The Douro Valley of Portugal is one of Europe’s hidden treasures and the perfect destination for a relaxing coach trip to the continent. Though it isn’t that well known, the Douro Valley is also one of Europe’s biggest wine growing regions.
A Wine Lover’s Paradise
Wine lovers in particular will relish a trip through the Douro Valley because it is home to some of the world’s best known red wines. There are forty varieties of the famed Porto grown in the region. The region’s largest city, Porto, also known as Oporto, has long been famous for exporting the highest quality port.
The region’s authentic Portuguese cuisine is the perfect complement to the wines. Porto, Portugal’s capital of fine dining, is also renowned for its seafood.
When you go to Porto, spend some time tasting the delicious wines on offer in the region. There are several wine tours through the city and its ancient cellars every day.
Coach tours visiting these cellars and the vineyards in the region are available. There’s even a museum dedicated to wine at the Instituto dos Vinhos do Porto (a trade organisation for the wine industry).
More Than Just Fine Wine and Dining
Fortunately, there’s a lot more to the Douro Valley than wine and dining. The region’s architecture is splendid. Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing hundreds of beautiful buildings, many of which date to medieval times.
Famous attractions in Porto include the Cathedral, the University, and the city centre. The architecture is among Europe’s most authentic because Portugal was spared the ravages of World War I and World War II. The Baroque architecture in particular is among Europe’s most authentic.
Legendary structures in Porto include the Dom Luis I Bridge, the Cleric’s Tower, and the Church of Sao Francisco. The kids will appreciate a visit to the Lello bookstore; rumour has it that the structure inspired the Ollivander’s Wand Shop featured in the Harry Potter books.
Coach Tours in the Douro Valley
Coach tours are the perfect way to experience the Douro Valley because they allow visitors to take in the area’s boutique wineries and outlying towns, including Regua. The wine lodge at Quinta da Pacheca near Regua is the perfect place to stop because it features a small winery, verdant vineyards, and fabulous dining.
If you do get tired of the wine and architecture, there are also some great beaches in the region. The Douro Valley might just be the best undiscovered region of Europe to take a coach tour to.
For more information on coach holidays to Spain and Portugal, visit Shearings.