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Lovely cabins in Douro's vineyards

I-SuperhostSanta Marinha do Zêzere, Porto, Portugal
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The isolated cabins are a wonderful place to simply switch off, unwind and enjoy the views and sounds of Douro, from your terrace or the shared pool. DOURO still has a glimpse of older times that we cherish a lot.


The isolated cabins are a wonderful place to simply switch off, unwind and enjoy the views and sounds of Douro, from your terrace or the shared pool. But for those looking to make a few trips whilst in Douro, we’ve put together some suggestions below. It’s worth noting that the slow pace of Douro and it being somewhat off the tourist track means that advance booking is often recommended - particularly for wine tastings and dinner. The winding roads can mean driving takes a bit of time, but the views are stunning! Also, restaurants don’t always accept international credit cards - it’s worth carrying enough euros just in case.


As a UNESCO protected region for its landscape and enoculture, the Douro valley is full of estates producing port and table wine, with a huge array of sites and quintas offering tastings and visits. But you likely know all of this, and that’s why you’re visiting. We would thoroughly recommend trips to any of the below to start with – they all produce wines we love. Booking ahead is normally necessary.

Quinta de Covela
The nearest estate by Douro Cabins for tastings is Quinta de Covela - a 10 minute drive down the road, or about an 80 minute walk (it’s super close, but the road is winding and steep!). Covela has excellent wines (many using, unusually, a single grape variety, allowing you to really taste the fruit in question). The estate is beautiful yet very humble and low key, with very friendly personal service, tailored to your time and desires. The estate was also formerly owned by Portuguese film director (and national hero) Manoel de Oliveira. We love its calm and casual atmosphere (and the Avesso white). The Quinta has also recently created a walking path for visitors through its vineyards. Choose from several tasting options. Book ahead

Quinta do Vallado
Vallado make fantastic wines, and a visit to their winery includes a guided tour through their vineyards, high-tech manufacturing area and cellars, followed by tastings in the contemporary architecture of their reception area.
Tours and tastings occur twice a day. Entrance is about 500m further down the road from the Vallado hotel. Booking recommended:

Quinta do Crasto
One of the kings of Douro, Crasto make magnificent wines, their reds in particular being wonderful and very distinctive. Their Quinta is down river past Regua, about an 80 minute drive from the cabins. Advance booking for tastings/wine tourism is essential, lunch or dinner can also be arranged.

Quinta da Ervamoira
This is a beautiful day out, or a great trip combined with the nearby Museu e Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (see DO). Situated in the more remote inland end of the Douro river, around a 2.5hr drive from the cabins, Ervamoira is in sensationally unspoiled countryside. The views and location really are remarkable, but it is quite a trip to get there, so maybe only recommended for those staying longer in the cabins and up for an adventure! The Quinta is so remote, in fact, that to get there you will be picked up in a 4X4 from a nearby village, and driven for around 20mins down winding dirt roads to the house. The Quinta offers a visit to its estate and museum with Port tastings (15 euros), or the possibility of a combined lunch. We’d thoroughly recommend eating at the Quinta if you’ve made the trip, they offer menus at 35, 50 and 70 euros. Booking ahead by at least a day is essential.


Most restaurants offer lunch from 12-15.00, and dinner from 19.00-22.00, and are closed in between. Below follow some of our favourites. Booking for dinner is always recommended if possible, but booking for lunch should normally not be necessary.

Fundação Eça De Queiroz / Restaurante de Tormes
Wonderful restaurant - great food and great value - in the historical countryside retreat of 19th century Portuguese writer Eça De Queiroz. The house and region inspired Eça’s celebrated book A Cidade e as Serras - which was written here - and the restaurant recreates dishes from Eça’s writings. Culture and cuisine! You can also take a tour of the house if you like (5 Euros), which retains some of Eça’s possessions and remained in his family until its recent conversion into a foundation. The foundation also make their own green wine, Tormes, from the vines on site. A very close 12 minute drive from the cabins (or a 90 minute walk, primarily along the highway). This restaurant is our favourite - if you’re after a great local meal, make this one it.
“Located in the place of Tormes, in the parish of Santa Cruz do Douro, in the municipality of Baião, Tormes' main mission is to make the dishes that Eça de Queiroz describes so well in various works, such as chicken soup, rice of fava beans, amongst many others, always accompanied by an excellent green wine.” The foundation generally isn’t too busy, but if heading there for dinner, we’d recommend advance booking for peace of mind.

A Casa do Almocreve
Close to the cabins! About a 20 minute drive, on the way to Baiao. Hearty Douro cooking, done very well indeed. A great nearby option for good cooking.

