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Foz Côa and Douro: delight in Palaeolithic rock art and drink in the tradition of the best wines in the world
Very close to Porto, you will find this little wonder of our country: a demarcated region of the Upper Douro. There are about 250,000 hectares between the towns of Barqueiros and Barca d’Alva. A region famous all over the world for the production of wine, and in particular port, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Did you know that the Douro is the oldest regulated and demarcated wine region in the world? It was in 1756 that the Marquês do Pombal had its territorial limits defined as the “Vineyards of the Upper Douro”. In this way, it became the first formal model for the management of a wine region. Vila Nova de Foz Côa, or just Foz Côa, is a village in the interior of the country, and one of the municipalities of the Douro Superior region. On this sightseeing tour, you’ll discover a village known for its Paleolithic rock art, due to the discovery of several prints from the period on the banks of the Côa River. This is proof that human beings were born to tell stories. Foz Côa is also known as the “Hot Land” for its high temperature in the summer months, and also for being situated on a plateau cut by the valleys of the Côa and Douro rivers.
Discover the secrets of the several hundreds of panels with thousands of animal figures, and otherworldly wines. We started this personalized tour of the beautiful village of Foz Côa right in the heart of the northern Portugal interior. This visit could never be complete without passing through the main attraction of the region: the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley. Classified a National Monument in 1997 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, it is a mandatory experience, and one of humanity’s greatest treasures. You’ll discover a real open-air museum. Put on some comfortable shoes and join us. The rock art of Foz Côa presents engravings dating mostly from the upper Palaeolithic era. That is, our ancestors who lived there more than 20,000 years ago. To visit Vila Nova de Foz Côa is to travel through millennia of history and see the secrets that these rock carvings want to tell us.
What do you eat here? When lunchtime comes, you will see why this region invites you to eat well. In one of the main restaurants of the region, you can try typical dishes such as the famous roasted goat, cod baked in the oven or, for dessert, the lamprey egg. Believe me when we tell you it’s going to leave you crying for more. After one of the best meals you’ll ever eat, the ride designed for you lets you follows distant stories where wine is the main character. Although the upper Douro, between Foz Côa and Pinhão, is less touristy than the Alto Douro Vinhateiro region, it is not a destination to be missed.
Among the vineyards, stories of a lifetime This tour shows you the most important wine villages in the region. They are places that hold a unique story told by the vineyards, monasteries, churches, castles and museums. Pinhão, Peso da Régua and Provesende are three villages you really must visit. Our visit passes through two of the main farms of the region: Quinta do Rosário “Quevedo” and Quinta da Pacheca. Here, you will be able to taste the best wines in the world while you learn secrets that have survived centuries, and follow the process of wine production, from the treading of the grapes to the characteristics of the soil itself. It’s impossible to resist.
All set for a trip to the past? Join us on this tour, which can last up to twelve hours, to one of the most important regions of Portugal, the Douro region. Learn the reasons wine is part of our country’s history, and delight in a spectacular dining experience. Discover the village of Foz Côa —no-one would be able to remain indifferent. On this visit, you will fall in love with the art and ancestral culture of two incredible regions, Douro Superior and Vila Nova de Foz Côa, where you will find a rare connection between man and nature. Book your tour now.
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.
It is in Vila Nova de Foz Côa that the Pocinho Bridge crosses the magnificent Douro River. It is a road railway bridge, that is, it has two trays: the upper is rail and the lower is road. Although it has been closed since 1988, the municipalities of Torre de Moncorvo and Vila Nova de Foz Côa presented to the Ministry of Culture their intention for the classification of this sublime bridge as national heritage. If you have never been in this area, take the opportunity to visit it and soak up all the beauty of the landscape, with the Douro Valley on the horizon and the Douro River just below.
Viewpoint of Estrada da Costa (Vila Nova de Foz Côa)
The Viewpoint of Estrada da Costa is in a wide area, accessible by National Road No. 102, which arrives at Foz Côa from the North, being one of the ideal places to see the landscape.
It is a place of contemplation of excellence, over the entire Valley of the Village, on the Douro River, and from where the view extends to the Serra de Bornes (with about 1,200m of altitude and 45 km away in a straight line).
This "lookout", in metallic structure, has the initial form of a corridor, then widening, inviting tourists to stay at this end point more "launched" on the escarpment, from where, at the same time they contemplate the landscape, they can complement their interpretation with some contents inscribed on the reading table coupled to the railing.
