Alto Douro wine region is easily one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world. Yet, besides its very obvious beauty, the Douro wine region is a very fun place to visit. You can take a relaxing river cruise, and enjoy the views of vineyards from the river. You can take the historic train all the way from Porto and snake between the mountains along the Douro river. Or, you can drive the N222 (and a few others) and stop on the many wonderful lookouts. Whatever way you choose, exploring the Douro Valley is wonderful.
We have been searching for a trail in the Douro Wine region for a long time – one that would allow us to truly explore and fully enjoy the beauty of this world heritage. A trail that would offer the incredible views the Alto Douro wine region famously has. Now we found it: the Port Wine trail – PR2 Lamego.
Port wine trail quick information
- Name: PR2 Lamego
- Start – Samodães, Lamego
- End – Samodães, Lamego
- Distance – about 8 km
- Time required – 3h30
- Difficulty – Moderate
- Max/min altitude: 390/40 meters
- Altitude gain: 450 meters
- Type – Circular
- Signalization (1-5) – 3 (Average)
- Highlights: Douro river and valley, Port wine vineyards and terraces, Six Senses Douro Valley Spa and Resort.
- You can download the official map here (in Portuguese)
Port Wine Trail
The trail starts and ends in the little village of Samodães. As it’s a circular trail, and you can easily go one way or the other. Either way, you choose, you’ll have a steep descend in the beginning and a steep ascend afterward, with a short 1 km hike along the Douro river in between. We opted for doing this trail clockwise, so that’s the course we will describe below.
The trail starts near the church and cemetery of Samodães and then you start descending through the small village and then the fields. Sometimes the trail is very well signed, others you need to be more careful, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble following it. The views you get along the way are simply breathtaking. This part should be about 2 km, so if you decide to go the other way you’ll have a 2km long, steep climb…
After the long descend, you reach the river bank and then walk alongside it for about 1 km. The beautiful Douro line is on the other bank, and if you are lucky you’ll see one of the trains going by. This is also the best spot to grab a snack and rest a bit.
At the end of this part, you reach the Six Senses Douro Valley resort. You’ll need to cross it and it’s a good opportunity to see the region’s most famous hotel, without actually staying there. If money isn’t a problem, you definitely should stay there!
After the Six senses resort, you have to start the climb. First, through the steep road, until you reach the N222, after crossing it, you keep on a dirt road. This is the most uninteresting and hardest part of the trail. However, after about 1km upwards, you enter an area with houses, cobbled streets, and more vineyards. Yet, you continue climbing. Just take your time, you are almost there. Don’t forget to look back and enjoy the world heritage site that lays before your eyes. These are some of the most beautiful terraces in the world.
The last part of the trail is smoother, with a descend and a final steep climb already inside Samodães village. We went rogue for a while here, are we took the opportunity to enjoy the fresh water fountain and explore a village a bit. If you haven’t been to the church at the beginning of the trail, go now. The views are as good as it gets, and it’s such a nice place to relax after that long climb from the river bank.
Best time of the year to do the trail
Despite being possible to hike the trail during any time of the year, we strongly recommend that you avoid doing this trail during extreme weather conditions. During the peak of Summer, it will be extremely hot and there are little shades along most of the way. During rainy days take extra care as the ground will be slippery.
So, the best time to do this trail would be during sunny days with warm or cold temperatures. Spring and Autumn should be the best bets to get this kind of weather in the Alto Douro region.
Is the Port wine trail family-friendly?
We believe that anyone who can hike 5 to 10 km can do the trail. The trail isn’t particularly dangerous, but note that it’s pretty steep at times which can be challenging physically. So, I would say that it isn’t adequate for elderly people, toddlers, and children you may need to carry. Other than that you should be fine.
What to take?
This is a relatively short trail, and not very challenging technically, but you should always bring with you:
- Lots of water (about a 1l per person)
- Snacks – note that there aren’t places to eat along the trail.
- comfortable hiking or running shoes;
- comfortable clothes;
- rain jacket if it’s winter;
- sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen if it’s sunny;
- camera and smartphone, there are plenty of photo opportunities here;
- A daypack to take everything with you;
As always, please do not make any trash. Bring back everything you take with you.
How to go to Samodães?
You’ll need a car to do this trail. Honestly, I can’t imagine going to Samodães in any other way than by car. From the popular National Road 222, you’ll need to turn to Samodães in S. Geão and then continue until you reach the cemetery. It’s fairly easy to find a parking spot as you can use the cemetery park your car safely.
Or you can simply enter “Samodães cemetery” on google maps and it will take you there easily.
Where to stay?
The obvious place would be the six senses, right? Well, if you have money, please indulge yourself. It’s said to be one of the best hotels in the country. I can’t really say, as we have never stayed there.
If the Six Senses is also out of your budget, you also have Delfim Douro hotel, which is also a great hotel and a little less expensive. If you want an even more budget-friendly then your best bet in the area is looking for accommodation in Peso da Régua. Have a look at the map below for searching the best options.
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