Tasca do Zequinha
Super tasty, super value, Douro home cooking. Casual and cozy, it feels like being welcomed into someone’s home. We love it here, and normally go on the way to the cabins, as there’s a super market in Mesão Frio where you can stock up on supplies too. Around 20 mins from the cabins.

Tasquinha do Fumo
Hearty and delicious Douro cuisine. Use GPS to get there! (Around a 35 min drive from the cabins.)
“Located in Almofrela, Tasquinha do Fumo provides delicacies of regional gastronomy, cooked in clay and iron pots. In this rustic house, do not miss the roast and roasted oak in the wood oven, arouquesa veal or grilled cod with potatoes are some of the specialties. In the winter, stews and rojões with chestnuts.” Booking ahead is essential, as they prepare food based on bookings.

DOC - Chef Rui Paula
A contemporary building on the Douro river, complete with an open air terrace, DOC offers fine dining from a celebrated chef (who holds a Michelin star for Boa Nova, one of his other restaurants outside of Porto, and who clearly is gunning for a star for DOC as well). The food isn’t cheap, but it’s truly excellent, and the restaurant an excellent choice for a treat or special occasions. The restaurant offer tasting menus from 80 euros, or you can go a la carte for around 40-50 euros per person. It’s about a 45 min drive from the cabins.

Castas e Pratos
More expensive than most of the more humble tascas listed here (mains are in the 20 euros region), Castas e Pratos is a sleek restaurant in a converted warehouse next to Regua’s traintracks, selling refined versions of Douro cuisine. Their wine list is insane, selling almost all of Douro’s wine and port producers for consumption on or offsite. In between mealtimes, they offer tapas and operate as a winebar. Reservations recommended for dinner: +(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)

Quinta da Pacheca
“The Wine House Hotel’s restaurant is worth a visit on its own and an amazing gastronomic experience. With elegant, modern and sober decoration, its main area allows you to embrace the river with the view and immediately enjoy one of the best offers in the region. The varied and tempting menu respects the traditional Portuguese cuisine’s concept and uses Douro’s typical products that the virtuoso ‘chef’ Carlos Pires works with almost divine inspiration. And each special dish is accompanied by the best-suited Quinta da Pacheca wine, thus enriching the adventure of flavours.”
C.45 min drive from Douro Cabins, close to Regua.

Restaurante O Tachinho Da Té
Traditional Portuguese food, very reasonably priced, around 75 min drive from the cabins. A good option if you find yourself in this lesser-populated part of Douro!

Restaurante Toca da Raposa
Located in Ervedosa do Douro, the restaurant Toca da Raposa presents an exquisite and cozy space completely framed by the history and concept of the region. The restaurant highlights refined traditional menus of regional Douro cuisine, made over the years in the region, and an award-winning wine list, winner of some national competitions showcasing the diversity of excellent Douro wines.
About 80 mins from the cabin, in a small town close to Pinhao, and on the way to Foz Coa.


Museu do Douro (Régua)
A great little museum showcasing the history of wine production in the Douro, with a focus on Douro’s history, culture and industry of viniculture from the Romans to the present day. Free port tasting is included with the price of admission. Regua is around a 40 min drive from the cabins, and is the main hub for Douro’s tourism. It’s not the prettiest of towns, but it’s a great place to start an adventure of the valley, especially before or after a wine tasting. Regua is also the final destination for most of the Douro cruises, and is easily accessible by train from Ermida station. Open daily, 10 - 18.00.

A beautiful old town and bustling heart of the lower Douro, Lamego is presided over by its towering cathedral, which is well worth the trip up its monumental stairway. Lamego is also famous for its ‘bolas de carne’ (literally, ‘meat cakes’) - savory meat or fish filled bread. Lamego is also famed for its ham. If in town, we thoroughly enjoy sparkling wine and presunto in the garden of A Presunteca de Lamego. Lamego is about a 50 min drive from the cabins.

Museu e Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa
At the far end of Douro, around a 2 hr 15 min drive from the Cabins, is found the wonderful Foz Coa Museum - dedicated to the UNESCO listed Paleolithic rock art discovered in the valley in the 1990s. The museum has great content, and is housed in a very handsome contemporary building, overlooking magnificent landscape. It’s takes a journey to get here, so we only recommended it for those with more time in Douro, and up for a day trip and prehistory.
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 9 - 17.30 (closed between 12.30 - 14.00).

Guided tours to rock art sites in the Côa Valley archaeological park
Guided tours are the only way to visit Coa Valley’s 20,000 year old rock art. There are several sites to chose from, with Penascosa perhaps offering the best overview. Visitors are driven to the site from pick-up points in 4x4s, and visits take around 90 mins. Advance bookings are highly recommended (although we’ve found they’re not always so easy to arrange!), although you can also enquire at the museum on the day and try your luck. No visits on Mondays… The tour costs 10-15 euros per person, and is, to our minds, wonderful.

