wineries and duoro cruise Day trip

May 15th, 2019, 07:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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wineries and duoro cruise Day trip

Has anyone used Living Tours for this as a small group trip. I think that might be more fun than going on a private tour? Any other recommendations?
benmia is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 07:28 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Touring in the Douro River Valley

Living Tours is part of Gray Line Worldwide and works in Portugal and Spain. Just another corporate operation, like going touring with Globus Tours.
Robert2016 is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 07:57 AM
  #3  
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Robert2016 . Most of our sightseeing in Porto and Lisbon will be with private guides. Thought this particular outing would be more fun in a group. Do you have any other suggestions for who to use? Thanks
benmia is offline  
May 15th, 2019, 10:58 AM
  #4  
 
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Cruises on the Douro River

One company you can check is Porto Douro (https://www.portodouro.com/en). Another one I can recommend is Anima Durius (ANIMA DURIUS | Venha descobrir a Alma do Douro), but it's by sailboat or powerboat in the upper Douro. And there is Pipadouro Vintage Wine Travel (https://www.pipadouro.pt), also in the upper Douro. Most of the river cruises from Porto have been taken over by the larger companies, but Cruzeiros-Douro (Cruzeiros Douro - Maior Oferta de Cruzeiros no Rio Douro) is a smaller local company.
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May 16th, 2019, 05:12 AM
  #5  
 
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Just did a day trip to braga and gumieraes (sp?) with Living Tours and it was delightful. There were only 7 people on the tour and the driver/guide was great. Can’t comment though about the Duoro Valley Tour.
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May 16th, 2019, 01:14 PM
  #6  
 
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benmia,
Are you seeking a small group tour from your base in Porto or from a base in the Douro Valley?
If it's the former, I've used Cool Tour Oporto for a reasonably priced, small group day trip to the Douro and Douro Experience (their Gold Experience tour) for a luxury, private trip that includes visits to prestigious wine estates, a rabelo boat ride and a gourmet lunch at D.O.C. at the river's edge or at Tapa da Raposa, two of the valley's most esteemed restaurants. Cool Tour Oporto I've also used for a small group day trip from Porto to Guimarães & Braga.
Cooltour Oporto - Small Goups. Great Rides.
- Wine Tourism - Douro Tours

As to boat rides from Pinhão, I've done the two-hour boat ride with Pipadouro Wine Travel on their, 12 passenger, 1967 vintage wooden schooner, the Pipadouro II, and the two-hour sail with Anima Durius. They're both a delightful way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the river, which becomes even more breathtaking beyond the village of Pinhão to Tua.
For the Pipadouro II we called to reserve the evening before for our group of 4 and sat in the 4 deck chairs on the bow and had a great time. The other 8 passengers sat in the back where the dining table was set. We were free to move about the boat to photograph. On the way back to Pinhão a 10-year old port (or white wine) was served but no snacks. There's no audio guide involved but the captain did narrate during the trip. We just enjoyed soaking in the gorgeous scenery, snapping photos and the beautiful fall weather.

But the two Pipadouro wooden boats are very difficult to book far in advance, as they are often chartered by luxury touring companies for the entire day, for a sunset dinner cruise or even for an overnight (one boat has a bedroom and bath). And reviews have indicated that the regular 2-hour cruises are sometimes cancelled at the last minute because of these (very expensive) charters.
I had a very good experience working with Paulo of Anima Durius.

Cruzeiros-Douro and Magnífico Douro, the larger companies, do their 1-hour to Romaneira and 2-hour to Tua boat tours on larger, traditional rabelo boats, and M.D.'s electric rabelo boats run all year because they have an enclosed boat. Cruzeiros Douro also runs a 1-hour boat tour from Régua to Pinhão, which for me, just isn't as scenic.

Hope this helps.


*
Maribel is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 03:02 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hello Benmia,

Back in 2014 I did an all day, small group ( I think we were 7 in a very comfortable van) day trip to the Douro valley, including rabelo boat ride and lovely gourmet lunch at DOC, with the tour company called Douro Exclusive ( I took the Gold experience) . They picked me up at my hotel, and returned me there. Our guide was Marco , who with his wife Ana owns the company. He drove us to amazing vantage points from where to admire the Douro, and the amazing vineyard terraces. The excursion was pricey ( I think I paid 180 euros) , but to me it was worth it. I just checked Tripadvisor to see what people were saying about them these days, and see that they're #1 in the Wine Tasting and Winery Tours category. They have over 1,200 reviews. Seems they have kept the quality of their tours.
cruiseluv is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 03:05 PM
  #8  
 
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Hi cruiseluv

I've also used the Douro Exclusive Douro Experience and while pricey, they do a great job, and the day really is "exclusive".
Maribel is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 04:08 PM
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by Maribel View Post
Hi cruiseluv

I've also used the Douro Exclusive Douro Experience and while pricey, they do a great job, and the day really is "exclusive".
Hi Maribel,

Is that the same one you were referring to on your post? No wonder the description sounded so similar to what I experienced! It made for a really nice day!
cruiseluv is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 04:15 PM
  #10  
 
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Hi cruiseluv,
Yes, that's the same one. I found it really easy to communicate with Ana. They known the valley inside out, since they live there and take guests to smaller wineries where the river cruise ship large tour buses don't go. And lunch at D.O.C. at the river's edge is such a treat!
Maribel is offline  
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