Douro river
Douro river Portugal
December 1, 2013
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Douro river Portugal.

“Doiro, the river and the region, are without a doubt our most significant natural inheritance.

No other river in our country flows on a harder bed, encounters tougher obstacles or struggles more on its journey” … says Miguel Torga (1907-1995), Portugal’s renowned writer and poet, in his beautiful book Portugal.

The Douro river Portugal flows all the way to Oporto, Portugal’s northern capital, at the river mouth, from its source in the Urbión Mountain in Spain.

For 112 km it makes a natural border between Spain and Portugal.

This isolated region of narrow canyons is now the International Douro Natural Park.

Douro river Portugal It is the second longest river, the third in the Iberian Peninsula and the Douro basin spreads over almost a fifth of Portuguese territory.

The word Douro most likely derives from the Latin word durius, duro in Portuguese, meaning tough or hard.

It may also come from the Celtic root dubro, meaning water.

Some believe it comes from de ouro, which means golden or of gold, as in ancient times tiny pieces of gold rolled down the hills into the river and glittered in the waters.

In 61 BC, Julius Caesar literally struck gold when he was appointed governor of Lusitania, a Roman province at the time and today’s central Portugal and part of Spain.

For two years he kept thousands of men working in the gold mines on the steep banks of the Douro river Portugal.

As for tough and rough, before five dams were built in the fifties and early sixties to generate hydroelectric power, the Douro river Portugal was looked upon as an untameable beast, with its rapids, dangerous currents and big rocks.

Today you can sit back in one of the many cruise ships that navigate safely up and down the Douro river Portugal and enjoy the stunning view of well cared for vineyards, planted on the harsh, rugged mountains as well as charming farmhouses.

This has been wine country since the Romans planted the first vines over two thousand years ago and the Alto Douro (Northwest) region has been a World Heritage site since 2001, for, according to UNESCO, “the long tradition of viticulture in Alto Douro has produced a cultural landscape of outstanding beauty that reflects its technological, social and and economic evolution.”

But it was a special kind of fortified wine, known as Port, that brought international attention to the Douro region.

It all started 300 years ago when on-going conflicts between England and France made it difficult for British merchants to import the much loved French wines.

Douro Wine
Douro portugal wine
September 2, 2015
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Douro portugal wine

Port’s wine tour quick overlook

Portugal has always been a wine producing country.

From north to south, east and west, different soils, grapes and climatic conditions allow for the production of a vast range of quality wines.

These wines symbolise the dedication and patient work of many generations that have continued a tradition of quality and reputation recognized throughout the world.

The harvest season in Douro portugal wine varies according to the vintage and region.

It usually takes place between the end of August and the middle of October when the valleys and mountains are ablaze in tones of gold and red.

It’s not our intention to create a wine guide.

Instead we aim to offer tips and advice on how to participate in this colourful and joyful event of grape harvesting, to organise wine tasting any time of the year, learn the terminology and experience new and unforgettable sensations.

Broaden your knowledge about the qualities of a wine, recognise its aroma, the temperature at which it should be served, differences between old and young, strong or delicate, the ageing processes and the importance of aromatic substances.

Douro portugal wine

The circuit we propose was chosen on the basis of some houses and estates throughout the country and should be used as a reference for your trip.

The Vinhos Verdes (green wines, so-called because of their youth) are fresh and low in alcohol.

They originate from a demarcated zione between Douro and Minho and are differentiated by the variety of grape and the region.

They are more fruity than most other wines, sometimes slightly sparkling and an excellent complement to the gastronomy of the region.

Red vinho verde is difficult to conserve well when bottled so perhaps best drunk from the barrel accompanied by the regional sausage, corn bread or traditional cod dishes, pork, or the famous sarrabulho (sausage,meat, rice and vegetable ) or lampreia (freshwater eel) recipes.

Our tour starts as we descend into the deep valleys of river Douro where the famous wines of the same name have been produced since the 14th century.

The quality of these wines depends on the location and altitude of the vineyards in Douro portugal wine.

The Port wine producing area coincides with a region rich in shale, the so-called terra quente (hot land) that it is more favourable.

There are many estates and producers which have developed the techniques of making quality wines now renowned as the best Portuguese wines.

The high Douro Vinhateiro region is classified by UNESCO as a place of world importance in terms of heritage. It is a place of incomparable beauty.

If you choose to stay in this region the Casa de St. António de Britiande 3 miles from Lamêgo is a splendid choice.

With a 15th century façade and chapel built in the 18th century it was once a resting place for the deacons of the Convent of Ferreirim..

It remains much the same today, providing rest and tranquillity for travellers who can appreciate the majestic surroundings.

