Portugal’s Douro Valley offers discerning bucket listers more than just fine wines. Explore ancient vineyards on misty terraces, stroll through historic towns, dine like royalty and stay in hotels ranging from modern fortresses to 17th century villas. I’ve long said Portugal is the best deal going in Western Europe: all the cobblestone without the price of Italy, France or Spain. Portuguese wines offer great value, and so is the country itself. Below are some images from my visit to tick this one off The Great Global Bucket List:
View from the town of Amarante.
And yes, the place does look EXACTLY like a postcard.
The manicured garden at the stunning and historic Hotel Casa da Insua. The swans came to say hello.
Autumn Grapes: The leaves change colour with the season, but the grapes stay ripe and juicy.
Walking amongst the organic grapes at Solar de Merufe
98 Points! 16 glasses in one wine tasting sitting at Paço dos Cunhas de Santar
Cobblestone glory: A cold fall night through the narrow streets on the way to Paço dos Cunhas de Santa.
Billionaire Playboy Ken Hegan approaches the light under a canopy of vines.
Terraces in the Doura Valley. Because of their design and age, all the grapes in the region are hand picked.
Two hours off the red-eye from Toronto to Lisbon, lunch is served in the dining room at Quinta de Azevedo in the Vinho Verde region.
Soft sheep cheese, fresh fruit, great wine, and get a load of the weird faces in the vase here at Quinta da Fata
Quinta do Noval makes some of the finest port money can buy. And like many other producers in the region, all their grapes are crushed by foot in rooms much like this.
I spent Halloween night with the old world elegance of Hotel Casa da Insua, complete with its spooky old chapel.
I can not get the Six Senses Douro Valley out of my head. A stylish modern wing is attached to a more traditional hotel overlooking the Douro. I remember concrete and low lit decor, fantastic artwork, stylish rooms, a magical fountain indoor pool and subtle fragrance seeping from the tunnel like hallways. It’s been called one of the best hotels in the world, and certainly left that impression on me.
Click here for more information on visiting Portugal’s Douro Valley.