces, not least in the beautiful city of Porto. If you’re visiting in late June, join the locals for their biggest annual festival, the Festa de São João, when the whole city turns out for dazzling fireworks, street performances, dancing and all-round merriment.
Douro Valley Activities
One of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Douro Valley is from the deck of a cruise boat, whether on a short, hour-long tour passing under Porto’s beautiful bridges, or a longer trip up-stream. Don’t miss the chance to climb the magnificent tiers of granite steps leading up to the striking Baroque church of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios in Lamego, or take a leisurely wander around Porto’s historic, bustling streets.
Douro Valley History
For almost 2000 years the dramatic, undulating landscape of the Alto Douro region has produced not only great wine and port but also delicious olives and almonds, transported on the quirky rabelo sailing boats still seen on the River Douro today. Take a drive along the area’s winding roads, visiting ancient monasteries, traditional village churches, Baroque palaces and Renaissance cathedrals, or sit back and enjoy the spectacular riverside views from the carriages of the Douro railway’s vintage steam train.
Douro Valley Food
Many of the Douro Valley’s estates and vineyards offer a warm welcome to visitors with an invitation to tour the cellars and presses and sample their excellent produce on-site. Olive oil, wine and port are the main specialties, whilst bacalhao (salted cod) and ‘Porto-style’ tripe are among the favourite regional dishes, along with smoked ham and sometimes wild boar. If these delicacies fail to tickle your taste buds, the sweet pastries of Amarante certainly won’t – from ‘papos de anjo’ (syrupy cakes) to ‘toucinho do céu’ (almond tart), these treats are hard to resist.
Douro Valley Holidays - Points of Interest
Explore the colourful riverside city of Porto with its glorious cathedral, characterful old town and bustling quayside bars and restaurants
Take to the river on a cruise-boat or one of the traditional rabelo sailing boats, once used to transport the region’s port and wine along the shallow waters
Enjoy a wine or port tasting tour, visiting the vineyards, wine cellars and presses and sampling the produce for yourself
Experience one of the world’s most beautiful railway journeys between Porto and Pocinho, perhaps even on the vintage steam locomotive that runs seasonally between Regua and Tua
Dine out on the patio of one of the many local restaurants as you savour spectacular views of the valley
Visit striking churches, shrines, castles and even thermal pools dotted around this remarkable region
Baião is a small, rural town on the North side of the River Douro. Here, the landscape is a mix of agricultural valleys, green slopes and granite houses alongside a small selection of restaurants and shops.
Folgoso is a historic riverside village in the heart of the Alto Douro region, boasting stunning views of the river Douro and a selection of restaurants, serving both authentic and modern Portuguese cuisine.
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James Recommends - Douro Valley villas
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Let's face it, when it comes to reviews you want to hear from straight from the holidaymaker's mouth! They're the ones who've been there, done that and swam in their own private pool. That's why we use independent review service Reevoo – giving you the good and the bad from genuine James Villas' customers. Honesty is the best policy after all…
Douro Valley reviews verified by reevoo
Sights / Places to go
Scores 9.1 out of 10based on 15 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
10 out of 10
Carla the housekeeper couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble, whether it was booking a restaurant, giving advice on supermarkets or arranging a DVD player, she made it happen.
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 24 September 2019 Published on: 25 September 2019 10 out of 10
Peaceful quite location and not to far from any location - shops etc
Nothing in my books
Confirmed stay: 22 September 2019 Published on: 23 September 2019 9 out of 10
Tring Family (the eldest child is at school)
The quiet relaxing countryside. The wonderful owners next door who couldn't have been more helpful.
The leisure parks as identified turned out to be local community parks not the sort of parks you would expect in the UK.
Confirmed stay: 31 August 2019 Published on: 01 September 2019 10 out of 10
Carterton oxon family none at school
WEATHER POOL AND THE FIRE WORKS EVERY NIGHT
NEEDS UP DATE
Confirmed stay: 24 August 2019 Published on: 28 August 2019 9 out of 10
Huntingdon Family (the eldest child is at school)
Amazing food at certain wineries, great pool open to the public in Régua, museum in Régua worth a visit. Hour trip along Douro from Pinhão worth doing. Great tours around smaller wineries.
Pinhão pretty but so busy it became uncomfortable. If you are not a confident driver, you will struggle with steep terrain.
Confirmed stay: 24 August 2019 Published on: 25 August 2019 10 out of 10
Camberley Family (the eldest child is at school)
The view and the location.
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 17 August 2019 Published on: 18 August 2019 9 out of 10
The location of the villa. The organic orchard. The swimming pool. The Douro valley views.
It would be nice if the pool was heated. It would have been helpful to have more leaflets about local attractions in English. Also a visitors book with top tips would be useful.
Confirmed stay: 03 August 2019 Published on: 04 August 2019 10 out of 10
Leicester Family (the eldest child is at school)
Lovely surroundings and very helpful owners
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 20 July 2019 Published on: 21 July 2019 9 out of 10
Milford on Sea Family with adult children
The general location, beautiful landscapes, glorious wines and fabulous and friendly local people
The garden sprinklers meant that every morning things were soaked - if you had forgotten to put things away the night before
Confirmed stay: 29 June 2019 Published on: 30 June 2019
Views and opinions in these reviews are solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of James Villa Holidays (JVH). JVH provides no assurances regarding the accuracy of the information and cannot accept liability for complaints, loss or damage resulting from the article. It does not form part of the contract made when a holiday is booked with JVH and the information provided is not intended to be a rider or replacement to the booking conditions. Reference to the service or product of a third party, is not an endorsement or recommendation and JVH accepts no liability as a result of complaints, loss or damage arising from their use.
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