It connects Vila Nova de Gaia to Vila Nova de Foz Côa, with a total of 226 kilometres in the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the 27 kilometre stretch between Peso da Régua and Pinhão is, undoubtedly, the cherry on top of the cake, as it swirls round and through amazing landscapes. It was once considered the best road in the world to drive.
Journey through the Portuguese Route 66 with your partner, as its landscapes, history and gastronomy guarantee days well spent, involved in an undeniably passionate atmosphere. All About Portugal suggests seven must-see places, between Caldas de Aregos and São João da Pesqueira, but there is much more to discover.
Caldas de Aregos Spa – Resende
We start our itinerary towards the Alto Douro Wine Region in Resende, immediately setting the tone for the journey: decompressing at the Caldas de Aregos Spa. Recognized for their therapeutic waters since the 17th century, these spas are the ideal place to relax your body and mind. Located right on the riverside, next to the pier, the pleasant surrounding outdoor area invites you to walk hand in hand.
Peso da Régua Pier
We continue towards Peso da Régua and, upon arriving, cross over to the other bank to see the magnificent pier. Here, we can choose to visit the Douro Museum to learn a little more about the natural and cultural heritage of the Douro Demarcated Region, or simply stroll through this river pier of rare beauty, with the moored rabelo boats. If you can, wait for the late afternoon, and witness the breathtaking spectacle the sunset creates.
São Leonardo da Galafura Viewpoint
We now make a detour to the unbelievable viewpoint of São Leonardo da Galafura, the most famous viewpoint in the region, known to have inspired Miguel Torga (“The sublime Douro. […] It is not a panorama that the eyes contemplate: it is an excess of nature.”). The views are stunningly beautiful: the steep slopes, the vineyards of a thousand colours and, in the centre, the imposing river.
Pinhão Railway Station
We return to the most panoramic section of the EN222, bound for the wonderful Pinhão Railway Station, where the 19th century tiles stand out with images that reflect the life of the region. Pinhão looks like a scene out of an old film, with the Douro River and the Pinhão River intersecting the beautiful riverside area, and the station where the historic train transports us to distant times. It all interconnects, creating a magnificent landscape that was even classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Casal de Loivos Viewpoint
Before returning to the EN222, we make another small detour to the Casal de Loivos viewpoint, located in the village with the same name. With superb views over the Douro valley and the village of Pinhão, it is the perfect setting for a relaxing moment, with the meandering of the river course as a central point. Is there a more romantic landscape than this?
São João da Pesqueira Wine Museum
We return to EN222 and head to São João da Pesqueira, to visit the Wine Museum, whose mission is to document and preserve the wine heritage of the Douro. Here, in addition to the permanent exhibition, there is a tasting room, a store with a wide variety of wines and products from the region, and even a wine bar. As expected, the visit ends with a tasting.
São Salvador do Mundo Viewpoint
We make a final detour to the wonderful viewpoint of São Salvador do Mundo, to end this road trip on a high note, literally. With fabulous panoramic views over the Douro Valley, this is one of the most impressive viewpoints in the region, where the Sanctuary of São Salvador do Mundo also stands out, with its small chapels. In addition to the beautiful spectacle that the vineyards create around the river, it is possible to glimpse the Valeira Dam and, in the background, the Douro Railway. The perfect ending to a perfect itinerary, contemplating the perfect symbiosis between what Man and Nature built.