It's safe to say that the Douro Valley region is one of my favorite areas in Portugal. With its rolling hills of vineyards, quaint small towns, and breathtaking views, you really can't go wrong!

Although I enjoy the wine and the charming wineries in this area, there is much more to the Douro Valley than just drinking wine all day. You can partake in outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Additionally, if you are interested in experiencing the local culture, there are plenty of historic buildings to explore.

The best way to explore my favorite wine country is by staying in one of the little towns; whether between the vineyards or right on the Douro River, I'll give you a hand figuring out where to stay in the Douro Valley.

The best towns to stay in Douro Valley

Choosing accommodation in the Douro Valley is simple, just pick a town!

Pinhão, a charming town by the Rio Douro, is situated at the bottom of the hills.

Meanwhile, Peso da Régua, one of the larger towns in the area, is an excellent option if you prefer exploring on foot instead of by car.

However, if you want a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle, surrounded by vineyards and hills, I highly suggest Lamego.

1. Where to stay in Douro Valley for a picturesque riverside stay: Pinhão

where to stay in douro valley - Pinhão

Pinhão is the beating heart of the region and one of the best towns in the Douro Valley. A picturesque riverside village on the banks of Rio Douro, Pinhão never misses to amaze me.

Pinhao is exactly what you would imagine from a romantic town in the middle of Portugal, with its colorful and historical buildings, old churches, and narrow cobblestone streets.

If you want to soak up the sun right on the river, surrounded by vineyard-covered hills, and breathe in the beauty of the Douro Valley, Pinhão is your best option.

Best area for:

  • Families

  • Couples

  • Travelers

Things to see & do in Pinhão

Whenever I'm in Pinhão, I just love wandering the old cobblestone streets, sitting down in a local café or restaurant and people watching. However, we are in a wine region, so exploring the different vineyards around Pinhão is an absolute must and you shouldn't miss out on it.

You will be able to find plenty of tours and tasting experiences all around Pinhão. Two of my absolute favorites are Quinta de Bonfim and Quinta das Carvalhas! Both of them offer daily tours and tastings and are super easily accessible by taxi or car.

Exploring the vine region by car or on foot is amazing, but exploring it from the river gives you a completely different perspective and you'll be able to see parts of the wine region that are not accessible by road.

From Pinhão, you can take a boat tour upriver to explore the Douro Valley vineyards and the scenic landscapes around them. These boat tours are similar to the ones you can do from Porto. Personally, I had a great time on a traditional Rabelo boat tour with Magnifico Douro. They also offer private boat tours that come with wine and snacks, which makes it a fantastic experience for the whole family.

Best hotels to stay in Pinhão

($$$) The Vintage House Hotel

This luxury hotel is located in a renovated 18th-century wine estate and has beautiful views of the Douro Valley and vineyards. Enjoy a spacious guest room with a furnished balcony and an outdoor swimming pool with a panoramic of the Douro River. The vintage house is very secluded and romantic, making it one of the best hotels to stay in Douro Valley for couples.

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($$) Casa De Casal De Loivos

The 17th-century manor house called Casa de Casal de Loivos provides cozy lodging and boasts an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace with breathtaking views of the Douro Valley.

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($) Dois Lagares House

Dois Lagares House is an affordable and cozy option located in the heart of Pinhão. The property offers a garden, a terrace, free WiFi, and air conditioning in all rooms.

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2. Where to stay in Douro Valley without a car: Peso da Régua

where to stay in douro valley - Peso da Régua

Peso da Régua, commonly known as Regua among locals, is one of the bigger towns in the valley and is located right by the river. It makes a great spot for those who don't want to rent a car and explore the area on foot.

The town is quite lively, especially during summertime when tourists come from all over Portugal and abroad to enjoy the sun and wine. This town has plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops, perfect for joining the crowds and having a few drinks.

However, it's also a great spot for anyone who is into outdoor activities since you can find plenty of easy and not-so-easy trails to go hiking or biking.

Best area for:

  • Travelers

  • Hikers

  • Bikers

  • Families

Things to see & do in Régua

I really enjoy visiting Regua because it has a lot of charming cafes and amazing restaurants located by the Douro River. Whenever I'm in the mood for breakfast, I always head to Galripo Brunch & Coffee. It's a cozy little brunch place where they make fantastic barista-made coffee and serve some of the most delicious French toast I've had in a while.

