I combined my four day trip to Porto with a 3 day excursion to see the Douro River Valley and drive the famed N222, over and through the mountains adjacent to the plush, multi-tiered shelves of wine vineyards. I had done extensive research of the route that I wanted to take and the lookout points, or miradoro’s, I wanted to visit. Turns out that one doesn’t actually need a plan when visiting the Douro Valley because every turn of the corner, every winding bend, every stretch of road on the N222 is just visibly breathtaking.
There are over 800 Kilometers that you could travel to see every part of the valley, but on my first trip, I was lucky enough to find a stretch of road between the cities of Regua and Pinao on the N222 that was simply perfect for my 3 day wandering adventure.
I was able to book a great hotel in the city of Regua called Hotel Regua Douro where I could base myself for three days of traveling the Douro River Valley and the rolling wine fields. I drove my car on this trip, but turns out there is a train that runs between these two cities that you can also take – especially if you plan on sampling the Port wine that is made by the wineries that you can visit. Since I was driving, I had to buy bottles of wine, which I could never complain about, and then sample “just a bit” when I returned to Regua and the restaurants there each evening.
The first thing I noticed about driving the N222 was that every single moment of the drive was that every single inch of the drive was lined with simply amazingly beautiful scenery. The grape-laden hills lining the Douro on both sides were stacked with perfect shelves of climbing wine trees. I couldn’t drive more than a few hundred feet before being amazed at the stunning and magnificent configurations.
I took the opportunity to stop, what seemed like, every 5 minutes along the drive to take video, pictures and to fly my drone. The views were simply amazing. While the Douro Valley is famed for its Port wine, it’s also know for being the oldest demarcated wine-growing region on the planet and a large section of it was even named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
I did some research about where the best views, or miradouro’s would be along this route between Regua and Pinao. One of them, the Miradouro de Casal Loivos, has been ranked as the 6th most beautiful view in the world by the WHO. Wait until you see the drone videos I took from that region at the highest point overlooking the S-shaped curve of the Douro River!
I would highly advise combining a two or three day trip to the Douro River Valley with your trip to Porto. Rent a car and drive the N222 between Regua and Pinao. So much beauty and so many memories to make! You won’t regret it!