Porto and the Douro Valley


Nestled along the scenic Douro River, Porto captivates visitors with its rich blend of history, remarkable architecture, and its legendary association with wine. Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto has been classified UNESCO World Heritage, a testament to its splendid architectural treasures and rich history.Porto’s architectural heritage lies in its vibrant fusion of ancient buildings and modern designs. From the Gothic Sé do Porto cathedral to the intricate beauty of the São Bento Railway Station adorned with typical azulejos (storytelling tiles), each structure tells a chapter of the country’s history.

Porto tour
Porto tour rabelo boat

Porto is mainly recognised for its wine culture. The city stands as the birthplace of Port wine,  which has become synonymous with its identity. Steeped in centuries of tradition, Porto’s historic wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia showcase the city’s pivotal role in the production and ageing of wine. Port is a fortified wine that is produced exclusively in the Douro Valley. The wine received its name in the latter half of the 17th Century from the seaside city of Porto, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe. Port is made by adding grape spirit (brandy) to the wine during fermentation. Adding brandy before the fermentation has finished means that the wine retains some of the natural sweetness of the grape, creating a smooth, rich and round taste. There are many different styles of port available, and each one has its own characteristics. Reserves and Late Bottled Vintages tend to express intense berry fruit flavours, whereas Aged Tawnys boast a sublime rich mellowness. This vast range of different styles make Port ideal for food pairing dinners, although it is traditionally served at the end of a meal with cheese, or as a digestif.

Porto’s legacy intertwines with the Douro Valley, home to terraced vineyards producing exceptional grapes for Port wine. This relationship between the city and its neighbouring wine region has shaped Porto into the wine district of Portugal attracting enthusiasts from around the globe. The city has a unique charm and invites visitors to explore  its vibrant neighbourhoods, enchanting riverside views, and the warmth of its welcoming locals. With its captivating blend of history, architectural splendour, and profound ties to winemaking, Porto stands as an extraordinary city that continues to captivate and inspire visitors.

Port wine cellar

Douro Valley

 The Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in northern Portugal, is a captivating region renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and prestigious wine production. This enchanting valley boasts terraced vineyards that paint the hillsides with a mosaic of vibrant greens, showcasing the centuries-old tradition of winemaking.

The Douro Valley is renowned for its exceptional wine production, including Douro DOC wine and the world-famous Port wine. The valley’s unique climate and distinctive terroir create the perfect conditions for cultivating grapes for the production of exquisite wines. The terraced vineyards on the steep hillsides demonstrate the labor-intensive methods employed for centuries, preserving the authenticity and quality of the wines produced here.

Douro wine tour
Douro valley tour

Visitors to the Douro Valley are treated not only to the stunning beauty of the landscapes but also to authentic experiences, witnessing the art of winemaking. The warmth of the local inhabitants and their dedication to preserving traditions contribute to the quality of experiences offered.

Douro Valley tour
Douro valley

As a leading specialist organiser of wine tasting tours in Porto and the Douro Valley we offer a great range of breaks to suit all tastes and budgets!

Our friendly team would love to hear from you on +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 or at info@grapeescapes.net to discuss your requirements and suggest suitable packages, however we have listed here some of our favourite Port and Douro DOC Wine tasting packages, which are also available to book online.

If you can’t find what you are looking for on our web site, we would be thrilled to put together a tailor-made itinerary for you. Just get in touch!

Port Wine house

Just a short note to say thank you, to you and all of the team for an excellent short break in Porto for Lesley and I. It was as advertised in every respect and the Yeatman is an excellent hotel. The tasting visits were also excellent and enlightening

Jeff- Chelmsford, UK

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