View of Douro River and vineyards from Casal de Loivos, Douro Valley, Portugal

The Douro valley in northern Portugal has more than just the perfect climate and soil for cultivating grapes and a wine-producing culture that dates back centuries. The undulating curves of the Douro wine region’s hillsides create a beautiful and dramatic landscape which changes with the seasons and is so specialRead More →

Village church, farmhouses and vineyards, Mesão Frio, Douro Valley

Wine estates, vineyards and river cruises are only part of the Douro wine region’s story. If you want to delve deeper into the local culture, traditions and history, you might want to consider adding a traditional Douro village or two to your itinerary. Or all six of them. Note: You’llRead More →

Wine estates by the River Douro

Not really. But if that’s all the time you have to explore the Douro Valley, a one day tour will give you a taste of its beauty, culture and gastronomy that will linger in your memory and make you yearn to return. The easiest way to do this is on a day trip from PortoRead More →

International Douro River Cruise, Douro International Natural Park, Portugal

Most Douro river cruises concentrate on the stretch between Porto and Régua, Pinhão, or Barca d’Alva. Although the contours and lines of the Douro wine region, I wanted to see the natural park’s rugged, rocky landscape on an International Douro river cruise. With Las Arribas del Duero of Spain on one side and PortugalRead More →

Douro Valley Grape Harvest. Photography by Julie Dawn Fox

Perhaps one of the best times to experience the chameleon-like beauty of Portugal’s oldest wine region is during the Douro Valley grape harvest. You can get involved in the grape picking and even try treading grapes barefoot. Although it’s usually towards the end of September, the exact timing of the Douro grape harvest dependsRead More →

travelling in Portugal: wooden walkway to river beach, Caminha, Portugal

I’m still writing up some of my trips around Portugal from 2013 but the new year means it’s time to start planning where to go in 2014. Update, January 2015: I’ve just revisited this list and written a new post about how far I got in 2014. With so many placesRead More →

Battlefield rock art, Foz Côa Museum

Carved into the rugged rocks of the Douro and Côa valleys you’ll find the very beginnings of animated art. The two-headed animals scratched into stone weren’t monsters roaming the Portuguese countryside. The extra heads represent movement, pretty clever for rock art that’s over 20,000 years old! Precious rock art atRead More →