Roadtrip in the Douro valley to explore stunning viewpoints! That´s the most popular way to reveal the Portuguese famous Vine region listed on UNESCO heritage since 2001. Get inspirations for unforgettable scenery and taste the slow and quiet rural life as well as the local world´s famous Port Vine.
Do You like the map above with the most stunning viewpoints in the Douro valley as well as the proposed road trip? Download the GPS file!!!
Roadtrip around viewpoints in the Douro Valley
If You are attracted by remote rural nature, but still populated just enough to have roads this trip in the Douro valley is just for You. Narrow winding roads twisting up and down the steep hill always with spectacular views. Following the largest river in the Iberian Peninsula by car or campervan is definitely a point on a bucket list of every nature-loving traveler.
The Douro river itself is almost 900 kilometers long starting in the Spanish town Duruelo de la Sierra. Meandering through Parque Natural do Douro International also passing many famous Vineyard in Portugal. The river was originally fast-flowing and unpredictable, but the construction of eight dams has rendered it tranquil and lake-like. The journey is finishing in Porto and infuses into the Atlantic Ocean.
Driving the entire route proposed in on the map above You will have a chance to visit the entire region. It´s about 410 kilometers long and allows at least two days to cover. At least in the wintertime, one day is not enough. In order to fully enjoy the region even three days are not enough. Get a really good car as sometimes You will have to go offroad or at least follow rural tractor-like roads. Narrow towns are demanding for drivers’ concentration as well as everywhere present street dogs will test your reactions.
Alternative transport to reach viewpoints in the Douro valley
Unfortunately without a car reaching most of the points will be hard. By bike is an option, but still very demanding. There are only a few buses in the region and usually not passing around remote viewpoints.
Definitely a great option to enjoy the region in slow motion. Taking a boat or a cruise is a popular way to explore the region from a different perspective. There are plenty of choices from one-day sails to week-long cruises. Also, the price is highly differing based on the preferences of every single person. If You have time definitely the ship cruise is one of the best full-time viewpoints in the Douro valley.
Maybe the biggest attraction is a historical rail that is in operation from June to October. The steam train runs between Regua and Tua just next to the river in an amazing nature beautiful landscape, which is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage. For more information about the historical train visit the “Douro historical train” site.
Luckily there is a railway almost along the entire Douro river so it´s possible to travel in the Douro valley like in the old times with magnificent views in the Douro valley from the coupe of the train.
Top viewpoints of the Douro Valley
The points are a pick of the best viewpoints in the Douro valley. Those places are considered as the most attractive places in the region to visit. I recommend downloading the GPS file to your device for easier navigation, which can be found at the beginning of the post.
Miradouro do Penedo Durao
One of the most stunning viewpoints on Roadtrip in the Douro valley. Standing on the cliff, which is falling down from the peak Durao is simply breathtaking. Almost 700 meters above the level of reservoir Saucelle Dam which is changing the flow from still as a mirror to wild rapids. This great viewpoint gives also an overview of the unique conflux of a River Huebra and river Douro. The park which is at the viewpoint is a perfect place to enjoy the tranquility as well as slowly passing time. The parking lot at the top can be a good spot for a camper or a tent on nearby grass.
Miradouro do Vargelas
Another great viewpoint in the Douro valley located just at the side of the winding road, but very spectacular. Scenic railway lining the horseshoe bend of the river is one of the must-do attractions in the Douro valley. Distant views of the opposite mountains as well as terraced grape vineyards are typical for the region. This place I consider as one of the most beautiful parts of the roadtrip in the Douro valley. Luckily the place is quite remote so it´s a great place to enjoy the genuine of the rural wine region alone.
Miradouro da Cruzinha
Wonderful view of the Spanish village Salto de Aldeadávila on the other bank of the river which lies in the deep gorge. This spectacular horseshoe bend of the river is still inside of Parque Natural do Douro International. For sure one of the must-see viewpoints on the Roadtrip in the Douro valley. At the viewpoint, there is a shelter for lunch or a place to sleep. Also, the parking lot is suitable for pitching a campervan for a night.
Miradouro Casal de Loivos
On the mountain just above and not far from the famous town Pinhao. Look down from the viewpoint on the meandering river Douro between adjacent hills. Enjoy the scenery like from the old times. Rural villages, working farmers, the smell of burning fire as well as train honking in the valley. All of this on the background of everywhere present vine terraces. A great place to stop for a while and stare down on passing ships under the modest bridge. Despite this place is just in the middle of the village luckily there is plenty of space around. Take a break from the roadtrip in the Douro Valley and get lost in vineyards.