For dinner, I highly suggest booking a table at The River Restaurant. It's a fine dining spot that offers regional cuisine and, of course, wine from the region.

If you enjoy hiking and biking, Reguá is an excellent location to use as a base. There are numerous hiking trails surrounding the town, as well as plenty of viewpoints. The Miradouro de São Pedro de Lobrigos is a viewpoint located in the hills just above Regua. It takes approximately one hour to reach.

For those who desire a more challenging trek, the Viewpoint of São Leonardo de Galafura is a four-hour journey away. However, once you arrive, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the entire region.

Best hotels to stay in Régua

($$$) Quinta de Marrocos

Quinta de Marrocos is a traditional hotel located in an 18th-century building with a garden overlooking the Douro Valley. It is perfect for couples looking for some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of town.

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($$) Casa da Azenha

Casa da Azenha is a historic property from the late 1600s situated on a vineyard in the Douro region, which is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site near Régua and Porto. With a large organic garden and outdoor swimming pool, this charming country house is perfect for a relaxing stay.

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($) Casa de São Domingos

Casa de São Domingos is an affordable hotel located in the heart of Régua. With a garden, terrace, and free WiFi, it is perfect for those who are looking for a budget-friendly place to stay without compromising on comfort.

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3. Where to stay in Douro Valley within vineyard-covered hills: Lamego

where to stay in douro valley - Lamego

Are you seeking a change from river views to scenic vineyard-covered hills? If yes, then Lamego should be your destination!

It is a picturesque town situated in the midst of a valley that is filled with vineyards and hills. This makes it an ideal location for anyone looking for a more laid-back atmosphere.

Lamega is, without doubt, the cultural center of the region, boasting Baroque-style architecture that extends throughout the village. Its magnificent churches are sure to leave you speechless, making it a fantastic location to explore on foot and capture breathtaking photographs.

Best area for:

  • Couples

  • Families

  • Weekend trips

Things to see & do in Lamego

If you're a fan of outdoor activities, Lamego offers plenty of trails and walks. One of my favorites is the one that takes you up to the Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. The hike itself isn't too challenging, but it does require some fitness, as there are nearly 700 steps leading up to the chapel. Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the entire region!

Climbing up those stairs to visit Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is definitely worth it. This 18th-century chapel has been declared a National Monument and is considered one of the most beautiful in the region. It's a must-visit destination for anyone in the area.

Lamego has many other beautiful churches that you can visit apart from the one mentioned earlier. You can also explore the Lamego Cathedral and Chapel of São Pedro de Balsemão. Additionally, you have the option to visit the Lamego Museum or the Castelo de Lamego!

Best hotels to stay in Lamego

($$$) Douro Castelo Signature Hotel & Spa

Douro Castelo Signature Hotel & Spa is an outstanding modern hotel situated in the lush hills of Lamego. This luxury hotel provides you with all the comfort you need while still keeping a rustic charm.

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($$) Quinta dos Padres Santos

Quinta dos Padres Santos is a great mid-range boutique hotel option located in the beautiful hills of Lamego. The hotel even comes with a spa and an outdoor pool overlooking the vineyards and hills.

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($) Delfim Douro Hotel

For anyone looking for a more affordable stay in Lamego, Delfim Douro Hotel is a great option. This modern hotel has an outdoor pool and free WiFi throughout the property. Plus, guests can also enjoy views of the vineyards from their balcony.

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4. Where to stay in Douro Valley away from the crowds

where to stay in douro valley - away from crowds

In the peak season, the towns located in the Douro Valley can become quite crowded, even overwhelming at times.

Therefore, when I need a break from the hustle and bustle, I prefer to stay in one of the beautiful luxury or wine hotels situated in the area.

Fortunately, there are plenty of these hotels available, allowing for a peaceful and relaxing retreat away from the crowds in the Douro wine region.

Best luxury hotels in Douro Valley

($$$) Six Senses Douro Valley

Six Senses Douro Valley is an outstanding five-star hotel situated in a historic manor house with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards. It offers guests an incredible infinity pool overlooking the hills and a spa with massage treatments while also providing delicious fine-dining options. If a high-class establishment with a wine library is what you are looking for, then this is one of the best Douro Valley hotels for you.

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($$$) Lamego Hotel & Life

Lamego Hotel & Life is a modern and stylish boutique hotel and one of the best hotels in the Douro Valley. Boasting stunning views of the surrounding vineyards, this luxurious hotel offers guests access to an outdoor pool, spa facilities, and a fine-dining restaurant.

