I was in Porto for just 3 days and wanted to get out and see a bit more than just the city. That in mind, let me say that this was exactly what I was looking for. The beautiful Duoro Valley is in my mind an unmissable part of the experience, and I'd argue this may be the best way to see it.
On this trip, our guide made decisions such as where to eat and what wine tasting to attend based on the quality of service, product quality and authenticity, and his personal experiences at the locations. I think this is important to note so that you know you'll be getting the very best experience that your guide is able to offer, even if there are changes to the itinerary for unforeseen reasons.
Pick up was timely by our driver and guide, Nuno. During the several hour car journey, he spoke all about the history of Porto, it's architecture, famous figures in Portuguese history, different cultural influences of the area, and so much more; all the while safely navigating the winding roads.
We stopped at a cafe after an hour or so into the journey. We were informed when lunch would be (2:00-ish) so we could plan accordingly then. We were taken to several lookout points, prior to embarking on the 45 min boat tour. From there we had lunch at an authentic eatery, sampling many dishes and two table wines. Their 'Plan A' winery was unavailable on this day, so we were taken to 'Plan B' which offered us 3-4 samples of port as well as a private tour of their cellars. Afterwards, before making the trip home, we stopped at Pinhao Train Station where Nuno talked about the historic painted tiles that make this station a national heritage site.
I can't envision anyone having a negative opinion of this experience unless they didn't allow themselves to enjoy the moment. You'll be getting carted around gorgeous landscapes with the intent of learning about port wine, but really learning more about what it means to be Portuguese. Great cultural immersion. Thank you for the experience.
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