Douro portugal wine

It is very pleasant during harvest time. A swimming pool and cycling is also an option.

This zone belongs to the route of Cister and the entire surrounding region is well worth taking the time to explore.

The Casa das Torres de Oliveira in Mesão Frio is a magnificent house that dates from the beginning of the 18th century and is located in the centre of the Douro demarcated region..

Breathtaking scenery and the Douro portugal wine can be enjoyed from this great location.

Its vineyards produce Port wine and also quality red wines sold under the brand name of Sedinhas.

Guest can attend wine tastings, walk or cycle around the estate or simply luxuriate by the swimming pool.

Red and white wines from the vineyards closer to the river are usually lighter than south of the Douro, Armamar, Lamêgo and Tarouca and the area bordering Dão, St. João da Pesqueira and Tabuaço.

Douro river
Douro valley portugal
September 1, 2015
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Douro valley portugal

The Douro River, after which this region was named, flows eastward from Porto as far as the Spanish frontier.

Explore the river by boat or by train and delight in all that Nature offers you.

Depending on the time of year, the hills may be dotted with almond or cherry trees in flower or they may exhibit a hive of activity as the grape harvest sends pickers up and down the terraced vineyards that rise up the hills along both banks of the river.

Enjoy the vistas as you relax on the deck of the boat and bask in the summer sunshine.

By the time that you arrive in the heart of the Douro river valley, you will be in the right mood to immerse yourself in the universe of wine and to explore all its secrets and pleasures…

Quintas & Vineyards
Visit some of the most celebrated wine estates, or quintas, in the Douro

Share the table with your hosts, listen as they passionately tell you about the history of their family and their long Port winemaking tradition.

You will be amazed at the number of different activities and events that we can organize for you.

Battles & Bottles
Choose one or more of the following games and activities:
Hunt the barrel,
basket or bottle of vintage;
fill your own bottle of wine,
seal it and mark it with your own personal label that you will have created yourself;
or test your palate and oenological skills at a blind tasting.

The Harvest Activities
In the Douro, vintage is the name we give to the grape harvest that takes place in late summer or early fall.
Join in the winemaking activities at a quinta: pick the grapes and crush them with your bare feet to the tune and rhythm of folk songs.
After a hard day’s work, enjoy a homemade dish of massa à lavrador and a glass of Douro or regional sparkling white

A Journey by Train
Put on a straw hat and wrap a scarf around your neck! It’s time to join a traditional folk band on the historical steam train and take a ride back in time right into the heart of the Douro Valley.
Enjoy a tasty lunch or a very special cocktail party, watch the sunset over the river and get in the mood for elegant food and wine tasting dinner.

All aboard!
How about a happy picnic with entertainment on board a riverboat as you slowly cruise up the Douro River?
No matter whether you choose a pantomime, accordion player or a magician, we guarantee lots of fun and laughter! Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing swim in the river, thrill to the speed of a water bike or stop at a quinta to taste some wine

Be an Expert
Release your senses and let yourself be initiated in the fine art of wine and – olive oil! – tasting!
These unique workshops are supervised by professionals and your participation will be rewarded with a certificate of expertise.
For those who are more gastronomically inclined, we suggest learning the fine art of making regional orange and quince jam. Taste

When the Going Gets Tough
There is nothing better than a 4×4 trip to the Douro Valley’s most beautiful sites!
At each checkpoint you will be rewarded with extraordinary views and also with typical local snacks such as roast chestnuts or succulent cherries.
The final gathering point is a quinta where a special barbecue lunch awaits you!

Best Buys
Don’t miss the chance of buying a few bottles of Port, red, white and sparkling wine directly from the producer!
Several quintas have their own little gift shops where you will also find some excellent regional olive oil, almonds, jam, honey and crafts.
Many of these items can be personalized.

The Great Pretender
Consider a very different setting for your evening program:
A romantic Shakespearean Midsummer Night dinner,
the Golden 20s with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin,
Opera-singing waiters at your dinner table,
acrobats or magicians.
Let your imagination loose! How about fireworks over the river at the end of the evening?

Best Kept Dining Secrets
Now that you have almost become a wine and food expert, you will be able to even better appreciate your gourmet dinner.
Each course is accompanied by a different, carefully chosen wine and commented on by a chef or oenologist.
Have you ever tried different Port Wines with different kinds of chocolate?
A truly divine experience!

Oporto City
The historic center of Porto
December 22, 2013

The historic center of Porto is considered the oldest part of the city Invicta, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

Community, commercial, agricultural and demographic interests converged to house a population able to build the historic center of Porto, where the outcome has resulted in a highly aesthetic and unique work of art in its kind.