At the time of fog, which often remains half the slope, lets emerge the summit of the small hills (such as Mount Meão), resulting in another sublime landscape.
Viewpoint of St. ª Luzia (Vila Nova de Foz Côa)
It is located near the Chapel of Aldeia Nova, in the Historic Centre of the city, and where it venerates St. ª Luzia, reason that justifies the name of this viewpoint.
It is a place, shaped like a tree down, square, equipped with some benches that invite us to rest, overlooking the landscape.
Côa Valley Museum and Archeologic
As an immense open-air gallery, the Côa Valley features more than a thousand outcrops with rock art, identified in over 80 different sites, predominantly from the Upper Paleolithic, some 25,000 years ago.
Angel S. Gabriel Viewpoint (Castelo Menor)
The small chapel, built in the 19th century, is located on top of a natural elevation. It has a granite niche, in an enclosure based on a shale outcrop. From there at an altitude of 550 m, you can enjoy a panoramic view over the entire region, from the Serra da Marofa, with Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo at the foot hills, to Spain, in the area of Freixo de Espada à Cinta, also seeing lands on the other side of the Douro, such as Urros, Peredo dos Castelhanos and Almendra, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Santo Amaro , Nª Sr.ª da Asunção (Vilas Boas, Vila Flor), the Blackboard and finally a panoramic of the whole about the old town of Castelo Melhor and its Castle.
At approximately 1 km from the chapel, is the highest point of the hill of S. Gabriel (654m), place from where it is possible to have a fabulous panoramic view over the entire côa valley. From here are visible the municipalities of Torre de Moncorvo, Meda, Trancoso, Pinhel, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta and the border lands of Castile (Spain).
Castle de Castelo Melhor
This castle is considered to have been erected between the 9th and 10th centuries, in the so-called "Leonese period". Seen from afar, it looks like a king's crown planted on a head of the earth. The plant is almost circular, surrounding the head where it is implanted. Silent witness to a millennial past, your door is arch broken. A cistern can be seen inside the castle. When an archaeological prospectus, which is justified, is made there, it is very likely that there will be several medieval structures buried there, as well as a tar by-medieval necropolis along the interior cloth of its wall. On the other hand, it is necessary, for what appears to be, that archaeological prospects be made also in the surrounding outer area.
Castle Velho de Freixo de Numão
In 960, the castle of Numão belonged, along with others, to D. Châmoa Rodrigues who gifted it to the convent of Guimarães, through his aunt, the Countess Mumadona. It must, however, have been occupied by the Moors, for, according to some, Numão was reconquered by Ferdinand I the Great of Leo in 1055. Its plant is irregularly configuration and has almost no socks; it has three doors (the West, the Arch and St. Peter's), a men's tower and four more towers.
The primitive castle must have suffered greatly in the struggles with the Moors, leading to improvement works in 1189, during the reign of D. Sancho I. Vestige still of that time - twelfth century - is an enamelled bronze Christ, from Limoges, which can be appreciated in Numão and will witness the presence of French crusaders in the struggles against Islam.
The Church of Santa Maria, built inside the castle and now in ruins, despite so many adulterations suffered over time, shows well its Romanesque moth. Extramuros there is a Necropolis with graves dug in the rock, next to the ruins of the old Chapel (or church) of St. Peter. It is a national monument, according to decree-law of 6/16/1910.
Viewpoint of the Mata dos Carrascos (Santo Amaro)
The town of Santo Amaro and its surroundings, given its high posture in relation to the surrounding landscape, form an authentic balcony over the Douro and Veiga de Foz Côa Valleys. The place of Mata dos Carrascos, recently acquired by the Municipality, has been vastly improved and benefited, constituting a pleasant space from which it is possible to fill your eyes with a landscape of great beauty.
In this viewpoint, at 441 m of altitude, you can see the bridge and the dam of Pocinho, Vila Nova de Foz Côa and the municipality of Torre de Moncorvo.
Numão Castle – Interpretation Centre
The first reference to this castle dates from 960. With a broad visual dominance, it has a vast walled perimeter, probably built in the Low Middle Ages.
The wall had four gates and fifteen towers, of which six remain. Inside the fence you can see remains of buildings, the Romanesque church of Stª. Mary and a cistern.
