With three World Heritage Sites recognised by UNESCO, there is no shortage of reasons to visit the Douro Valley, one of the most stunning landscapes in all of Portugal.
In the Historic Centre of the city of Porto you will find remarkable buildings lining the riverbanks. Many of these buildings are directly linked to the production of wine and bear witness to the urban development that this production has provoked over the years. On the opposite bank of the river you will find the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, a hive of commercial activity with the famous Port wine cellars.
Following the river Douro upstream, you reach the Alto Douro Wine Region. This is a land of traditions, a place of enchantment and mysticism, a great stretch of land where Nature reigns in perfect harmony with the inhabitants that have shaped the valley slopes and organised the land into vineyards. Each of these vineyards can be accessed by winding roads that pattern the landscape. There has been evidence of wine production for more than two thousand years in the region but it was only in 1756 that the Demarcated Douro Region was created and wine production in the region was organised and became internationally recognised. It was the first region in the world to be demarcated and it is a land where traditions and modernity go hand-in-hand. This combination is still evident today in the traditional harvest that is still done by hand and the squashing of the grapes by foot and the most modern vinification processes that accompany these traditions.
Further to the East in a picturesque region where the river Douro meets the river Côa, Prehistoric Rock Art can be found in the Côa Valley, a large archaeological heritage site that has been preserved for thousands of years. It is a unique example of Man’s first creations of symbolic expression and the beginning of culture that dates back to the Palaeolithic time.
Source: Douro Valley