Experience three days of romance in Douro. Amongst the vineyards of this northern region , the oldest demarcated region in the world , “painting” a unique and absolutely charming landscape, nothing could be more romantic than the cultural and architectural heritage of the Douro villages and, of course, wines and good food.
Take your better half on a walk in Amarante, cross the 18th century bridge over the Tâmega River and visit the Church and Convent of São Gonçalo, which began to be built around 1540 and is famous for the tradition of asking the matchmaker saint for the blessing of love.
Before leaving the charming city of Amarante, be sure to savour its most important sweets: lérias, papos de anjos, foguetes and brisas, among others.
En route to Pinhão, about 65 Km away (an hour and a half drive) from Amarante, on the right bank of the Douro River and in the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region, you can lunch in one of the many hotels in the area, characterised by old farms and vast vineyards on terraces.
While in Pinhão, visit the beautiful train station decorated with glazed tile panels, and embark on a nostalgic train ride across the Douro Valley.
Dine and lodge for the night at the CS Vintage House Hotel, one of the typical Quintas that offer excellent combinations of local dishes and wines.
The Alto Douro landscape
On the second day, drive to Lamego, on the south bank of the Douro River, through São João da Pesqueira filled with manor houses and famous for the wine production. In Lamego, visit the Cathedral, offering a sense of beauty and monumentality and boasting on its façade a succession of styles from different times on the windows of the tower, note the 12th century Romanesque carved chapiters, and inside the temple note the frescoes by Nicolau Nasoni.
Walk up the 686 steps of the Rocaille Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, built in mid-18th century in honour of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. Nasoni authored the paintings covering the Cathedrals vaults and some of the Baroque works worth noting.
You can both enjoy a calm stroll through the park and then dine in one of the typical restaurants by the Cathedral. Be sure to try the oven-baked rice typical of Lamego, a regional dish, and check in at the Aquapura Douro Valley, a five-star hotel in Quinta de Vale Abraão, Samodães, to recharge your batteries.
In the land of Eça de Queirós
You can choose to spend your last day in Tarouca to visit the Monastery of São João, the first one founded in 12th century Portugal by the Cistercian Order. Nearby, admire the medieval bridge of Ucanha and the small village formed by old houses around the idyllic banks of the Varosa River.
In Tormes, close to Santa Marinha do Zêzere, visit the Eça de Queirós Foundation, named after the well known 19th century Portuguese writer. The authors most famous novel, Amor de Perdição, is one of the highlights of Romanticism in Portugal.
Before returning to Porto, visit the Church designed by architect Siza Vieira in Marco de Canaveses, a bright temple where you can enjoy moments of peace and spirituality.
How to get there
There are flights from Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Munich, Dortmund, Zurich, Liverpool, London, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Dole, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rodez, St. Etienne Toulouse, Tours, Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and New York.
The best way to go from the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro to the city centre is to take the underground. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
After landing at the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro, take the A4 to Amarante. The trip takes about 50 minutes along 60 Km.