Ahh the Douro Valley, what a dream this Portuguese spot is!
Filled with beautiful countryside, stunning river views and cute-as-a-button towns, it really is a must on your Portugal itinerary as far as I’m concerned!
But as lovely as the scenery is, let’s be real… 90% of us also visit this place because it’s the wine-growing capital of Portugal and is the number one place in the world to get yourself stuck into some serious Port tasting!
And of course, a key part of this is making sure you visit the best wineries in the Douro Valley, which is exactly why I’m writing this piece!
Yes you can head to the big commercial players, but in my opinion, the best tour and tasting experiences at vineyards are always to be found in the more boutique, small-scale and often family-run wineries – those that are a little off the beaten track and a little cheaper – because they’ll certainly give you the most authentic feeling and a real sense of getting under the skin of the region.
And I don’t just mean the grape skin here!
So to help you have the best wine and port tasting experience possible, here’s my list of the best wineries in the Douro Valley – hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
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#1 Quinta de Santa Eufemia
And coming in at number one it has to be one of my favourite wineries in the Douro Valley – that is the amazing Quinta de Santa Eufemia.
Set on the southern side of the river, near the village of Parada do Bpo, this glorious winery can be found at the end of a tiny street that feels like you’re entering someone’s home.
However, once you pass through the gates and head across the courtyard to the viewing platform, you’ll be treated with the most incredible views as the vineyards slope out before you down to the river.
Savour the scenery and then head inside to join a personal tour at this 4th generation family farm.
I enjoyed an amazing tour by one of the current owners (a granddaughter of the founder) and the fascinating, century-old process of port and wine making here is brought to life by her fluent English and magical tour through the cellars and rooms of this top Douro winery.
There’s some beautiful historical artefacts to see on the tour too and, once you’re done, a full array of tasting options await you – complete with generous helpings and yummy snacks!
#2 Quinta do Jalloto
Another great family winery in the Douro Valley, Qunita do Jalloto is situated on the north side of the river, near to one of the main Douro towns, Pinhão. This makes it an easy one to access either by walking, taxi or via your own car.
It’s small and intimate, and the journey up here feels very quaint as you mount the steep sides of the valley passing local houses and lookouts on the way.
With an elevated position and a lovely balcony viewpoint over the river too – there’s a cute tasting room here with a small selection of wines and ports to try.
If the weather is nice, the outside seating area would be a lovely way to sample the wines, and there’s usually a member of the family there to guide you through your selections.
There’s also homemade olive oil and honey you can sample here and short tours are available too.
#3 Quinta do Vilar
A wonderfully low key and genuine experience, the personal service that you get at this small vineyard is second to none.
The organic wines on offer set this Douro Valley winery apart and there’s accommodation here if you really want to immerse yourself in the experience.
An ecological farm, this place is both peaceful and beautiful and has an arty feel too that is reflected across the property – wholly in touch with the lovely landscape around, this vineyard offers a unique experience for wine tasters and resident guests alike.
Book your tasting and tour with them directly at [email protected].
#4 Gueda Wines
Located near Peso da Régua, Gueda Wines offers a slightly more modern feel compared to Quinta do Vilar, but is still wonderfully authentic with great wines, ports, tastings and tours on offer.
Set back from the river, this is another family-run business, and it’s likely Luiz or his sister will show you around and take both the time and care to explain the port making process to you and answer any questions.
The light, bright and airy tasting room offers lovely views of the winding countryside that spreads out in front of the vineyard and is all part of this top-rated experience, which offers fantastic value for money.
Most people also enjoy the half an hour tour on offer here too, which brilliantly includes walking through some of the grounds.
For those who want to enjoy it all for longer, there’s some intimate accommodation onsite as well, with lovely decorated rooms and a great homemade breakfast making this an awesome spot to stay.
#5 Quinta de Marrocos
Really intimate, small, charming and quiet, this top Douro Valley winery offers guided tours by the owners themselves.
Beautiful to visit, especially in harvesting season, port and wine tastings are all on offer here, as well as dinner and accommodation if you want to stay longer to soak in the gorgeous location and charming stories from the owner.
Quinta de Marrocos won the gold medal for best vintage wine in 2018, so you can rest assured these guys know their stuff!
Plus, this top winery is only 5 minutes out of the town Régua and a 6€ taxi ride, which makes it accessible and easy even if you don’t have your own vehicle.
