Portugal
Vila Real

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    • Day 53

      Douro Valley Wine Tour

      November 9, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Today we took a fun & informative bus tour of the Alto Douro Wine Region. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site & has produced wines for thousands of years. We left at 8:30 this morning and returned back at 6:30 PM. It was a beautiful ride out through the river valley to 2 wine estates where we met the winemakers who explained how their famous Port wine is created. Did you know people actually do stomp grapes as part of the process of making Port wine? We tasted white, ruby & tawny port. We had a delicious Portuguese lunch. I had pork, Jim had cod for lunch. We took a riverboat cruise after lunch which offered beautiful views of the valley. Next we visited the the Croft Vineyard for another wine tasting.Read more

    • Day 40

      Douro Valley

      April 1, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      We woke up to a cloudy, overcast day for our journey east, up the Douro Valley. Amongst low cloud, the first stop was Amarante, where the local market was in full swing.

      We followed the river, with it's steep banks lined with terraced vineyards, and stopped in Pinháo for lunch. There were 2 river cruise boats in dock, but they must have been out wine tasting, as the small town was very quiet.

      Rui made some calls to fit us in for a tasting at a winery that made table wines as well as port (many only make port) and we visited Quinta do Bomfim for a very relaxing afternoon of tasting on their wisteria covered pergola overlooking the Douro River.

      Accommodation tonight is in Peso da Régua where we had dinner at a non-touristy restaurant (ie not on the waterfront). The staff spoke no English (the same amount as our Portuguese), so we had much laughter communicating our order. The staff always bring out olives and bread at the start of the meal - they are not complimentary, but added to the bill unless you send them back - and tonight we also received a mystery bowl... of chicken gizzards. And they were quite tasty!
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    • Day 12

      Peso da Regua

      April 19, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Viseu was marvellous but is surrounded by hills. Geographically we reached a the high point today- possibly for the whole trip? otherwise the high point was an interrupted 30km/ 800m descent to Peso. Here we join the Douro valley and will spend a couple of days exploring the area- lots of vineyards 🍷🤪. The descent took us through Lamego and a great Tapas bar halfway up the outrageous baroque staircase up to the Igreja.Read more

    • Day 13

      Pochino

      April 20, 2023 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Peso is where we split from the n2 and I start to head east ( and Helen will head west to Porto and home). The Douro valley is a "must see" destination with terraced vineyards cascading down ( unfortunately ) steep hillsides. The Douro cuts deeply through mountains and drains a large part of the NE plains of Spain.the complex geography means a lot of steep ups and downs: not ideal bike touring country. So i've done todays 100k/2000m unlaiden and got the amazing "bucket list " train ride back to the start. Ride with gps came up with some outrageous route choices, including an extensive precipitous cobbled section- and a tarmac section that ( I think) will be the steepest road I've riden down. Good news though- from the last hill I could see Spain!!! Saturdays job.Read more

    • Day 37

      Camino Torres to Beira Valenta

      May 8 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

      On this day, our plans did not quite go as forecast. We had planned for Connie to cab ahead to Moimenta because of her shin splints, and then she would walk the last 4 km with us (or not, depending on how her leg felt) to where we were staying in an Albergue. Moimenta is a big town so we would be able to have a nice meal there before we headed on to the small village where we were going to spend the night.

      We left the albergue at the nautical sports center in Vila do Ponte at about 8 AM and walked across the bridge to the same bar where we had had lunch the day before. We had coffee and a small breakfast there, really just a piece of sweet bread. Then Connie called a cab and Roel and I walked 16 km to meet her. This was the first day that was really sunny and warm on this camino . I noticed that I was sweating quite a bit and we didn’t come across any opportunity for food or rest, but we thought we would eat when we met Connie in Moimento.

      When we arrived in Moimenta & met Connie, I felt an overwhelming need to sit down and rest so we hurriedly went to a pizza restaurant and ordered some food. Then I needed to lay down, which was not convenient because there was only a cold floor in a small restaurant . But without an option, I was soon on the floor with my feet elevated and feeling better, joking about how I would like to have my food on the floor with me so that I could actually eat.

      The only other people in the restaurant were a table of 4 people, including a woman who spoke English and another woman who was a student nurse. So soon I had 2 worried people by me, insisting on calling the EMT & evaluating me. Long story short, an ambulance arrived and said my blood pressure was very low but everything else was good. 70/50 is kind of low I admit, but I think the problem was that I needed some electrolytes, and some rest & some FOOD, which I was not allowed to have until after a doctor saw me, LOL. Anyway, an enlightening experience with the Portuguese medical system, it only cost me €51 and a couple of hours. Needless to say, we all took a taxi on our final 4 km to the albergue.

      Our taxi driver was great: he refused to just drop us off, he made sure the albergue was open and even checked to make sure the hot water worked! Have I mentioned how great the Portuguese people have been?
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    • Day 8

      Duoro Valley

      May 19 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      The Duoro Valley blew away all expectations. Beautiful hillsides of grape vines, a snaking river through the valley and wineries that have been producing wine for 2 thousand years! It is the smallest of the wine regions in Portugal and is the only place in the world Port wine can be made!

