Earlier this month, we contacted a group of Australian tourists who were having trouble finding a suitable solution to visit the Douro Valley the way they wanted. So we created a personalized Douro Valley tour.
A cruise was not an option and transportation to Régua, Pinhão or Port Wine caves could become much too troublesome. So the headache was real: How could we find an affordable solution to visit the renowned Douro Valley, they wondered?
This particular group was staying at a Rural Housing option and had close contact with a friend of Marisa’s. That friend, knowing the trouble the tourists were having, got in touch with her to try and see if there was a solution.
There were a few things they absolutely wanted:
- to stop at Peso da Régua and Pinhão;
- to have no trouble with schedules;
- and to visit Port Wine caves.
The best outcome would be to completely personalize the tour. There were Douro cruises available, but not much time to visit the towns when they’d stop there. The train would also be a solution, but schedules had to be met.
In the end, we rented a bus a made our way to Peso da Régua.
Knowing the group wanted to experience the best of Douro Valley, the tour was as personalized as possible and a bit different from the regular touristic venues. Our first stop was St. Anthony’s Viewpoint, a place usually off the touristic maps, but a wonderful location for incredible photos.
After all the photos were taken, hunger was starting to strike in. We headed to the city centre of Peso da Régua to have lunch at the local restaurant “Taberna do Jerere“. Because we ourselves enjoy a bit of free time when we’re the tourists on tour, the group had 30-45 minutes of free time to enjoy the views of the Douro river and have some rest by the river shore.
Next stop: Quinta do Tedo
Quinta do Tedo is a family-run business that prefers quality over quantity. Because it is located outside Peso da Régua, it is usually off the touristic stops for cruises or bus tours. At Quinta do Tedo, we encountered peaceful, beautiful landscapes and a lot of good wine. Our guests had the chance to know and see first hand the beginning of Port Wine production and, of course, to visit the caves and taste three varieties of their specialty Port Wine production.
The guide was fantastic and her knowledge was highly praised by the whole group.
We couldn’t – of course – leave the amazing landscape at Quinta do Tedo without a group photo!
After the cave’s tour, our next and final stop was Pinhão. As some of you may know, the Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Pinhão’s main attractions are its train station and the views you get from the train line.
Pinhão’s train station is covered in portuguese style tiles that tell the tales of how the old days of work were at Douro. You can’t miss Pinhão if you’re visiting the Douro Valley!
We arrived back at the group’s rural housing at around 8 p.m. after a full day of visits in this personalized Douro Valley tour. An unforgettable experience that still amazes even those who make a living of of visiting the area.