Are you having trouble deciding whether or where to stay in the Douro Valley? If so, this insider guide will help you with your choice.
The breathtakingly beautiful Douro wine region has become one of Portugal’s “must see” destinations. While it’s possible to get a quick glimpse of the Douro’s highlights on a one day tour, there’s plenty here to keep you occupied for several days, whether your interest is wine, food, nature, architecture or culture. Or all of them.
I’ve spent a lot of time in this region since my first visit in 2013, on day trips, overnight stays and walking holidays on both sides of the river. Knowing the Douro Valley intimately allows me to offer insider guidance on the best locations and accommodations for you, according to your needs.
The UNESCO World Heritage landscape actually extends way beyond the Douro River and is dotted with towns, villages and wine estates, linked by narrow winding roads. Public transport is pretty much limited to the train, which runs along the river, so before choosing your base, it’s important to consider how you intend to get there and around.
Continue reading for descriptions of key locations and carefully selected lodgings that will help you decide which Douro Valley accommodation would suit you best. To make it easier to find what you need, I’ve tried to organise the selection by location and type of lodging.
No time for the whole article? See the blue box below:
Overview of the main areas to stay in the Douro Valley
As I mentioned before, choosing the best town or village to stay in the Douro Valley can be tricky as it very much depends on how you intend to get around – more details in this post.
Driving in the Douro is not for the fainthearted thanks to the number of hairpin bends and narrow winding roads. It also means that someone has to remain sober, which may interfere with your enjoyment of the local wineries. Having a car will, however, increase your options for accommodation, especially if you want to stay on a Douro Quinta (wine hotel).
See my Portugal Road Trips Essentials Guide if you do decide to drive in the Douro, or search for the best rental car deals on Rentalcars.com and Discovercars.com.
If you aren’t driving and want to explore independently beyond your accommodation, you’ll need to be within walking distance of or a short taxi ride from a town or village, ideally one with a train station as bus services within the Douro are very limited. That’s why I’ve concentrated on accommodations in Peso da Régua, Lamego and Pinhão and their surrounds.
Before I go into specific accommodation suggestions, here’s a quick overview of the different bases in the heart of the Douro wine region:
Reasons to stay in Peso da Régua
You can get to the town of Peso da Régua by train from Porto in around 2 hours and it’s just off the A24 motorway. Although the town itself is not particularly attractive, the riverside setting is. There are several restaurants and nearby accommodations so it’s a convenient base if you don’t have a car.
If you have transport, or are willing to use taxis, consider the wine hotels that are a little further away from the town.
Reasons to stay in Lamego
Lamego is a more interesting and attractive historical town, with a selection of restaurants and shops, a fascinating museum, remains of a castle, a hilltop sanctuary and a Gothic cathedral. It’s also just off the A24 motorway and there are (infrequent) buses between Lamego and Regua although a taxi should only take about 12 minutes and cost around €15.
Reasons to stay in Pinhão
Pinhão is quite a small, fairly non-descript village which attracts a large number of visitors due to its picturesque riverside location and quayside. This is also the easiest place to do short (1 or 2-hour) boat trips along the Douro River).
Thanks to this, there are a number of restaurants, accommodations and activities that make it a convenient base for exploring with or without a car. You can get there by train from Porto in around 2.5 hours.
There are a few wineries within walking distance and many more spread along the Pinhão Valley and between Pinhão and Regua that you could visit by taxi.
Other possible bases in the Douro Valley
Casal de Loivos and Provosende are both small hilltop villages within about 15-20 minutes drive from Pinhão while Ervedosa do Douro, Sabrosa and Alijó are slightly larger villages a bit further away from the river. It’s better to have your own transport for these although you could manage them by taxi from Pinhão if you don’t plan on moving around too much or you want to do some guided hikes in the Douro.
Best Douro wine hotels (quintas) near Regua and Lamego
Wherever possible, I choose accommodations that follow sustainable practices, as indicated by the number of leaves (3 is the top score). No leaf simply means that I can’t verify their current efforts regarding sustainable travel but I love the property.
This luxuriously stylish Quinta is a 5-minute taxi ride from Regua train station so a car is not essential although there is free guest parking. The historical main building is surrounded by vineyards and contains a selection of tastefully decorated bedrooms and lounges. Another building now offers family rooms as well as extra doubles, most with views of the Douro River, or you could go for the novel experience of sleeping in a wooden wine vat that has been converted into comfortable bedrooms.
