When traveling Doug and I like to book the major cities and find small but charming places along the way. We left Evora and headed north to the Duoro River. We decided Guarda, the highest city in Portugal would be perfect. We contacted the owner who said he would meet us at the property. It was a challenge to find because we drove by it several times.
The exterior was not what we had expected, but never judge a book by its cover!
Our charming host used the epidemic lockdown to change from a farmer to a hotelier. The accomodations are a spacious and lovely remodel of a 14th century barn. Greeted with a glass of local wine and awoke with piping hot crossaints and coffee...it just doesn't get much better.
The Douro Valley is the famous valley of fine ports. Th e roads are harrowing, but better than in the past. The terracing is too narrow for mechanized vehicles and the scenery is awe inspiring.
No visit to the Douro Valley would be complete without a tour and tasting of the fine ports.
The grapes were stomped to prevent the bitter seeds from being crushed and impacting the quality of the port wine. But this grape press suggested that things can change.
We had hoped to witness tbe harvest of the grapes which typically would occur in late September but global warming has impacted much of our world. This year the grapes were harvested in mid August. The growers at lower elevations are struggling mightily.
Porto is a charming city where I would enjoy a longer stay. Two days is not enough time.
The beach at Nazare was calm in early October but January brings throngs of surfers to town to catch waves that may tower to an amazing 80 feet!
Every country seems to sport their own Venice. Aveiro is Portugal's Venice.
Coimbra is Portugal's Oxford and was the prototype city for J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series. A. charming city with wonderful Roman ruins and mournful Fado music