Palaeolithic rock art in the Douro Valley at Foz Coa

It would seem people have occupied the Douro Valley for a very long time! The name Foz Coa is associated with rock art of the Upper Palaeolithic Period in the valleys of Coa and the Douro rivers. They were officially discovered only in 1995 during the construction of the Coa dam. The Coa Valley has therefore been classified as a national monument and considered a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO.

So far over 26KM of engravings have been discovered with over 1000 examples of rock art. Only 3 of the 66 sites containing the engravings can be visited – so head to the architect built Coa Museum.

Its not what most tourists expect to see when visiting the Douro Valley, but fascinating and well worth a trip.

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The ancient village of Salzedas in the Douro

Salzedas dates back to the 12th century, when the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria de Salzedas was built. This monastery, which is a national monument, became one of the richest, largest and most important Portuguese monasteries and had a notable and significant library. Other attractions of the village include the Romanesque bridge of Vila Pouca and a  collection of houses and streets Quelho de Salzedas.

Douro Valley historical facts. 2000 years of wine making!

A very informative page with lots of facts about the Douro’s history. 2000 years of wine making is simply incredible. Whilst its widely discussed that it was the Romans introduced vines – some experts believe it was in-fact the Phoenicians. That takes the date back even further!

Douro Region The Douro Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.The Alto Douro Wine Region was inscribed on the World Heritage List, taking into account the following criteria:The Alto Douro region has been producing wine for almost two thousand years and its landscape was shaped by human activities.The components of the Alto Douro landscape are representative of the full range of activities associated with winemaking – land, estates (winemaking agricultural complexes), villages, chapels and roads.The Alto Douro cultural landscape is an outstanding example of a traditional European wine producing region, reflecting the evolution of this human activity over time.

Source: Niepoort

Douro Valley tours and wine lovers 

A sneaky post from my own Douro Valley tour site. But written by one of my excellent travel writers who resides in Lisbon.

For the wine lover, a trip to Portugal couldn’t possibly be complete without a tour of the Duoro Valley. This wine region is so culturally significant it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2001, and it remains as one of the oldest official wine regions in the entire world. Of course, history isn’t the main thing that draws flocks of travellers here: that honour belongs to the wines. An impressive range of both table wines and fortified wines (most notably Port) get produced every year from the tens of thousands of vineyards that cover the valley. An ideal way to tour the Duoro Valley is to start […]

Source: Douro Valley tours for wine lovers – Douro Valley Tours

Exploring the Douro Valley

As ever Julie Dawn Fox gives a wonderful insight on travelling through the Douro Valley. As a seasoned writer and Portugal expat, her perspective is always engaging. Check out the post on her blog below.

Portugal’s World Heritage site, the Douro valley is well worth exploring. These tips will help you understand your options for travelling around it.

Source: How and when to explore the Douro valley | Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal

Douro Valley river cruise to the heart of Portugal

As ever – the news papers have some of the best content on the web. Primarily because they’re not selling anything, you can enjoy reading well written articles from first hand experience of the best travel writers. The below post on the Telegraph (UK) is excellent and provides some useful tips …. worth a read before you start booking anything!

A Cruising along the Duoro, Portugal’s once-wild river, left an indelible impression on Gabriella Le Breton

Source: Douro river cruise: to the heart of Portugal – Telegraph

A guide to the Best Wine Hotels in the Douro Valley

From Wine Tourism Portugal. This cracking guide gives comprehensive information and photos of the best places to stay. Bet the author enjoyed doing this article! What a lovely job to have ….

Discover the best wine hotels in Douro by the perspective of Nelson Carvalheiro. An insider’s guide to the best wine estates in Douro.

Source: Best Wine Hotels in the Douro Valley

Visiting The Douro Valley

Probably one of the most useful sites out there on Portugal. From the Portugal Tourist Board – lots and lots of useful information about visiting the Douro Valley. Make sure you follow them on Twitter too – always something good being tweeted daily.

The Douro Valley could as easily be called the enchanted valley, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer.

Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (table wines and Port wine), produced on its hillsides, also end up, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. None will leave you indifferent.

Read more at the official page:

Source: The Douro Valley

Douro Valley – History, photos, accommodation & tourist attractions 

From a useful website with lots of Douro Valley information.

The Douro Valley is home to the River Douro, the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, which runs for eight hundred and ninety seven kilometres from the Spanish town of Duruelo de la Sierra to Porto, Portugal’s second city. For one hundred and twelve kilometres the river forms part of the border between Spain and Portugal. In the past, impassable canyons formed a barrier against marauding armies. Today this wild and beautiful frontier landscape is protected by the authority of the Douro International Park.

Source: Douro Valley – History, photos, accommodation & tourist attractions | Travel in Portugal

Portugal’s valley of the kings | Life and style | The Guardian

As ever, the Guardian Newspaper writes some of the best travel articles out there! This one is well worth a read if you’re researching the Douro Valley for a trip.

The Douro valley in Portugal is stunning: vertiginous granite slopes, each one divided into rows of narrow terraces topped by vines and supported by dry-stone walls, sweep up from the wide Douro river as it meanders west towards Porto. It’s been described as the most beautiful wine region in the world.

Source: Portugal’s valley of the kings | Life and style | The Guardian