This region in Portugal is a well-known and popular wine producing region. The main wine product is port wine which is of the very best quality. In this region one can enjoy the lovely landscape, see wine producing farm complexes, quaint chapels and villages. Once the Douro River carried the traditional “Rabelo” boats that brought the wine down the river to the west coast and from there to markets all around the globe. Now the river carries hotel boats with tourists who come to take cruises to see all of the fantastic scenery.
There are many fantastic places to explore such as Lamego where you can see a medieval cathedral which stands right in the center of town. It is a fortress-like church with a bell tower and a 16th century triple portico on the façade. Inside the ceiling designs were made by Nicole Nissan. Another building to see and admire is the Museum which features incredible 15th century paintings, a wonderful collection of Flemish tapestries as well as religious art. There are also manor houses to look at. There is the shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remedies standing on a hill overlooking the village. It can be approached by a magnificent stairway. Toward the north is the Archeological Park of Vale of Cao featuring prehistoric rock carving and has been dedicated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This particular region has a hot, dry micro climate and rocky soil as a result of this it has made ideal conditions for grapes. You can see that the banks of the river have steeply terraced vineyards. All of the small villages have strong cultural traditions that are based on religious festivals. Here visitors can see hand crafted baskets, pottery and the work done by tinsmiths. There are also regional foods available like bread baked in wood ovens, smoked hams or sausages. In the month of February one can see the beauty of blooming fruit trees such as pears, cherries, apples, oranges and figs. Especially striking are the almond trees.
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