I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic, I think it’s because I’ve just been so on the go. It’s been even worse, the wanderlust is especially driving me crazy after I finally framed a photo from my Portugal trip last year. It makes me happy but also makes my travel itch even worse! Yet surrounding myself with things that make me smile, like these travel memories, has definitely helped to keep this hectic few months a bit more sane.
Now when I look at the calendar I don’t get stressed, instead excited. I have a beautiful rustic garden boho wedding, then I’m jet setting back to this beautiful country. the more I go back. So I’m pretty excited for this month for sure. It’s so bad but I’ve been so busy or my computer was just cooperating with me that I haven’t even shared all my travels from Portugal, including one of my absolute favorite adventures.
I’ve been fully embracing May and the gorgeous weather it has finally brought and I have felt inspired, productive, energetic, like myself once again. I managed to find a few more quite moments here and there, either in the early morning quietness of the garden or bright warm afternoon. I had these photos ready to share with you for well over a month, and am now putting words to these photos, which simply don’t do these amazing stunning natural views justice!
Someone take me back to paradise. To where nothing filled the air but the silence of the vines wrestling in the dry summer wind. Where onto your horizon, all you see are rolling hills of perfectly curved green striped patterns all along the majestic Douro River. Douro. The place of so much natural beauty and rich Portuguese history. It’s breathtaking, and so is it’s wine. It’s is the birth place of Portuguese wine, including where majority of the world’s Port Wine is made. ‘s well as Europe! You’re welcome 😉
Someone take me back to the place that I can still imagine perfectly whenever I close my eyes, even almost a year after….
Porutgual’s Douro Region, it’s a beautiful slice of heaven, paradise, whatever you’d like to call it, but natural wonder. Umm can I wake up to this everyday ?! Is that possible…
The disheartening thing about Douro is that although it’s one of most beautiful areas in Portugal, as well as culturally and historically important, almost all those born and living in the country don’t even ever make it here. How sad is that? But these days there so many affordable, and last minute trips that you can take to be able to see this once in a lifetime natural wine beauty.
And that’s how our amazing day trip to Douro happened. The whole trip to Porto was because of a complete change of plans. I was still looking to have ourselves a mini getaway to celebrate my birthday, Yes, that is the only way I prefer to celebrate a birthday, traveling, don’t you think?? I think to end one year, and welcome a new year it’s good to do it with some new experiences and sites. Or maybe because for most of my college birthdays and the few years after, we would take family vacations around Memorial Day weekend and would still be away during my day. Jamaica, Grand Turk, San Juan……I’m definitely grateful I’ve been able to cherish birthdays and another year of life by experiencing these beautiful wonders.
Remember how I said most of Portugal natives and residents don’t even ever get to see Douro, that also includes not truly experience the amazingness that is Porto, so naturally I chose Porto. By now from simply walking around this famous, colorful, vibrant and enticing city, Porto had hooked me. But one of the bigger reasons I did choose this area over heading to the south and beach haven, was because the Douro region is only a 2 hour car ride away. And am I really going to pass up picturesque mountain views, endless majestic vineyards, lovely boat rides, and tastings galore??! Oh, no one should ever pass that up!
So when we knocked out most of Porto our first afternoon on foot, I decided why don’t we hitch a ride, take a walk through the vines and taste our way to the country’s finest wine region. A quick search and it lead me to two affordable day passes that included direct pick up and drop off, vineyard tour with Port Wine tasting, traditional lunch alongside river, tour of smaller vineyard with wine, honey and olive oil tasting. How awesome does that all sound for the price? Not to mention you’re getting 4 hours of stunning views of the wine country, and even plenty of time to get in a nap before getting back to the bustle of Porto and night ahead of you.
Our first stop was a walking tour through the hilly vines of famous Portuguese Port Wine, Fonseca. After I led our tour pack down the wrong path on a hot dry sunny day, we cooled off beneath the shady fig trees to try some of the brands famed ports.
We started with the white port wines, which I didn’t even know existed! Naturally as a dry white wine drinker I was excited to try these out, and surprisingly really enjoyed them. They weren’t too sweet as one would expect with port, but the white variety blended in an oak barrel with remains of port happened to be my favorite. We then gradually tasted our way to the traditional Ports including one aged for 25 years. Now that was one good glass of Port Wine!!
The beautiful mountains have endless natural sights to see. Yes, there are endless vines, but there are also plenty of olive trees just beginning to grow their fruits, fig trees starting to ripen, almond trees, rose bushes, wild flowers and everything in between. Each piece putting the final note of color, texture, fragrance and uniqueness to this picturesque sight.
Hello happy place!! You don’t need to tell us twice to stop, if there is an overlook as amazing as this one. It’ll be very hard to get me back in the car. And it was!!
A traditional Portuguese lunch was served halfway to our next vineyard destination. We naturally enjoyed a family style meal, as is the Portuguese way, of roasted cod with baby potatoes and broccoli rabe along with braised lamb with rice for the meat eaters. We finished our delicious meals off with a sweet and richly delicious slice of cake, a classic in this region soaked in sugared Aguardente. And of course the double espresso! We then made the way on our pretty drive through wine country villages and our final vineyard, Quinta Jalloto.
With lunch not too long behind us, our appetites seemed to opened up after the lovely ride because we were ready for a tasting of their family run wines, olive oils and delicate honey, which I brought back several jars of! The first white wine we tried was delicious, one of my favorite Portuguese white wines I’ve probably ever had, and surprisingly for a non-rose drinker, theirs was just delectable
Okay, it’s official I’m putting this image on my vision board because I need to wake up to this site more often!
Douro you were an amazing trip we were able to do in a day that even included a boat ride down part of the famed Douro River. Wow, what a magnificent sight! Wait until I share the second part of our Douro trip. Because there were too many lovely shots and the calming, breathtaking, quiet boat ride requires a post all on its on.
Douro, you lindissimo, marivilhoso, amazing, breathtaking, awe inspiring, natural beauty. I will try to get back as often as I can! Because even if this was the only thing I did on last year’s trip, it still would’ve been one of my favorites.