Holidaying in the Douro: a couple of cultural tips
I took an early summer holiday last month, the second week of which was in the Douro. I really enjoyed finding out more about the history and culture of the region and can highly recommend a couple of museums.
The permanent exhibition at the Museu do Douro in Regua (which you can easily reach by train) gives you the low down on the history of Port wine in the region. The staff could not be more helpful (shame the same cannot be said of Regua’s paper pushing tourist information office).
It also hosts exhibitions and, if you have the chance, the Georges Dussaud photography exhibition is fabulous. The French photographer’s subject was the vineyards, vineyard workers and owners. Though the photos were taken in the 1980s, I’d have dated some much earlier! The pace of change has been slow in this remote sometimes other-worldly region.
And travelling right back in time – we’re talking 22,000 years B.C. – the museum at Foz de Coa is stunning for its Paleolithic rock art content, striking modern (and deliciously cool) design and view over the rivers Douro and Coa.
While we enjoyed taking in the view over a picnic, the restaurant menu looked interesting as did the wine list, which focused on local producers.* Catch the train to Pocinho and you can enjoy them. It’s just a 15 minute taxi ride from Pocinho station to the museum.
* Click here for my report about two Decanter World Wine Awards’ trophy winning Douro Superior reds, which also has links to recent reports/tasting notes for other top Douro Superior producers, including Casa Ferreirinha Barca Velha, Ramos Pinto, Quinta do Crasto, Conceito, Quinta de Maritavora, Duorum and Muxagat.