Discovering The Douro Valley

Posted on December 22, 2020

One of the best kept secrets in of Portugal is just one-hour drive from Oporto, one of the most beautiful cities in this amazing country, which makes it perfect for an unforgettable day.

The Douro Valley is a gem worth discovering. It is an evocative and magical place that still keeps the charm of the wine-growing tradition, the popular architecture that fits with the new avant-garde and its unique landscape, makes it the perfect getaway to disconnect at any time of the year.

When to visit The Douro Valley

Many of our Pilgrims love to do this experience after they embark on one of our Caminos (Ways of St. James). Usually, they fly from Santiago de Compostela to Oporto, and after spending one night here, we organize a one-day tour to the Douro Valley, or even arrange a two-night stay if they have time.

Regarding the best time of the year, most people prefer to visit the Douro Valley during the Harvest season, but it is not easy to predict when it is going to take place due, precisely, to the huge influence of the climate on the growth of the vines.

Why visit The Douro Valley

Discovering one of the richest areas in wine of the whole country and that best represents the Portuguese culture is sufficient reason, but trust us when we say that the Douro Valley will leave you breathless. And nothing better than exploring this magical place with us at Marly Camino, where every detail has taken into account to live a special and wonderful day!

In less than an hour from Oporto you will be in a place listed as World Heritage by UNESCO and in the oldest wine region in the world to get some deep understanding about the wine culture, led by the best professionals.

You will visit different fifths or quintas, the local name for calling the impressive estate houses where the vines are carefully cultivated, in the form of terraces that fall elegantly towards the crystalline waters of the Portuguese Douro.

Enjoying the delicious local gastronomy in an outstanding restaurant, we will end the day with one of the key activities of the area: a pleasant one-hour cruise will take us to enjoy from another perspective the sickles of the river as it passes through the interior of Portugal. A beautiful and relaxed way to enjoy a day full of emotions.

Undoubtedly the Douro Valley is the region of Portugal that nobody should miss if you spend a few days in nearby Oporto, you will be delighted by the natural beauty and the wide range of experiences you can live here!

Want to know more?

Check out our Pilgrim David’s review of this experience with Marly Camino

For me, the Douro Valley in Portugal is the most beautiful wine region in the entire world, starting with the fact that it was the world’s very first demarcated and regulated wine region, having been classified in 1756. 

The vineyards of the Douro Valley are visually stunning.  There is no other region in the world where thousands of kilometers of “vineyard terraces” have been created by hand, having been dug out of the steep hills that cascade into the banks of the Douro River. 

The river itself winds its way majestically through these steep vineyards, creating an exceptional landscape beyond compare.  Due to the authenticity and integrity of the cultural landscape, the Douro Wine Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.

As for the wines themselves, of course there is Tawny Port, Vintage Port, and Port aged for any number of years; but please think beyond the port.  This old wine region, bathed in intense sunlight, produces amazing white, rose, and red wines.  These wines showcase complex aromas, with well-integrated fruit and hints of spice, intense and deep on the palate.  

In the Douro Valley, there is a wide range of accommodations to suit all travelers, tastes, and budget.  Choose from 5-star accommodations in an old manor house overlooking the river, 4-star hotels in villages along the banks of the river, atmospheric accommodations at one of the vineyards, or charming rooms at a small local guesthouse.    

In the Douro Valley, wonderful experiences await.  Of course there are unlimited vineyard visits and tastings to enjoy.  But there is so much more: river cruises lasting from a few hours to all day; hiking and biking through the vineyards; helicopter flights over the remarkable landscape; and in September you can even stomp the grapes with your own bare feet! 

However, above everything it is the friendly and smiling Portuguese people that make the Douro Valley so special.  Sunshine and happiness are ingrained in their nature, and every person is eager to make visitors feel welcome. 

The people of the Douro Valley are very proud of their country, culture, and craft; and are so excited to welcome visitors like family.  

What I enjoyed the most and why I spent several days here, is simply the physical beauty of the region, the easy laid-back lifestyle, and the peaceful welcoming people.  All of this combines to make an extraordinary authentic adventure, like no other!      


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