Starting from the quayside at Vila Nova de Gaia, take a trip up the River Douro. Depending on how far you want to travel, the journey will take either one or two days.I f you take the longer trip, you’ll enjoy staying at country estates and manor houses close to the river, whilst discovering the Portuguese tradition of warm hospitality. Your programme will be filled with visits to the region’s monuments, special theme-based dinners and wine tasting.
The beautiful terraced slopes of the Douro valley, heavily planted with vines, begin close to Barqueiros and continue on beyond Barca d'Alva, offering stunning views over one of the world’s most impressive man-made, rural landscapes.
Until the end of the 19th Century, the river was the main access route to the inland regions and the only means of importing foreign products. A difficult and risky river to navigate, there was only one type of boat that could overcome its natural obstacles, the Barco Rabelo. The boat’s robustness and the skill of the early crews made it possible to transport great barrels of wine up river. The boats were never fully laden so they would still float after a collision.
Why not relive this history for yourself by taking a short ride in a sturdy modern-day Barco Rabelo?