Other activities include hiking in the hills, visiting historic sites such as the Mateus Palace or the Lamego Cathedral, or simply relaxing and enjoying the beautiful views.
Port wine may be the first thing you think of when dreaming of Douro cuisine but the region is also quietly famous for its cheese, olive oil and honey production.
Some local favourite dishes include cozido (a stew with various meats and carrots, cabbage and potatoes), roasted goat, and bacalhau (salt cod). Make sure to try delicious Rojões, a traditional dish made with marinated pork cubes that are fried until crispy. Caldo Verde is a lip-smacking soup made with potatoes, onions, and kale, and is often served with slices of chorizo that makes for an ideal starter dish.
Wash it all down with exceptional port wine in classic red, sweet white or unique tawny varieties, or try all three at once! Many restaurants serve a ‘flight’ of ports - a good-sized sample of all three types.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter to enjoy beneath the Portuguese sun, you must try Vinho Verde - or ‘green’ wine - which is a refreshing variation of wine from the Douro Valley that is known for its light, crisp, and slightly effervescent taste.
Platter of Green Wine and Cod
There are so many exciting things to do throughout the year in the Douro Valley. The Festa da Cereja - or cherry festival - is held in May and celebrates the region's cherry harvest. Visitors can taste the cherries and enjoy local cuisine and live music.
Or, if you’re visiting in June you’ll get to see the colourful Festa de São João. This festival is celebrated throughout Portugal, but in Douro Valley, it is a big event. It is held on the night of June 23rd and includes fireworks, traditional dances, and lots of locally-caught grilled sardines.
Later in the year, in November, the Port Wine Festival celebrates the famous drink produced in the Douro Valley. Visitors can taste a variety of ports, attend workshops, and enjoy live music - the perfect activity to enjoy in the cooler months.
Vinyards in Douro Valley