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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Douro Valley | Beautiful Vineyards & Scenic Boat Ride

Just outside of Porto is the Douro Valley, which is where the vineyards are located that make port and other wines of the region. There are several options of how to get to Douro Valley, such as all-day boat rides (that include lunch etc. - most of these were around 70-80 Euro) and a variety of day-trip tours in vans as well. However, since we had our own car and sometimes kids can be a bit unpredictable, we opted to drive there ourselves.

The drive was about 1.5 hours to Pinhao; where there are several wineries and boat tours available. The drive there was very scenic with beautiful mountains, river in the valley, quaint country houses and the hills covered with vineyards as far as the eyes could see.

Croft Winery Tour

We arrived in Pinhao and went to the Croft Winery, where a large tour group was just finishing up a tour. We ended up getting our own private tour of the vineyards, which was nice because when Clara likes to talk to us we don't feel like we were disturbing anyone. The tour was 12 Euro and included 3 different samples of port at the end of it. We were also able to ask lots of questions and learn more about the different varieties. Some interesting parts were:

* The vines can live to be as old as 150 years old.

* Some of the best producing grapes come from the older plants, which make their Vintage lines of port.

* It takes 4-5 bundles of grapes make up enough juice for 1 bottle of wine. So that's a lot of bottles of wine out in those vineyard fields.

* At the end of each row they plant a lavender plant to keep away insects and protect the vines.

* There are several Olive trees in each vineyard as well that they harvest the olives in December.

They also had an example of the pits they use to have the people stomp the grapes during harvest season (September).

The port will stay at the winery for about a year before being transported to Porto by tankers. By far one of our favourite parts was the breathtaking scenery and the samples of port at the end.

Boat Tour Along Douro River

After the winery tour we headed to the riverside to catch the boat tour; after some playground time, of course!

Our boat tour was about 20 Euro per adult and lasted 2 hours. They had an audio guide that you could listen to on the way up the river and then on the way back they served a glass of Port. It was really amazing scenery and a relaxing boat ride.

It was also nice that they even provided blankets, as it got a little chilly inside the boat where we had to sit to keep Connor out of sun). However, for Clara (3 years old) it was a little long of a boat ride and she lost interest quickly. So to help pass the time we did lots of imaginary play and games.

Overall it was a really nice day out in the region with lots of beautiful scenery and I’d highly recommend checking it out if in the Porto area. It definitely completes the whole story of Port and gives a little break from the city.


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