Our Final Douro Valley tour has started

How time has flown – just five months since we started our first tour in Greece we are now on our last tour of 2022, in the Douro Valley.  Fliss, Tim’s wife is writing this blog.

Our group assembled very efficiently in Porto airport on Wednesday afternoon, and the coach trip inland to Vila Real took an hour or so, for some of us the first chance to see the incredible rugged Douro Valley landscape reveal itself.  The Portugese are definitely engineers, though sadly their railway prowess was to no end as there is no longer a railway into Vila Real (see below).

The Hotel Miracorgo does indeed provide a fabulous view over the Corgo river gorge, and while the weather was a little cloudy, it was spectacular.  We were quickly absorbed into the hotel and Tim and I braved the partially boarded walk through the gorge to work up an appetite for dinner.

Which was at the Cais da Villa, in the old train shed – brilliantly renovated, and furnished to provide very contemporary surroundings, that perfectly complemented our first night dinner.

A very prettily presented amuse bouche was followed by a leek soup with crunchy fresh vegetables, a prawn risotto, pork strips with garlicky potatoes and cabbage and finally apple tart – all presented to perfection, and as delicious as they looked.  We had already had a white port at the welcome drinks in the hotel bar, so our pink port tonic was a good refresher and the Douro white and red demonstrated really well the freshness of Douro whites (made of grape varieties to be explored in later posts) and the power that the reds.  

It was a lovely evening with old friends catching up, and, as always, new friendships being formed.