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Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

Hamburg, Germany
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Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

Hello dear forum!

I am staying a few days in Porto beginning of February.

As there will be a Sunday and I don't want to risk standing in front of closed doors, I would like go spend the day in the famous Port wine valleys.

I am thinking about renting a car and drive to Peso da Régua and maybe also to Pinhão.

So here are my couple of questions:

(1) Are the wineries open on Sundays for visitors?

(2) Is it easy to drive in the valley region? (Sings and roads?!)

(3) Is it easy to get out of Porto?? I am less concerned about the high ways (A4 that is.. I think...) but more about city traffic (Lisbon city seemed to be quite an adventure)

(4) Will GPS navigation work? ..as in: are the maps up to date and the streets well signposted? (I know about places like Santorini where the streets have no signs at all and a GPS is useless...)

(5) How much is the toll? Does it depend on time or distance?

Thank you for answering! :)

Hamburg, Germany
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1. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

One more :)

(6) Where is actually the best (and most beautiful) place for Port?

Since I'm driving I don't care much about tasting the wine. I would like to see those amazing hill sides.

Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
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2. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

On this portal http://www.dourovalley.eu/en/PageGen.aspx you have a list of Quintas that are open to the public www.dourovalley.eu/en/PageGen.aspx… Along the valley there are several "miradouros" (viewpoints) the same portal suggests a Thematic route (Rota dos Miradouros do Alto Douro Vinhateiro) and you can download the GPS or Google Earth maps.

For wineries there's also the guide for Portugal from the national tourism institute …turismodeportugal.pt/en/wine-turism

Lisbon, Portugal
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3. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

Hi there,

Here are some comments and suggestions:

"(1) Are the wineries open on Sundays for visitors?"

Probably depends on which ones you visit, but no doubt some will be open. Try searching the web for a few on the region you end up going to and you'll have a better idea.

"(2) Is it easy to drive in the valley region? (Sings and roads?!)"

It is easy to drive, but signs are not brilliant. If you have a good map you should be fine, and with a GPS you can't get lost. Roads are winding and variable in quality, but usually with almost no trafic.

"(3) Is it easy to get out of Porto?? I am less concerned about the high ways (A4 that is.. I think...) but more about city traffic (Lisbon city seemed to be quite an adventure)"

If you have been to Lisbon and think it's an adventure driving there, you'll hate Porto. There are much fewer wide multi-lane streets. However, the radial and circular highways are similar, very good and well sign-post. If you have a GPS you can't get lost, just try not to exit the city on a week day between 5 pm and 8 pm.

"(4) Will GPS navigation work? ..as in: are the maps up to date and the streets well signposted? (I know about places like Santorini where the streets have no signs at all and a GPS is useless...)"

It will work perfectly. Roads and streets are often poorly signed, but that should not matter, just turn where the GPS tells you to and you'll be fine.

"(5) How much is the toll? Does it depend on time or distance?"

Depends on distance. What you want is the A4 to Vila Real and that shoud cost between €5 and €10. To make your life easier don't take the A24 south from Vila Real, it is a electronic toll only, and you're better of taking the old road (N2) which will allow you to start enjoying the views imediatly.

"(6) Where is actually the best (and most beautiful) place for Port?"

Very subjective question. My personal favorite is the area between S. João da Pesqueira and Régua (southern river bank), and not only next to the river Douro (I like areas around Armamar, Tarouca, Lamego, etc.)

Hope this helps...

New Jersey
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4. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

I drove out from Porto and stayed in the Douro (at the lovely Quinta de Macedos, near S. Joao da Pesqueira), visiting wineries for a few days. One thing that struck me about visiting wineries in Portugal is that they are not very tourist oriented - wine is part of everyday life and it doesn't seem that Portuguese are particularly interested in visiting wineries. This has its plusses and minuses. You are unlikely to be met with a mob scene at most tasting rooms. It is best to call or e-mail ahead to arrange a visit, as people are not always around, even when a place lists regular tasting hours. Other places are very good about hours - when I told the woman at Quinta da Pacheca (a well run tasting room) about my experiences with places being closed when they said they would be open, she regretfully admitted it was a problem.

Having said that, most of the people showing me around were very gracious and generous with their time, sometimes despite a language barrier. I have never been given so many complementary bottles of wine to take home as in Portugal, which is a shame with today's baggage restrictions. My favorite places tended to be the smaller producers who make Douro table wines as well as Port, not just the big Port houses, although I had a nice visit at Fonseca's Q. da Panascal.

I had a rental car which was delivered to my hotel in Porto; getting out of town in the right direction was a bit of an adventure, but I was fine once underway. No GPS, only maps, but the Douro is so beautiful that you don't mind getting lost sometimes. Watch out for the idiotic electronic toll roads...since you are from the EU they might be able to come after your money!

Hamburg, Germany
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5. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

Aaaah....

A million thanks to all of you, especially Vespucio!!!

I got together with my travel buddy today and with your help we worked out quite a satisfying route for our trip to the valley!

Thank you!!

(I love this forum!!!!!!!)

NJ
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6. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

Some part of the road between Regua and Amarante is very steep and winding. That section was not a fun drive for someone like me who is a little bit scare of heights. Same with driving up to Tabuasco.

7. Re: Sunday itinerary: Porto to Peso da Régua BY CAR?? Help! :)

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