In addition to the seasonal outdoor pool, they have bikes for guest use and an award-winning onsite restaurant plus a range of wine and food-related activities so you may not wish to leave! Check prices and availability
Quinta do Vallado is a delightful design hotel built from schist stone with tasteful, comfortable and clean modern rooms, onsite restaurant and outdoor pool. They offer cellar tours for guests and free parking (a car is preferable if you’re staying here as it’s slightly more isolated). Some rooms have river views. Find a room with a view
This winery and farmhouse is a 20-minute car ride from Régua. The fully renovated 1912 farmhouse features luxury modern amenities and architectural details that maximise the location and guest comfort, such as an infinity pool and a bar, both of which overlook the Douro river. You can also take part in several activities in the organic garden and enjoy tours and tastings at the onsite winery. Choose river or vineyard views
Attached to part of the wall surrounding the Castle of Lamego you will find Muralha Charm House. This well equipped bed and breakfast offers rooms with balcony and mountain views (except the small double room). The whole place has been beautifully re-designed and the beds are very comfortable. Zilda is always there to look after you. Check availability.
The 4 star wine hotel has a contemporary design, an outdoor rooftop swimming pool with fantastic views and a restaurant. Take a look at the photos.
Probably the closest wine hotel to the historical town of Lamego, offering quality comfortable accommodation in stunning grounds with great views, a pool and tennis court. Staff are attentive and the food is good, as are the wines produced on the estate. See photos and choose a room
Best Douro hotels and guesthouses near Regua and Lamego
Hotels and centrally located guesthouses around Peso da Régua
For the ultimate in luxury and relaxation surrounded by vineyards, this 5-star hotel is the place to be. With a wine library boasting 750 vintages, onsite spa, gourmet restaurant, yoga and wellness programmes and sumptuous rooms, it’s wise to factor in plenty of time at this hotel. Transfers and tours can be arranged if you’d rather not drive. Check out the luxury options here
The modern 4-star luxury of the Delfim Douro hotel provides decent-sized rooms and a myriad of wellness services and facilities. You can enjoy the beautiful landscape from the rooftop terrace. Its restaurant and bar as well as the BBQ area give you plenty of options for eating and drinking. Choose your room
The 4-star Vila Gale Douro’s riverside location and generous spa and wellness centre make it worth considering if you don’t have a car – the hotel does not have parking available or shuttle services. The rooms are modern, spacious and comfortable with a city or river view. To further enjoy the stunning views you can take a panoramic elevator to your room. Check verified reviews and availability
A charming guesthouse and excellent value, just outside the centre of Régua but still within walking distance of the train station or a short taxi ride. There’s ample car parking onsite if you come by car. The beautiful building is tastefully decorated with quality traditional furnishings. There’s a pool in the garden with nice views and breakfast is plentiful. Click to see prices, photos and availability
A lovely country house with a selection of rooms some with a river view. They all come with a private bathroom and there’s a spacious common living area, a kitchenette and an outside terrace and garden. A very romantic place! Take a look at the photos.
This 4-star hotel is worth the 10-minute drive from the historical town of Lamego. Maria, the owner, is a delight, as is the wine estate she grew up in. Very romantic, surrounded by vineyards and orchards with an outdoor pool, the accommodations range from spacious suites to family rooms. You can arrange to have dinner at the hotel or drive to Lamego – you need a car to make a stay here more enjoyable unless you are simply looking for a place to unwind. Join in the grape harvest in September or ask about other activities on site. Check availability and seasonal packages
Less than 1 km from the historical centre of Lamego, this 4-star is a great example of a traditional quinta successfully modernised to create a comfortable and stylish hotel. With indoor and outdoor pools, plenty of parking, a pretty terrace overlooking the pool and vineyards, games room and sports facilities, it’s a good option for families and couples. Check availability and photos
For a unique experience surrounded by nature and vineyards try Quinta da Salada. Located in 8 hectares of vineyards you have a choice of beautifully furnished King or Twin rooms and you can start the day with an amazingly generous breakfast. There’s also a seasonal outdoor swimming pool to enjoy. Take a look at the photos.
Rural guesthouses and villas around Lamego and Regua
A stunning location in Mesão Frio overlooking the shimmering Douro River. Breakfast consists of homemade jams and freshly baked cakes and bread. You can ask for tours and wine tasting sessions. There is also the possibility of horse riding, for an additional fee. There is street parking only and you will need a car if you’re staying here. Choose a room with a view
Best Douro quintas to stay in near Pinhão
If you have a car or are happy to spend most of your time on the wine estate enjoying the spectacular views, vineyard walks, bikes, restaurant, pool and other facilities, this 5-star wine house would be the perfect place to stay, assuming you’re lucky enough to find availability. They offer transfers to the train station if you’re coming without a car. Check availability and prices
Technically within walking distance of Pinhão train station although I’d take a taxi if you have luggage. A working winery with privileged views of the Douro, especially from the onsite restaurant and pool, they offer beautiful rooms and suites at a reasonable price. Check options and availability
The 4-star Quinta do Pego, home to several award-winning wines, is one of the most outstanding vineyards in the Douro Valley. With superb views and facilities, its fabulous infinity pool looking down Douro River and decent restaurant serving traditional Portuguese meals make it a good choice, especially if you have a car. Check verified reviews and availability
If you want to stay in an ecological reserve, Quinta do Tedo is the right option for you. Overlooking the Douro and Tedo rivers, this property offers several activities such as biking, hiking, canoeing and bird watching. It also offers popular tours and wine & olive oil tastings for guests and day visitors. The onsite bistro offers delicious local food washed down with wine from the quinta and the Douro region. Book the perfect room for you
On the right hand bank of the Douro River you’ll find Quinta Da Marka. Rooms are elegant and spacious and there is a lovely terrace from which to gaze over the river. Guests can swim in the outdoor swimming pool or just enjoy the peace, tranquility and beautiful views. Check them out here.