Castro de Vilarinho dos Galegos (Fragas do Diabo)
A very private and off-beaten-path place to enjoy alone the river flowing in the deep gorge. Those cliffs are home for big vultures, so it´s a perfect spot for bird watching as well as for adventure climbing. The viewpoint of the Douro valley itself is at the end of the dusty road near old ruins. There is a flat area for the camper van of a tent with a 5-star view over the river.
Miradouro do Colado
A small, but the stunning viewpoint of the Douro Valley next to the road with a tiny stone platform to observe the landscape. The narrow deep ravine is getting more open here to a valley-like shape so the famous Vineyards are starting to vastly appear. Close rural village Mazouco and steep green hills on another bank of the river are giving this place it´s genuine look.
Miradouro da Fraga do Puio
The wooden platform just a few hundred meters behind the small village Picote with stunning views. Observe the river from the glass part of the platform aspiring above the deep canyon of river Douro. For those who are searching for privacy is a perfect spot to be alone. Luckily this remote spot is far from the beaten path and less visited than other viewpoints on the roadtrip in the Douro valley. Also here the river is still fast-flowing and quite unpredictable, so enjoy the wilderness of this natural park. Do You wish to spend a night on the edge of the cliff in a camper? Do it! Despite it´s not allowed to pass with the car I´ve entered and found a great silent spot with benches.
Sao Salvador do Mundo
Nice and silent park on the top of the mountain Sao Salvador do Mundo. Pretty remote and unknown place as well as the off-beaten path of tourism mainstream. Overlooking the Douro river and its famous railway entering the very narrow gorge. The calm surface of the river is due to the Valeria dam just a few hundreds of meters down the stream. Campers can choose this place as a remote spot to spend a night.
Viewpoint of Vineyards Frei-Estevao
Not really the viewpoint of the Douro, but definitely very charming place. A perfect spot to observe terraced grape vineyards. One wouldn´t believe how wast, steep and cultivated, but at the same time wild can those yards be. In the season time everywhere you look are just grape vineyards and bustling farmers working to get the best grapes. Sometimes those terraces can evoke a feeling like being in ricefields somewhere in Asia, but not at the Roadtrip in the Douro valley.
Coa Museum viewpoint
Another stunning Viewpoint of the Douro valley located on the roof of the Coa Museum one of the largest museums in Portugal. The museum is displaying the paleolithic history of the valley Coa and Douro. Also is a manifestation of Portuguese “Land art” as it is subtly incorporated into the terrain. The waypoint to get there is a town Vila Nova de Foz Coa and than follow the signs “Museum”. The conflux of Rio Coa with Rio Douro with Vineyards all around is eye satisfying. On the peak in the middle of the conflux is also home to one of the most well-known Port Vinery of the region.
Miradouro do Carrascalinho
The perfect spot for privacy seekers is approximately 3,5 km southward from village Lagoaca. The approach is on a gravel road sometimes bordering with the off-road route, but it´s passable with extra caution even with normal cars. The stretch between the village and this place is still really adventurous and through a nice landscape full of boulders along the way. In the end, expect a great view on a high cliff above the gorge of Douro valley. All nature lovers should take binoculars to observe big vultures nesting on cliffs and hunting above the canyon. It´s also a great spot to park a campervan for a night while doing Roadtrip in the Douro valley.
Miradouro de Sao Silvestre
Despite being already in a quite populated area the feeling of the charming valley is always very quiet and calm. It´s not only the spot with breathtaking views, but also a destination for praying as there is a small chapel on the top of this peak. This viewpoint of the Douro Valley is still a bit different from others. Plenty of roads on each hill are giving an impression of being in civilization again. Of course no doubt, it´s only 40 kilometers from Vila Real. Enjoy this nice spot especially during the sunset.
Miradouro de Sao Leonardo de galafura
Very popular viewpoint to stop while doing Roadtrip in the Douro valley. Surprisingly high mountain Sao Leonardo (640 m) is still aspiring above surrounding hills around the river. This phenomenon is very good for observing the surrounding landscape as well as nice sunsets over the valley. As the parking lot at the peak is pretty spacy it´s also another great place for a night.
Porto – Ponte Don Luís I
For most of the people taking the roadtrip for viewpoints in the Douro valley, the Porto will be starting or finishing point. Nevertheless, Porto and its famous bridge is not completely viewpoint as we understood it in this post. But it´s still river Douro flowing under the bridge and some of the places around Porto are indeed fulfilling the specification of “Miradouro”. Enjoy the last moments of the exhausting roadtrip in the Douro valley here. Porto has still a lot to offer at least get the taste of popular Port Vine again in style.
Where to continue after viewpoints in the Douro valley?
Have You completed the entire roadtrip in the Douro valley, but still having enough energy? I fully recommend taking a detour south to the Portuguese highest mountain range. The Serra da Estrella offers the perfect day hikes still far away from tourist crowds at the coast. Check “The best hikes in Serra da Estrela“!