Two bridges spanning the Douro River in the town of Peso da Regua, a charming winemaking town in the region of Douro valley

7 Things to Do in Peso da Régua, Portugal: A Lovely Alto Douro Town [2024]

While all of the Douro Valley is picturesque and stunning, special recognition goes to the lovely town of Peso da Régua in the Alto Douro (‘high Douro’).

This lovely winemaking town is a key stop on any Douro Valley visit, whether you’re taking an extended road trip around the region or just popping over for a quick day trip from Porto.

I made a side trip to visit the charming town of Peso da Régua on one of my many trips to Porto and Northern Portugal, and I absolutely loved it! 

Despite its small size, there’s an outsized amount of things to do: its home to the main museum in the region, as well as several incredible quintas (wineries) and local tascas, or Portuguese restaurants.

In this short guide, I’ll share my favorite things to do in Peso da Régua — but before getting into the main sights and activities, let me give you a few tips!

Tips for Visiting Peso da Régua

wooden walkway on a bridge crossing the douro in the town of peso da regua in portugal's douro valley on a sunny day in the wine making region
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First of all, you’ll need to consider what time of year you’ll be visiting. 

Summer is the most popular season to visit… but it’s not without its drawbacks that are key to consider.

Of course, the main advantage is that you can enjoy the beautiful weather and try lots of activities… but it comes with a price, literally, as well with more crowds.

Alternately, if you visit in the winter or early spring, the crowds will be smaller… but some key activities may not be running, like taking the historical train or even joining a Douro cruise.

On top of that, it can be rainy and cold, which can really put a damper (pardon the pun) on your enjoyment — after all, Porto is rainier than London, yes really! 

With all of that in mind, the best time to visit is likely the late spring and early fall.

Vineyards in the town of Peso da Regua overlooking church as seen from one of the viewpoints in town

You can include Peso da Régua in your Douro Valley road trip itinerary. This is a great spot to spend a night and enjoy the surroundings. 

Or you can visit the town on a day trip from Porto. Several trains connect Porto to Peso da Régua all year round so if you’ve decided against renting a car in Portugal, this is a great option.

One day in Peso da Régua should be sufficient to explore the town, unless you plan on joining a full-day cruise or guided tour to the wineries.

In that case, I’d recommend spending at least a day and a half in order to properly do the town justice — you can even spend the night in a nearby Douro winery hotel if you want to have a unique stay!

Things to Do in Peso da Régua

The river Douro with three bridges spanning across it and clouds in the background

While on the surface, Peso da Régua doesn’t have a lot of attractions, there’s more to do than first meets the eye, from museums to wine tastings and river cruises. 

You can easily fill your schedule for a full day or even two if you opt for a full-day cruise.

Keep reading to learn the must-see sights and best activities in Peso da Régua!

Visit Museu do Douro.

Photo Credit: Michael Gaylard from Horsham, UK, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Hands down, visiting the Museu do Douro should absolutely be your top priority when traveling to Peso da Regua.

If you’re at all curious about the history and development of the Douro wine region and production of DOC Port wine, this is the place to learn!

The museum provides a comprehensive (and fascinating!) overview of all aspects of Port wine production — all without being overwhelming or too technical, which is great if you’re a beginner to wine lingo.

You can read about the region’s history and production processes, discover the main quintas (winemaking houses), learn about various wine types, and of course, you’ll want to be sure to sample a local Port wine…

… because we all know learning is best when it’s hands on!

You can visit the museum daily, except for a few holidays like Christmas Day, January 1st, and May 1st. 

When I visited the museum in March, there were barely any other people, so it was a pleasant and crowd-free experience.

That said, it might be a bit more crowded in the peak summer months, so maybe plan to go in the morning if you are visiting in the high season. 

A regular ticket is only 7€, including the wine tasting — a great deal!

Check out the azulejos depicting the region’s history.

Yellow and blue azulejo tiles on the railway station in Peso da Regua

A nice (and free!) thing to do in Peso da Régua is to admire the beautiful azulejos in the town, which showcase in tile form the history of the region and its role in winemaking.

The beautiful azulejos are located close to the Peso da Régua train station — if you want to find them, look on Google Maps for Linha do Douro – Painel cerâmico de Manuel Casal Aguiar.

Done in the classic blue-and-white Portuguese style from which its name is derived (azulejo coming from ‘azul’ or ‘blue), these elegant tiles show scenes of the region’s Port wine production as well historical events related to the construction of the Linha do Douro railway.

Stroll along the Douro River.

Two bridges spanning the Douro River in the town of Peso da Regua, a charming winemaking town in the region of Douro valley

If you’re looking for more free things to do in town, you can simply enjoy a lovely walk along the river Douro.

Follow the Cais da Régua, a stunning riverside promenade that extends all along the town and beyond, with lovely panoramic views over the river and the opposite bank.

You can admire the terraced vineyards on the other side of the water — a dreamy sight.