It is a collective work that does not result from a work of one period, but several successive contributions.

The city of Porto is developed under the hills of the Douro River, features a cityscape with a milena history and a civil and religious architecture dating back to Roman times, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical.

Feitoria Inglesa

Feitoria Inglesa

Regarding the built heritage, the historic center of Porto has several sites that end up becoming an obligatory stop for those in the city Invicta, and they are known as the Oporto Cathedral, – Torre dos Clérigos,
– Igreja dos Congregados,
– Paço Episcopal,
– Igreja de S. Francisco,
– Igreja dos grilos,
– Igreja Santa Clara,
– Igreja S. Nicolau,
– Igreja do Carmo,
– Igreja das Carmelitas,
– Feitoria Inglesa,
– Cadeia da Relação,
Palácio da Bolsa e do Freixo,
– Forte S. João Batista da Foz do Douro,
– Igreja Românica de Cedofeita
– Quinta da Prelada

Clearly beyond these mentioned places, there are still many others that stand out for their beauty and enormous history associated with them.

The monuments and museums are unique places that provide us with memorable experiences and learning indispensable to the formation of identity.



Every place and every building in the historic center of Porto, has a very unique feature with very strong roots of ancestors of his people.

Apart from its beauty, the Historic Centre of Porto stands out not only for its beauty as for its environment and cultural programs that demonstrate transmit many values, contemporary and awaken many memories.

However, the discovery of the historic center of Porto is not made only by the appreciation of its architecture and its landscapes, the Invicta city there is much more to discover.

The strengths of historic center of Porto focus on gastronomy, handicrafts and trade!

This offer ranges from the more traditional proposals of Porto to the most original and artistic creations of young people of this city.



Through the streets of the Historic Centre of Porto is to enjoy the beauty of this World Heritage Site, is to taste the traditional foods of this region is to enjoy the hospitality of the people of Porto, it is to live a breathtaking view over the River Douro.

The Historic Centre of Porto is a place that makes you want to return!

Oporto City
The city of Oporto
December 22, 2013

The city of Oporto is the most loved by the inhabitants

According to the ranking “Urban Joy Index,” which measures the joy that residents of 31 European cities feel for living there, the city of Porto is the most loved by its inhabitants.

The “Urban Joy Index” resulted from a study done by the Smart brand in conjunction with the Rheingold Institute, which were consulted 3,269 inhabitants belonging to 31 European cities.

The index is based on six criteria: home, comprehensive infrastructure, constant rediscovery, contrasts and diversity, vitality and all the while the entire city.

A score was assigned from zero to one hundred points.

Ranked at the top of the index have the Harbor with 86 points, just below Hamburg with 84. Thirdly are the cities of Cologne, Munich and Bacelona, all with 80 points.

The average European “Urban Joy Index” is generally 74.

“Through this study we describe the basis of a concrete study, for the first time in Europe, the concept of” joie de vivre in the city “and what lurks behind it for the citizens of their respective cities,” says Annette Winkler responsible for the smart brand, in a press release sent to the Good News.

The study also reveals that, despite the lack of space, rising prices and the partial failure of infrastructure, the fascination of the people by large cities remains unchanged.

Douro river
Douro’s Geography, Soil and Climate
December 5, 2013
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Douro River, Douro’s Geography, Soil and Climate.

The Douro River runs from the Spanish‐Portugal border to the coastal city of Porto.

The Douro River flows through a valley lined by steeply sloping hills.

At first glance, the grapevines seem to run right down into the Douro River, but, of course, there are also roads and a single‐rail train line at the edge of the river.

The Douro Portugal region is protected by mountain ranges to the north and west.

The western mountains, the Serra do Marão, block the flow of moist air from the Atlantic Ocean.

As a result, the Douro Valley is very hot in the summer months, with temperatures that routnely reach the 100‐degree (Fahrenheit) mark and sometmes spike as high as 120 degrees.

In the winter, Douro River temperatures can drop to freezing.

The soils of the Douro region are primarily schist or slate.

This makes the area uniquely suited for growing wine grapes because the rock fractures vertcally, permieng roots to establish themselves.

Dust is the natural by product of slate or schist soils, and in the dry summer months, dust clouds are a common sight in the Douro.

Portugal’s Insttuto da Vinha e do Vinho (Institute of Vine and Wine), recognizes 341 grape varietes, according to Portuguese wine expert Richard Mayson.

Within the Douro wine region, however, three varietes reign supreme – Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Francesa, sometimes called Touriga Franca.

All of these grape varietes are used to create red wines.

White and rosé wines, while not as common, are also produced in the Douro region.

White wine grape varietes planted here include Rabigato, Viosinho, Gouveio and Codega.