Parque Fluvial de Porto de Rei
A great spot to swim in the Douro, protected by a natural bay with generally pretty warm waters as a result. Around a 20 minute drive from the cabins, this ‘parque fluvial’ (river beach/park) has plenty of space for picnics and to bathe. Popular with locals, there are a couple of good dependable cafés/restaurant to grab food and shade in too.

Ponte e Parque Fluvial da Lagariça - Freigil
You will certainly need GPS to get here - and maybe to ask a local or two for help en route too - but if you want a secluded spot to swim in the Rio Cabrum and bathe on its banks next to an old bridge, this is a great little spot. It’s super small, and basically in the middle of nowhere, but is normally deserted except for a local or two. As the river flows down from the mountains, the water tends to be cold! Often it has a little cafe open. A winding 30min drive from the cabins.

Casa de Mateus
The palace that adorns the label of Mateus wine!
The Casa de Mateus was built in the first half of the 18th century by António José Botelho Mourão, 3rd Morgado de Mateus. This replaced the former family house which had stood on the site since the beginning of the 17th century. In 1910, it was classified as a National Monument. The artefacts on permanent display at the Casa de Mateus constitute an important and unique collection of heritage and artistic value that communicates the history of the Family and the House. The Casa de Mateus is nowadays a living museum which retains the original arrangements and functions of many of its rooms.
A guided tour of the palace costs 12 euros, or a visit to the grounds 8.50. Wine and port tastings are also available. Open 9.00 - 19.30, May to October (shorter opening hours outside of high-season).

Aregos/Caldas de Aregos
Enjoy a boat trip across the river! (Semi)-regular ferries cross from Aregos train station to Caldas de Aregos on the other side of the Douro, where you can hang around grabbing ice cream and coffee, have a quick wander around the town, or jump into the river with the locals. On the platform of Aregos train station, a cute cafe sells snacks and local wines.

Museu do Vinho de São João da Pesqueira
Worth a trip if you’re in the area, but if you go to one one museum, we’d recommend the Museu do Douro in Regua.
Port and Douro wines have been absolutely essential to the development of the Pesqueira municipality and its collective memory. Thus, the Museu do Vinho de S. João da Pesqueira has undertaken the responsibility to document and preserve the municipality's grape-growing and winemaking heritage. The cultural, educational and touristic interpretation of this patrimony is intended to publicise and promote the culture and the identity of wine in S. João da Pesqueira and the Douro Valley. The exhibition is divided into three sections covering the geological formation of S. João da Pesqueira and the Douro Valley, its landscape and its wines.
Open Tues to Fri, (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN); Sat - Sun, 14.30 - 18.30.

Supermarkets and Supplies
The closest village to the cabins is Santa Marinha do Zêzere (c.7min drive), where you’ll find a café or two, a bakery, butcher, small ‘supermarket’ and a cashpoint. A little further away in the quiet little town of at Mesão Frio (c.20min drive), you’ll find a couple of larger supermarkets, gas stations, a pharmacy etc. Regua is a great place to load up on supplies, as it’s a big town with multiple shops, large supermarkets, gas stations etc.

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piscina comum

Ezinye izinto ekufuneka uziqaphele
Since 2015 Portugal has more strictly enforced a long­standing law requiring anyone providing paid holiday accommodation to record the entry, exit, and identification details of all non ­Portuguese nationals who use that accommodation. This law has been brought into force in Portugal and most other EU countries at some point since the gradual implementation of the 1990 Schengen Agreement that aims to stop human trafficking and other illegal practices. In this case, it is specifically Article 45 of the Schengen Agreement
and the recent Alojamento Local law in Portugal that has brought this rule into sharper focus.
The governing body that monitors the movement of foreigners is SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras or the Immigration and Borders Service). We ask you to write your passport number in a form we will leave in the house.

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The isolated cabins are a wonderful place to simply switch off, unwind and enjoy the views and sounds of Douro, from your terrace or the shared pool. DOURO still has a glimpse of older times that we cherish a lot.


The isolated cabins are a wonderful place to simply switch off, unwind and enjoy the views and sounds of Douro, from your terrace or the…
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Santa Marinha do Zêzere, Porto, Portugal


Umbuki zindwendwe ngu- Joana

Ujoyine nge- 2012 June
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I'm Joana, born and raised in Porto and with my heart in Douro. My family and I decided to build these eco-friendly houses in order to provide a more calm experience of Douro's vineyards.
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