The Douro River Valley is one of the most beautiful areas of Portugal. Much of it was settled long before the time of the Romans, and its history is evident when viewing the archaeological sites and megalithic monuments which dot the countryside. The Douro Valley is also well-known for being the homestead of early Portuguese kings such as King Afonso Henriques and King Dinis, in addition to being the birthplace of explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
With all that said, the Douro Valley is best-known for its fortified wines. The Douro wine plantations, called `quintas`, and their sprawling terraced vineyards were entered into the UNESCO World Heritage `Cultural Landscapes` register in 2001. The Douro Valley is sleepy and quiet, yet also full of adventure, and you will get to see all of that in the cities and towns of Amarante, Baiao, Caldas de Aregos, Covas do Douro, Lamego, Mesao Frio, Penafiel, Peso da Regua, Pinhao, Sabrosa, and Vila Real.
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