This Quinta offers splendid views of the surrounding Douro wine region landscape. Close to the hilltop village of Provosende and within a short drive of Pinhão and the town of Sabrosa and their respective restaurants and markets. This quinta combines relaxation and tranquillty with a convenient base for exploring, if you have a car. Check availability and read reviews.
This wonderful 4-star hotel offers a range of facilities (including a restaurant and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool) with a choice of stylish and cosy accommodation to suit a range of needs. Choose a room with a river view.
This lovely accommodation is located in Quinta do Portal wine estate, a 17-minute drive from Pinhão on the way to Sabrosa. The twisting road leads to a peaceful retreat, surrounded by vineyards. Modern and comfortable facilities with a bespoke restaurant. A highlight is the new cellar building designed by the renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. The use of the native materials such as schist and cork blends in with the landscape in a very organic way. Check prices and availability
Best Douro Valley hotels and guesthouses near Pinhão
Hotels in Pinhão
If you crave 5-star luxury and would rather be next to the Douro River and able to walk to wineries and restaurants, this hotel is for you. Recently renovated, this 18th century building offers every comfort you’d expect and overlooks the famous river, as does the outdoor pool. Check prices and availability
If you enjoy modern minimalist decor, comfort and value for money, this 3-star hotel in Pinhão might suit you, and your budget, better. There’s onsite parking, albeit a little tight, and you can walk to restaurants and the riverside. See photos and check prices
With its inner walls lined with regional characters and facts in a modern-museum kind of way, Pousada de Barão de Forrester offers a sense of tradition amid contemporary facilities and a welcome glass of moscatel wine. Located in the town of Alijó on the outer edges of the Douro wine region, it’s less than 3 km from the wine village of Favaios. A scenic 25-minute drive brings you to Pinhão. Choose your room.
Guesthouses in and around Pinhão
A home you must see is this one, located in Gouvães do Douro, and just a 10 minute drive away from Pinhão. It has its own private swimming pool and the views overlooking the Douro valley are amazing. Sleeps up to 6 people. Look at these stunning photos.
If you’re on a budget and can handle a few steps, Casas Botelho Elias in Pinhão village offer studios, 1 and 2-bedroomed self-catering apartments with a pleasant shared terrace or private balcony. You can get here by train but note that there are steps up to the property so if you have heavy luggage or reduced mobility this may not work for you. Check options and availability
This house is a 15 minute drive from Pinhão centre. Their breathtaking views can be enjoyed from the rooms or the pool. Even though dinner seems to be slightly overpriced, the hostess’ company compensates; Maria will share local history like no other. Note that the nearest restaurants are not walking distance and that the upper floors are only accessible by stairs. Check verified reviews and photos
Right in the nearby village of Provosende, you can find Morgadio da Calçada, part of a 17th century mansion. They offer wine tastings, workshops and activities as well as a bed for the night. The modern guest rooms are in the former storage sheds in the courtyard but the rooms in the main house still have period furnishings and family photos and paintings. Check availability and prices
This Quinta in the small village of Valença do Douro has it all: a good location, stunning views of the Douro River Valley and traditional food, served at a communal dining table and accompanied by the family’s wines (book ahead). Rooms are in the old farmhouse with original stone features. There’s an outdoor pool and pleasant garden, too. You will need a car to stay here unless using their shuttle service and private guided tours. Choose a room with a view
If you want to rent a 3-bedroomed villa in the heart of Douro Valley vineyards, take a look at this. From the breathtaking scenery to the peaceful atmosphere, you will be able to enjoy the Douro’s treats at your own pace. There is a restaurant and small grocery store within walking distance (about 1 mile) in the village of Provosende and more options a short drive away in Pinhão. Check availability
If you’re looking for a luxury villa in the Douro, or anywhere else in Portugal, take a look at my The Best Luxury Villas In Portugal post.
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