When you embark on a trip to Portugal, the northern region of Porto and the Douro River Valley are a great place for culture, history, and wine. The River Douro is in the Iberian Peninsula and runs from Porto, Portugal, to Soria, Spain. The Douro River Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since it has been deemed the oldest wine region in the world. Some of the vineyards date pack to 1756. The area has breathtaking scenery with zigzag roads that travel up and down steep hills to give you many vantage points of the valley surrounding you.
There are many ways to travel through this region of Portugal. If you decide to take a relaxing drive through the valley, a great place to stay is at the Six Senses Douro Valley. This hotel is situated in the heart of the oldest wine-producing region and has an old-world charm with contemporary interiors. The estate offers a wine library which features wines from the valley.
If you are looking for a true old-world vineyard, you should stop by Quinta Da Boavista, just a short drive from the Six Senses Douro Valley. Located in Penalva do Castelo in the Dão, a region in north-central Portugal known for producing elegant, mineral-driven red wines. João Tavares de Pina is extremely proud of his wines. His organically maintained vineyards surround joão’s 18th century family home.
Forests of oak and eucalyptus surround the vineyards, and João works hard to maintain the natural biodiversity, which includes chamomile, clover, serradella, grass, lavender, and wildflowers. João will tell you all he needs to make great wine is grapes, water to clean his equipment, and a touch of sulfur at bottling. He rarely uses products in the vineyard, and when he does, he only uses topical organic treatments. In today’s world, this is about as minimal as it gets. João isn’t following a natural wine trend; this is how he and his father have always done it.
If you decide to travel to this area of Portugal by river cruise, you will begin your journey in the city of Porto. The second largest city in Portugal, Porto, has a feel of old-world European charm. The city is known for its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral, and Sao Bento Railway Station, known for its blue and white tile panels showcasing Portuguese history. An excursion not to be missed in Porto is discovering the taste of Port wine. Port is produced exclusively in this area of the world and is known for its sweet dessert like taste. Port wine lovers can learn all there is to this wide variety of wine from the white ports to the typical red ports.
This area of Portugal offers an exquisite taste for a European city and will not disappoint with the history and culture that surrounds you. Whether you are looking to expand your wine knowledge or a photographer searching for hidden spots and breathtaking backdrops, the rich history and culture must be seen for any visit to Portugal.
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