If you walk east from the train station, there’s a pedestrian bridge you can cross to get a view from the other side.

Sample Port wine at a local winery.

Yellow quinta house with green vineyards around, with a view of the vines in the foreground and the house in the distance

As you ought to have guessed, a stay in Peso da Régua wouldn’t be complete without a proper wine tasting!

Many quintas and wineries in town offer a wide range tastings, including ones that also include activities like hiking, so there’s something for every budget and taste.

The lovely Quinta do Tedo (aka Atelier do Porto) offers different types of wine tastings, from a basic tasting of Douro DOC wines and/or Ports to more prestigious vintage tastings… including a single-harvest Tawny Port tasting straight from the barrel.

As an added bonus, if you visit in the first half of September, you’ll also have a chance to join the harvest and even partake in the grape-stomping part of the process!

If you want to keep perusing the wine scene, Vasques de Carvalho, Quinta do Vallado (pictured above), and Quinta de São Domingos are some other wineries worth checking out for wine tasting and shopping for a bottle (or several!) to bring home.

Two hands cheersing with some port wine or red wine in the douro valley with the douro river behind

Another way to taste some great wine is with a full-day wine tour — and doing it from Peso vs. taking a Douro tour from Porto means that you’ll skip about an hour of transport time each way. 

This Wine Tasting, River Cruise, and Lunch Tour is the most comprehensive tour with everything you’d want to see all included in one activity.

This tour includes visits to two locations for wine tasting, lunch at a local restaurant serving traditional Portuguese fare, a boat trip along the Douro, and a stop at a gorgeous viewpoint to cap it all off.

Plus, you’ll have an expert guide to tell you all about the region and the wines you’re tasting along the way.

Hop on the historical train.

The Douro Valley historical train with traditional wooden compartments of the train and powered by steam which you can see at the back of the train, people walking away from the train and hills and vineyards in the distance

One of the must-do activities in the Douro Valley is taking the historical steam locomotive, the beautifully-preserved Douro Historical Train.

This traditional train runs from the town Peso da Régua, ambling along the winding curves of the Douro River, before reaching the charming Douro towns of Pinhão and Tua.

From there, you can go the same way you came to return to Régua and continue your trip.

The scenic journey offers some of the best views of the Douro as well as stops in some charming towns… but best of all, a tour on the historical train also includes — what else — a Port wine tasting and entertainment along the way!

You’ll also be able to get off the train in Pinhão and Tua to admire the old train stations — definitely don’t miss the stunning azulejos at the Pinhão railway station, which are some of the best in the region.

Pinhao train station with its azulejos and old clock

However, like I mentioned above, the Douro Historical Train is seasonal and it only runs on specific days between July and October.

Since tickets are limited and it’s a popular activity, be sure to book your tickets in advance so that they don’t sell out

For more details and availability, check out the information on the Portuguese railway website

Join a Douro River cruise.

A boat cruising on the Douro River with views of green hills and vineyard terraces in the distance, with a beautiful blue sky

As the first town in the Alto Douro region, Peso da Régua is the departure point for several Douro cruises, both upstream and downstream.

If you don’t have time for the full-day cruise down the Douro that I mentioned above, you’ll find shorter options here.

Several companies offer cruises from Régua. Some are one-way, for instance, from Régua to Pinhão, so you’ll have to arrange the return trip separately. 

However, most cruises include the return to Régua. You can find several options, from simple boat tours to more elaborate affairs including lunch. 

Popular companies are Roteiro do Douro and Cruzeiros Douro, but you can also find tours directly when you arrive in Régua.

Enjoy the view from Miradouro de Santo António.

A sweeping panoramic view of the Douro Valley and the city of Regua in Portugal, taken at sunset in the late spring from viewpoint of St. Anthony miradouro

The Douro Valley is famous not only for the historic wineries but also for its many scenic viewpoints offering sweeping views of the stunning landscape. 

The closest viewpoint to Peso da Régua is known as St. Anthony’s, or Miradouro de Santo António in Portuguese.

If you’re traveling by car, you can easily reach the spot in just 15 minutes from Régua.

Getting there on foot is a bit trickier since it takes over an hour of walking uphill!

If you can make it there, you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of Peso da Régua, the Douro, and the terraced vineyards all around — it’s certainly worth the effort.

Try tasty Portuguese food.

Traditional portuguese sausaged called 'alheira' with fried egg, greens, and potatoes

Lastly, to complete your stay, you can’t leave without enjoying some delicious local food.

Most restaurants in Régua serve traditional Portuguese food, so you’ll have plenty of choices.

Tasca da Quinta is a charming little spot right next to the Douro Museum, serving typical Portuguese fare like Alheira (typical Portuguese sausage) and Bacalhau a Bras (codfish). 

Tio Manel serves generous portions of traditional, heartwarming food, while Castas e Pratos is the go-to place for fine dining.  

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