      We booked a wine tour through Get Your Guide. We wanted to find a tour that would be less busy as often large tour buses will bring tourists out to this region. Our day started out with the 1.5 hour drive to the Duoro Valley. As we got close to the region, we began seeing the amazing sloped vineyards. Before visiting our first vineyard we hopped on a small boat and cruised down the Duoro River. It was a great way to see some of the wineries and how expansive the wine region is while enjoying sparkling wine from here! Our first winery was Quinta do Beijo - we tried a few table wines and 2 port wines. Kevin also had a chance to see what the inside of one of the wine barrels looked like! They explained, sentiment builds up in the barrels and someone’s job is to chisel it off so they can continue to be used.

      The second winery we went to was situated high up on the hillside with a beautiful view of the valley. They also had 3 dogs! After tasting a few wines, we had lunch here! I had the most delicious cod with potatoes and eggs and Kevin had braised beef with roasted veg. There were also many delicious tapas shared with the table. The wine did not stop pouring!

      Most of the tour guides were either friends or family of the wineries which made for a family/community feel. We also had a couple friends join us for the tour which made for a very fun day!
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    • Day 41

      A highly recommended Aire

      June 4 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      We decided to return to civilisation and pay for an aire for a change, seeing as so far we’ve only stayed at one place that we had to pay for before, it didn’t feel too frivolous. The aire is listed on the Park4night app and has across the board amazing reviews. Not only is it very great value but the owners are apparently sweet lovely people. We arrived tired after a long hot day of driving through countryside that was typically very beautiful. Through several villages that we weren’t sure we’d even fit through but we did...just. At one point in the middle of nowhere we had to stop as a dog was laying in the middle of the road nursing her young pups. She looked surprised to see a vehicle, it’s so remote here. Anyone who knows me will know that I wanted to get out and play with them and maybe even take them home, but of course I didn’t.
      Anyway... we arrived at the aire and were immediately greeted by Fatima, the Portuguese lady who owned the place. She didn’t speak any English so luckily there was one van staying owned by an English man called Alan and his Dutch husband who came over with their gorgeous white shepherd dog and helped explain everything.
      There were toilets, showers and a Pool, which looked very inviting to us at this moment as it was so hot. Bliss immediately made friends with the white shepherd and after a little play settled down in the shade under the outdoor washing up area. Fatima offered us a free drink of anything we wanted so of course we chose a red wine. It was unlike any red wine I’ve ever had, it tasted more like a very sweet cherry liqueur, lovely, and it immediately went straight to my head as I hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday. We wasted no time and took turns going in the pool as one of us had to bliss-sit to make sure she didn’t get in too! After my swim I enjoyed an extra long warm shower, which was amazing but oh boy do I miss my bath!
      We went back to the van,it was so hot outside and hadn’t parked very well so we moved to a shadier spot which made all the difference, only downside to this place was the millions of flies that were so annoying and so persistent. We spent the rest of the evening trying to stay cool whilst relaxing outside and watching Bliss with her new boyfriend “Igor” playing together sweetly. She misses her 4pawed friends at home too, and Igor is a particularly gentle sweet natured doggie who was clearly head over paw pads with Bliss.
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    • Day 30

      Bahn nach Vila Real

      October 6, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      In Vila Real de Santo Antonio bin ich gestartet und nun wieder Vila Real - eine königliche Stadt. Die beiden heissen so, weil jeweils ein König beschlossen hatte, da muss eine Stadt hin.
      Der Weg dahin verlief durchgehend auf dem ehemaligen Bahntrasse. Also schön regelmässig konstant steigend. Ein paar Geisterbahnhöfe und ein zeitgenössisches eindrückliches Brückenbauwerk.Read more

    • Day 21

      Portwein für Anfänger

      February 6, 2020 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      Der Tag begann heute im Portweinmuseum in Regua. Dort wurde alles über die Geschichte und die Technik des Weinbaus im Dourotal erläutert. Die Engländer haben den Portwein erst so richtig populär gemacht. Er war lange der Exportschlager der Portugiesen. Es gibt weissen und roten, meistens süßen, aber auch trockenen Portwein. Dann gibt es blendet , also gemischten, oder sortenreinen Portwein. Diesen gibt es dann als 10, 20, 30, oder 40 Jahre alten zu kaufen. Mein Geschmack ist er nicht gerade, da meistens sehr süß. Aber inzwischen gibt es mehr und mehr ausgezeichnete Rotweine aus dem Douro Tal. Alles ist recht hochpreisig, so zwischen 10-100 Euro pro Flasche. Wir waren den Rest des Tages im Tal unterwegs. Kleine Straßen, viele Kurven, schwindelerregende Ausblicke. Wenn man die Weinterassen sieht, bekommt man eine Ahnung davon wieviel Arbeit es macht das in Ordnung zu halten. Jetzt haben wir einen ruhigen Stellplatz direkt am Fluss. Morgen geht es schon wieder weiter Richtung Süden.Read more

    • Day 2

      Portweinregion

      June 26, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Heute steht ein Tagesausflug auf dem Programm. In diesem Stopp besuchten wir die Portweinregion 🍷

      Interessant fand ich, dass die Trauben der roten Portweine hier noch manuell zerstampft werden. Das findet so im September/Oktober rum statt und dauert ca. von 21:00 - 1:00. Das sei lustig und immer ein schönes Fest. Interessierte Mithelfer sind vom Weinbauer herzlich eingeladen 😁Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Distrito de Vila Real, Vila Real

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