Relaxing in Port Wine Country – 2 Nights in the Douro River Valley

High above the Douro

Relaxing Pinhão – Pinhão (PEE-now)

CS Vintage House Hotel, 2 nights in a room with a balcony and view – RELAX.
The Douro Valley is a very relaxing place, and 2 nights in Pinhão was a great change of pace.

We loved the stay at this hotel – a balcony with a terrific view, a spacious quiet room, and 2 twins together to make a very comfortable king size bed. The special offer rate included breakfast, which we had both days on the loggia outside the breakfast room. It’s a beautiful place, the first night we enjoyed our complimentary port in the elegant bar/library.

View of the Douro from room 115 balcony at Vintage House Hotel

View of the Douro from room 115 balcony at Vintage House Hotel

The Hotel has an arrangement with one of the tourist Rabello boats, for €20 each you just add the price to your tab, take your tickets and walk down to docks. A very enjoyable (did I mention relaxing?) cruise down the Douro and back up past Pinhao to Tua.

Tourist Rabello boat cruise from Pinhao

Tourist Rabello boat cruise from Pinhao

The Douro vineyards are unique and a beautiful day on the water a great way to enjoy. The weather was nice the second week of May, even went for a swim! Now THAT’s relaxing! Pinhao is small but there are plenty of dining options for a short stay in walking distance from the hotel.

Casa de Mateus

The next day we headed up the winding road over to Casa de Mateus and a guided tour of the mansion and a walk around the gardens, a nice excursion only 40 minutes from Pinhao. Tip: A tour of the house is guided ONLY, we lucked out and had a half hour to see the gardens (about all you need) before the 1:00pm tour.

Casa de Mateus

Casa de Mateus

Traditional Portuguese meal in Pinhão: Restaurant Adega Grande Ponte – We enjoyed the €15 each dinner of “typical” Portuguese food, desert and a carafe of house red wine. In this fixed price meal, you don’t have to worry about what to order, you’ll have what the chef is serving. After some olives and bread, a delicious dish of braised beef short ribs with cabbage came out. That was plenty…THEN out came a typical lamb dish served with potatoes and carrots! All very tasty and traditional type of meal.

Leaving Pinhao

Travel: Drive from Pinhão To Valladolid – 4 hours.

Northwest Spain for 18 Nights

We left the lovely Douro Valley for Spain where we spent 18 nights in the Basque country, the Picos and Galicia before coming back to Portugal to drop off the rental car and see Porto before flying to France.

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