We left Porto and headed along the N222 to Peso da Regua. This area is known as the Douro Valley and has UNESCO World Heritage status. The road was very winding but the views were delightful, however we only travelled 50 miles and it took a good few hours so when we arrived we were too late to visit the Douro Museum which apparently provides great information on the area and wine growing.
The Aire at Peso da Regua has free water, grey dump, WC disposal point and if you want EHU it is only 3 euros per night. The Aire is tiered giving every motorhomer privileged views of the River Douro.
We headed off in the morning to continue our journey along the N222. This next part of our journey to Pinhao has been voted one of the best drives in the world. The total distance is only 17 kms and the road has 93 bends. We were a little sceptical but you soon realise why this drive has been voted one of the best drives, the views were stunning.
Pinhao is located right on the river and if you wish to stay the night it seems acceptable to park up on the far river bank. However, we didn’t stay here we had found a vineyard in Tabuaco that we had decided would be our base.
Pinhao is very picturesque and encircled by terraced hillsides that produce some of the worlds best Port and some fantastic wines too. We really wanted to take a boat trip up the Douro River but it was a hot couple of days so we really didn’t want to leave the dogs so decided not to on this occasion. We had a look around the town which has a great selection of restaurants and souvenir shops then headed back along the N222, stopping along the way to take in the view.
The vineyard we stayed at is called Quinta da Padrela. We were greeted by Jose who speaks very good English and he welcomed us to his vineyard. We arranged a vineyard tour and wine tasting for later on in the afternoon.
The vineyard tour and wine tasting was done in a very relaxed and informal way. We tried 4 different wines and learnt so much about the production of wine and Port along with some great information about the local area. The tour lasted approx. 3 hours and we couldn’t help but to buy some wine and local cheese.
We met up with Julian and Marcella who are blogging for Laika and they stayed with us for the 3rd night. We had a great night chatting about our travel stories.
We stayed at the vineyard for 3 nights in total and then continued with our drive along the N222. On this stretch of road we drove to the top of the valley and the views just seemed to keep getting better.
We only managed to drive 70 miles on our last leg of the journey but this took nearly 5 hours due to the sweeping bends. So we didn’t quite make it as far as we intended.