Going up Douro River

Our trip to the Douro Valley

Last Friday we decided to take Marselha and Bruni and drive up the Douro River with the full family, including the grandparents.

Early Autumn is one of the most if not THE most, best times to have a motorhome trip! Most of the days are still sunny, the temperatures are very nice (we got up to 28º at night!) and there aren’t that many tourists.

We left Friday evening. Just before starting, we let the kids wash their teeth and wear their pajamas. The youngest went sleeping to the lower bunk bed, and the oldest went to our bed to watch a movie, while we started our short journey from Porto to Peso da Régua (or simply Régua).

Part of the trip was on the highway, so I was glad to be doing it by night since we had a more peaceful voyage with the kids sleeping and no traffic at all. We arrived in Régua just before midnight. After a couple of minutes of parking, we’re all sleeping with the sound of the Douro River flowing outside.

Régua, apart from being a very know tourist destination, especially because of all its tradicion about the Port Wine, has one of the best and free motorhome parking places. Very close to the river, near the old bridge, there is space for more than 30 motorhomes, with all the comforts, from free clean water and chemical WC waste facilities.

After waking up and having our complete breakfast – which must always include scrambled eggs, toast, tea, and hot chocolate; with a stunning view of the Douro River and listening to some music, we dressed up and went for a short bicycle ride.

If I haven’t yet mentioned, bicycles 🚲 are a must-have for any motorhome trip, especially if they are electric 😜. You can park the motorhome anywhere and go visit / travel / shopping by bicycle.

From the motorhome park till the center, there’s a bike lane that follows the river, with some children parks in the middle. We went to visit the “Museu do Douro” (Douro Museum), which is located in a beautiful building and has some exhibitions related with the Douro Wine and its traditions.

Our next stop was Pinhão, a very picturesque village, located on the north bank of the river Douro, the center of the wine region and the place where wine estates are located.

The landscape of Pinhão is classified by UNESCO as a cultural heritage of humanity, and when you visit it, you’ll understand why! The vineyards, in a ladder, facing the Douro river provide a visual painting you’ll never forget.

The grandparents, who were traveling on Bruni, met us at Pinhão. Together we drove through the fantastic landscapes of Douro, passing on the hold train town of Ferradosa.

By the end of the day, we headed to Torre de Moncorvo – a very small town, with a lovely town square and a very good restaurant – o Lagar, located on the other side of the church. This restaurant serves traditional Portuguese dishes, such as Codefish, Octopus, and, not so traditional but incredibly tasty, the boar.

To spend the night, we went to Foz do Sabor, a magical place where the Rio Sabor meets with the Douro River. It’s one of the best places to spend the night on the Douro – you can park with a gorgeous view over the windows, where you can see the tourism boats go up the river. It provides a very green grass place to take out the tables and chairs – which we provide for free 😉 and have breakfast or lunch.

We spend the rest of the day enjoying the fantastic weather, taking some sun, swimming on the river, and playing with the dogs… these are truly the best moments of being on holiday on the wilderness!

Without noticing, the time went by and, by the end of Sunday, it was time to return and plan our next trip to find more hidden gems that Portugal has to offer.