The oldest established wine-producing region in the world is also one of the most beautiful. This is why the Douro Valley has received UNESCO World Heritage status.
And today, three hundred years after the Marquis of Pombal authorised the area’s demarcation for wine production, the wines of the Upper Douro still garner top prizes in international competition.
The landscape was first shaped by the river Douro itself, and then human activity transformed the schist slopes with earth and walls, and the planting of vines that turn from summer green to fiery red in autumn. Over generations of careful viticulture, the terraces have been angled to best catch the sun and ripen the grapes to produce great wines.
Some of these wine estates are open to visitors, so why not enjoy the warm local hospitality and some traditional Douro wines? A glass of Port is ideal before dinner and a red or white wine can accompany your meal, with plenty of famous vintages to savour.
There are many ways to tour the region, by land, water or air. A popular choice of transport are the classic steam trains that wind along the river through beautiful natural surroundings.