Viewpoint of the Senhora do Viso (Custóias)
The chapel, dedicated to Nª Srª do Viso, is secular and is situated on the mount of Viso, where a panoramic view of the region is offered. Due to its high altitude, 813 m, it is possible to glimpse a large area, which includes the Douro and the chapel of S. Salvador do Mundo (S. João da Pesqueira), to NW. To this you can see the Castle of Numão, the viewpoint of S. Martinho de Seixas, the alvinitente locality of Lousa (Moncorvo) and, all around, the wine landscape existing there.
Viewpoint of Arnozelo (Numão)
There are places that crush your excellency, where words cannot say anything. Those who arrive at Arnozelo and then lean over the Douro, which is in front and in the background, open their eyes in little and close their mouths unappealably. It is facing one of the most impressive scenarios in Duriense, where beauty and silence have met forever
Vinhateira Village of São Xisto
Situated in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site, St. Xisto is an enchanted spot on the Douro River! Located in Vale de Figueira, municipality of São João da Pesqueira, the village is dominated by a breath-taking landscape! To enjoy this village, it would be enough to look around the hills and valleys, the Douro so close, traditional stone walls and the typical terraces of the vineyards on the banks of this river. But its charms do not stay here.... Let yourself be dazzled by the diverse heritage of this beautiful village, which pass through the Chapel of St. Shale, the Mirante Anjo Arrependido, the Centenary Fountain and the various typical houses in shale. The places to visit on a hasty tour, still pass through the inevitable olive oil and wine mills, or we were not on the banks of the Douro.
Viewpoint of São Salvador do Mundo.
The Viewpoint of São Salvador do Mundo in São João da Pesqueira is located on the left bank of the Douro. From here a thunderous view over the River and the Valeira Dam cuts our breath.
At an altitude of about 493 meters, the site is also synonymous with pilgrimage, housing the sanctuary of St. Saviour of the World.
In the background, we can see the old Douro line and, hopefully, see some of the locomotives pass by.
Quinta do Quevedo Wine Experience
Quevedo is a family owned Port and Douro winegrowers, with the members of the fourth and fifth generation actively involved in the business, based in the Douro valley, north of Portugal. The family owns and harvests a total of 100 hectares of vines, some of the most desirable vineyard estates across the Douro valley, in Portugal. These range, among others, from Quinta Vale d'Agodinho in Ferradosa, one of the best locations for Port production, to Quinta da Trovisca, a remarkable vineyard property located in the fresh and sunny foothills in S. João da Pesqueira.
It is with an eye for the continued success of the family winery, and the success of their business partners, that they have developed a strategic direction that protects and enhances the things they hold most dear – family, farming and quality wine for consumers.
???? - Private tour.
✅ - Free Pick-up and Drop-off.
???? - Optional sight-seeing stops along the way.
????️ - Certified Tourist Driver.
????♂️ - English; French; Spanish or Portuguese Speaking drivers with local knowledge.
???? – Chauffer style with code dress.
ℹ️ - Local tips and information - Our friendly drivers are locals and are happy to share their insights or give tips on what to do at your destination.
???? - Free water bottles.
???? - Extra amenities.
???? - Free internet
???? – Tips - Gratuity isn’t included or required, but if you really enjoyed your trip, you can show your driver your appreciation with an optional tip.
???? - Admissions to venues and attractions along the route.
⛈️ - Weather
Exact destinations and itineraries may be changed due to weather, road conditions and the guide’s discretion. If cancelled due to poor weather, a different date or a full refund will be offered. Please check our Terms and Conditions.
???? - Wineries
Included wineries are subject to change based on their availability, private events, and holidays.
???? – Valid ID
It is mandatory to present a valid photo ID for drinking alcohol in wineries. Be aware that the legal drinking age in Portugal is 18 years.
???? - Smoke free.
???? - Personal accident and liability insurance included.
???? - Luggage - Each passenger is allowed to have one checked bag and one carry on. If you’re traveling with more bags or oversized luggage, please inform us.
???? - Big luggage - 29x21x11 inches / 74x54x28 cm
???? - Small luggage - 22x14x9 inches / 56x36x23 cm
Operated by Endless Weekend Tours ®
What do I need to bring?
????️???? - Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and sunscreen if it’s sunny or a raincoat and an umbrella if it’s raining.
???? - Don’t forget your camera!