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($$$) Quinta De Casaldronho Wine Hotel

Quinta de Casaldronho Wine Hotel is an amazing, super modern hotel. Enjoy the spectacular views of the vineyards and iconic Douro Valley while also indulging in some of Portugal's finest port wines.

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The best wine hotels in Douro Valley

($$$) Quinta Nova Winery House

I highly recommend Quinta Nova Winery House as the best hotel in the Douro Valley. You can enjoy a lovely dinner on their terrace or take a refreshing dip in the hillside swimming pool. Additionally, as the hotel is a functioning vineyard, you'll have the opportunity to taste some of the finest wines in Portugal and gain insight into the winemaking process. Hands down, this is one of the best Douro Valley hotels!

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($$) The Wine House Hotel

The Wine House Hotel is a luxurious accommodation located in Lamego, in the Douro region. It features extensive private grounds with terraced vineyards and has a typical 18th-century design that was restored with respect to its original features. The wine hotel offers a great blend of modern and historical ambiance!

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($) Quinta de la Rosa

If you're looking for a budget-friendly choice, I recommend Quinta de la Rosa. It is a boutique wine hotel located near the Douro River and features a private swimming pool. The rooms are situated on different levels up the hill, granting each room great views of the valley. This place feels so authentic, making it one of my favorite Douro Valley hotels.

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The Ultimate 3-Day Douro Valley Itinerary

Day 1:

Spend your first day in the Douro Valley by visiting the town of Lamego. You can explore its Baroque architecture, visit churches, and wander through old cobblestone streets.

Make sure to stop for lunch at one of the many traditional restaurants located throughout the town. Taberna do Porfírio is my favorite lunch spot here!

While you are here, also make sure to visit the famous Nossa Senhora dos Remédios; it's quite an exhausting climb up the 700 steps, but it's well worth it.

Day 2:

On the second day, make your way to the town of Régua. Here you can visit the Douro Museum and also take a boat tour along the river.

If that's too low-key for you, then you should visit some of the viewpoints around the town. Be aware that some of the hikes can be quite intense, so I recommend coming prepared!

Day 3:

To begin your final day, take a ride on the historic train along the Douro River to Pinaho, a small town known for its excellent wineries and vineyards.

Don't miss out on the wine tours and wine tastings. I highly recommend checking out Quinta de Bonfim and Quinta das Carvalhas wineries. Their tours are affordable and informative, offering a chance to sample a variety of wines while learning about the winemaking process.

Where to stay in Douro Valley – Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is the Douro Valley worth a visit?

Yes, absolutely! The Douro Valley is an incredible place to explore and experience the beauty of nature as well as some of Portugal's best port wine. There are plenty of activities to do in the area, such as wine tasting, a Douro River cruise, and hikes through the vineyards.

📍 What is the best town to stay in Douro Valley?

The best town to stay in the Douro Valley really depends on what you are looking for. If you want a more luxurious experience among the vineyards, Lamego is an excellent option. However, if you prefer something more affordable and laid-back, Pinhão or Régua are great choices.

📅 How many days should I spend in Douro Valley?

I recommend spending at least two nights/three days in the Douro Valley. This will give you enough time to explore some of the main towns, fit in a wine tasting, and take one of the boat trips. It will also give you enough time to relax by the pool and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

❓ Where’s the main town in Douro Valley?

Régua is the main town in Douro River Valley. It serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the valley and its surrounding villages.

🚗 How do I get around Douro Valley? Do I need a car?

The best way to explore the Douro Valley is by car, as public transportation can be limited. However, there are other options available such as train and bus services, as well as bike rentals in some of the main towns.

🏨 Is it better to stay in Douro Valley or Porto?

It really depends on what you are looking for. If you want to explore the city of Porto, then it would be better to stay there. However, if you are looking for a more peaceful and relaxed experience among the vineyards and nature, then staying in Douro Valley is definitely the better option.

Where to stay in Douro Valley – Final Words

The Douro Valley is an incredible place to explore and experience the beauty of nature, as well as some of Portugal's best port wine. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay among vineyards or something more budget-friendly and relaxed, there are plenty of accommodation options in the area.

I found that all of the villages have their own charm, but as long as you have a car, it almost doesn't matter where you are staying because it's super easy to drive from one town to another.

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