If you were thinking where to start with sustainable traveling in Douro region, look no further than Portugal Easy Camp platform. Hop into your camper van, book an overnight parking at the preferred farm terrain, taste wines, learn agriculture process of the family businesses and support 0 km produce.
João transitioned from being a bar owner in Lisbon to organic farmer in Douro region, in Barrô municipality. Now he grows organic blueberries, grapes and olives, blueberries are sold to restaurants and other local businesses. It's a lot of hard work and in the beginning may seem not so rewarding but it's something to be proud of. Quinta Enxertada allows space for 2 camper vans and visitors will get a welcome package with home grown goodies. We received a box of blueberries, grapes, blueberry vinegar and a bottle of wine.
João allowed us to walk through all the area, take photos and enjoy beautiful landscapes.
Early mornings during the autumn can be rewarding, fog floating above the valley.
What can be better than a peaceful walk between the vineyard terraces ?
This town is definitely a must-visit, thanks to its incredible sanctuary Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. Recommended spot for overnight stay is Lamego Camping, it's also a strategic place for a quick access to the sanctuary and the staircase.
Quinta do Monte Travesso
This quinta is located near Taboaço village, within 45 minute drive from Lamego. It’s a family business where all the work is done by just a few people and additional workers are only contracted during the crops and harvesting season. They still use a traditional grape treading method and if you are visiting during the harvesting season, you will likely be involved in the process.
Sunrises with orange glow, with Taboaço village and mountain layers in the sight or a mystic foggy morning in the vineyards are the sights you cannot miss.
Quinta Dos Espinheiros
It's a small family quinta where you can taste wines they produce, receive a welcome package of their wines and perhaps get an unlabaled bottle of 20-year port-wine. A real charm of small businesses. Image on the left displays the quinta and image on the right is a nearby Celeiros village.
Quinta Pedreira Dos Anjos
This quinta is owned by Feliciano and Aurora, who dedicated 11 years to cultivating this land. Being owners of 2 lovely dogs they are a pet friendly accomodation and besides that, the kindest and most hospitable people I've ever met. They showed us around the garden where they also cultivate fruits and vegetables for themselves. On top of that they also breed their chicken, so that leaves them with very few things left to buy. A true model of sustainable living!
The Village and Surroundings
Provesende village sits at the top of the mountain with a picturesque road N323 leading to it. On the way to it you will pass several viewpoints, such as São Cristovão and Filoxera.
Provesende itself is rather small but because of its altitude, some atmospheric fogs can be found floating above and around. It does have a small cafe in the square where you can get a cup of coffee with pastel de nata.
Casal de Loivos Viewpoint
The views from this lookout spot are all around. Dramatic sunrise is a bonus!
A plenty of room for the aerial exploration too!
Don't be lazy to walk up the trail to the left from Casal de Loivos viewpoint, you will find more of interesting agriculture views.
Vale de Mendiz
If I were to choose the most beautiful landscape out of the whole Douro region, that would probably be Vale de Mendiz. On the way to Favaios village make sure to stop by the Vale de Mendiz Viewpoint. The best time is the sunrise and even better, if you have a rainy night preceding that, that gives a high probability of fog.
It's possible to walk down to this small valley, the trail can be spotted off the road.
This town is known for 2 things, moscatel wine and its bread that gets distributed to various parts of Northern Portugal. Prior to visiting the village I did my research on the bakeries and found Rosalia bakery where she works with her son Adelino. I walked in and asked if I could watch the process and take some photos and was very welcomed. They receive guided groups quite frequently and are very used to the visits but personal communication with them was very special. While I was in the bakery, Adelino offered me to try a home made moscatel. As the breads were loaded into the oven, we were talking about their process and a bit of history of the bakery and how their workflow goes. Up to 300 breads are baked per day, people come to buy bread from Viana do Castelo and other towns in the north of Portugal.
When the first batch of breads was ready, Adelino took one loaf, broke it into two halves and offered to try it freshly out of the oven with butter. I swear I can't recall when a freshly baked bread tasted this good.
This winery is another stop via Portugal Easy Camp and located not far from Vila Nova da Foz Coa village. It's way more industrial than the ones already visited but worth checking the landscape because these are rollercoaster vineyards.
Rolling vineyard hills just before the sky burst out with rain.
Freixo de Espada a Cinta
This village at the border with Spain is barely known but it's a very beautiful and harmonious place.
Casa Alpajares is where you will want to stay, it's on top of the hill but surrounded by endless beauty, with easy access to rural walks and hiking trail. Instant peace of mind!
There are several viewpoints reachable from the village by car and in case of favorable weather it's worth visiting them all but I'll mention Mazouco Lookout with unspected fog conditions that added a special touch to the place.
Penedo Durão Lookout is another viewpoint worth to mention but make sure to get there at sunrise to get the best possible light.