The wife and I are "foodies" and wine aficionados, and we traveled independently to the Douro Valley for a week to immerse ourselves in the food and wine of the region. This beautiful home exceeded our expectations in every way! Convenient location only a few minutes from the Regua city center (train station, Douro Museum, grocery stores, ATM's etc.) but it feels very private due to the inspired climbing-down-the-valley-wall architecture and the great views and outdoor spaces overlooking the Corgo river. Rare passing train and car noise, but what you mostly hear is the rushing water of the river and sweet birdsong. The home itself is beautifully designed and tastefully decorated. Windows everywhere, with blinds to help you tailor the view and lighting. Many of the best quintas and the most beautiful scenery in the valley are between Regua and Pinhao, and the location of this home is perfect for exploring them. We drove from the Porto airport in a rental car and found the place with the rental car GPS with only one minor wrong turn.
The house itself was only the beginning of a fantastic experience that the gracious owner Mr. Cardoso helped us create. He put us in touch with Mr. Alexandre Ferreira, chef extraordinaire and head of the hospitality program at the technical college in the nearby town of Lamego. Chef Ferreira and his team put together three locally-inspired, +/- 15 course, Michelin-star-quality tasting dinners paired with local wines which they prepared for us privately at the home! These were not inexpensive, but significantly less than you would spend on similar meals in a U. S. restaurant. Picture this - an astonishing selection of locally-sourced small plates with matching wines - served white tablecloth on your private balcony overlooking the rushing river - as the sunset colors and birdsong reach a crescendo. We will remember those extraordinary moments for the rest of our lives.
Chef Ferreira also arranged for private, English-speaking guide Ana Paula Jesus to guide us around the valley (we drove, she guided). She put together a fantastic itinerary of half and full-day trips for us that hit the best quintas, cultural sites, and the Paleolithic archaeological site at Foz Coa - including train and boat trips. She deserves an entire separate glowing review herself!
Thanks again, Mr. Cardoso for letting us stay in your beautiful home and for helping us arrange such a fantastic Douro Valley experience! We will return soon!