How to Book your Winery Visit in the Douro Valley?
All of the top wineries in the Douro Valley I’ve mentioned here are small family-run vineyards, so it’s best to check, ahead of time, that they are open and have availability on their tours.
In general, tours can be taken from Tuesday through Saturday, but it’s certainly best to reserve your spot in advance, especially in the high season.
I recommend calling at least a few days ahead of your planned visit to make sure you can grab a place and have time to fit in at least a couple of wineries during your stay in the region.
You’ll need to drive to all the vineyards I mention here, so if you’re using public transport to get to the Douro Valley, do factor in the need to use taxis for your winery visits.
If travelling to the wineries independently isn’t possible for you – maybe because you don’t have access to a vehicle, or don’t have the budget for taxis – then I’d strongly consider taking a wine tour to the Douro Valley.
Day trips are easy to arrange from Porto and they will take care of all the transport and logistics for you.
Check out these top-rated tour options for more information…
- 3 Vineyards Tour with Lunch
- Small Group Day Tour from Porto to Douro Valley
- Full Day Douro Valley Wine Trip from Porto
- Genuine Douro Valley Wine Tour with Lunch + River Cruise
Top Douro Valley Travel Tips
How to Get to the Douro Valley?
If you’re already in Portugal, then the Douro Valley is most easily accessed from the city of Porto.
You can then reach this magnificent area via public transport (train or bus), by boat or by car.
To learn more, check out this article I wrote about how to visit the Douro Valley from Porto, which gives full details about all these options, including prices and how to book.
If you’re coming from an international destination, particularly one further away, it’s likely you’ll be flying into Porto care of the city’s international airport.
As always, I suggest Skyscanner for bagging the best flight deals.
Otherwise, you can also use buses or trains to travel to Porto from elsewhere in Portugal, such as Lisbon, or neighbouring European countries, such as Spain.
I highly recommend Omio for booking train and bus journeys to Porto, as they make it easy, quick and simple to compare hundreds of rail and coach journeys to the city from across the Iberian region.
When to Visit the Douro Valley?
Next up, it’s also a good idea to think about when you might want to visit the Douro Valley.
No question in my mind that the best time to enjoy this area is during the months of April through June, plus September and October.
This is when the warm weather will allow you to take full advantage of the region’s charm, but you won’t be wilting in the summer heat.
Where to Stay in the Douro?
If you really want to enjoy the wine tasting in the Douro and not have to head back to Porto for the night, then rest assured, there are plenty of great places to stay in the region that will allow you to soak in its delights a little more.
Here’s my top picks…
- Hotel Rural Quinta Do Pego – Top-rated and with a great price, this gem of a hotel has a pool with amazing valley views!
- Encosta do Pinhao – A fab 3 bedroom rental home, sleeping up to 6 guests very near to Pinhão train station.
- Casa do Rio Wine Hotel – A real splurge, but staying on this vineyard near Pocinho, in the heart of the Douro, would be a total treat!
- Lagares Douro Villas – If you want cute and remote, these stunning villas with amazing views could be just the answer!
- The Pine House – Offering just 2 cute rooms in this local home, people love the quality and comfort of this place which is very close to Regua train station.
- Casa de Sao Domingos – Also in Regua, choose from beautiful deluxe rooms and enjoy the pool!
- Quinta da Salada – A rural tourism gem, this boutique farm stay offers gardens, terrace and an outdoor pool all near the lovely town of Lamego.
- Camping Lamego – The best place to pull up for the night in the Douro if you have a motorhome or van. Great vibes, affordable and friendly.
5 Packing Essentials for the Douro Valley
- UV sunglasses
- Good shoes for walking
- Natural 30 SPF sunscreen
- Strong insect repellent
- Sony A6000 camera
Travel Insurance for Portugal
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Travel Money in Portugal
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It works just like a debit card… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Grab yours here.
Where Travel After the Douro Valley?
If you still have time for more travelling after the Douro Valley (and lucky you if so!), then you may want to head to other parts of Portugal or Spain.
Check out these articles for some inspiration…
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So there you have it folks, my top 5 wineries in the Douro Valley.
I hope I’ve inspired you to visit this beautiful region of Portugal and to savour some of the great wines and ports produced here.
Still have questions?
Please drop them into the comments below and I’ll get back to you…