It was our 10th wedding anniversary and we wanted it to be particularly romantic, tranquil, preferably in a sunny, warm environment and not far from an international airport. We are both huge fans of wine so the combination of Portugal and wine made perfect sense. That’s how we came across Aquapura Douro Valley, the most delightful discovery since we got married. We landed in the surprisingly modern Oporto International Airport and were driven in a super comfortable private transfer to Port wine territory. 100 km of terraced land, vineyards, pine and olive trees and amazing perspectives over a lazy, shining river running through narrow canyons. The first glimpse of the hotel is of a patch of dark orange against a background of lush green woodland and thick river bends. Mesmerizing! We were very nicely received with a cup of iced tea and a steaming towel to clean our tired hands. How pleasant that was! This feeling of being welcomed and of being thoroughly looked after remained from the beginning to the end of our stay. It started with the impossibly comfortable, sleek bedroom we were assigned and continued through our first dinner at the Almapura restaurant. A perfect, intimate, delectable meal by candlelight followed by a stroll by the swimming pool and through terraced gardens under a pitch black sky with a very visible Milky Way! The next two days were as wonderful as the first one as we visited various aristocratic wine producing estates, where we were welcomed by the owners and taken to wineries rich in history and stories to try red wines that tasted like heaven and felt like smooth silk! Our last day was pure bliss as it finished at sunset on a vintage sailing boat from which all the magnificence of the Douro estates and countryside can be fully appreciated. Definitely a holiday to be remembered and repeated!
Day one | Arrival and dinner at the property
Day Two | Boat Trip in a English Vintage Boat with Quinta do Crasto Wines on board in the morning, lunch at a local restaurant on top of the river named DOC, visit to wineries such as Quinta de Napoles from Niepoort Wines or Quinta do Seixo with an interactive museum from Sandeman Wines.
Day Three | visit to palaces and museums such as Palacio de Mateus (a palace from 18th century from Nicolau Nasoni) , lunch a local restaurant as Castas e Pratos in the old train station, afternoon at the spa
Day four | departure or extra visits to other wineries or historical villages. Discover the history of Vallado and D. Antonia Ferreira, the most important business woman in the Port Wine industry. Visit Lamego, headquarter of Portuguese church in the 15th century with castles and religious museums. Taste the local treats such as peixinhos de Lamego.