Unique Things To Do and See in Régua. The Best of Douro Region

Lugares imperdíveis e visitar na Régua.
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2024-06-11

Here’s everything you need to know about the best things to do in Régua, as well as top places to see and visit in this Douro region.

Talking about Régua immediately brings to mind the sweet caramel of local candies. It’s seeing the immense green of the vineyard terraces, the blue of the Douro River, and the sky!

Peso da Régua, or just Régua, is also a popular destination for those taking a one-day cruise on the Douro. You can include a boat trip from the Gaia pier and a return train journey (to São Bento station in Porto) or vice versa.

Whenever we visit the Douro, we make sure to include Régua in our itinerary. The scenery changes with the dance of the seasons, providing stunning landscapes at any time of the year.

After all, we are in the heart of the Alto Douro Wine Region. Sensations take over when it comes to what to visit in Peso da Régua. The list of attractions may not be very long, but every kilometer traveled in the Douro offers scenes worthy of a National Geographic episode.

Régua is also a stop on National Road No. 2, the legendary route that connects Portugal from North to South through the interior of the country. This journey is an adventure worth exploring, believe us!

Additionally, Régua is the international capital of wine and vineyards, making it an unmissable destination for wine lovers. The wineries and estates offer tastings and guided tours, allowing visitors to better understand the wine production process of Port wine and more!

So, will you join us on this journey through Régua? Save these suggestions and get ready for an unforgettable visit!

Best Things To Do and See in Régua

Ponte Pedonal na Régua.
What to see and visit in Régua: see the Pedestrian Bridge in Régua.
Barco rabelo a subir o Rio Douro.
Rabelo boat sailing up the Douro River. Top things to do in Régua.

Visiting the Douro Museum

Entrada para o Museu do Douro, na Régua.
Entrance to the Douro Museum. Best things to do in Régua.
Museu do Douro.
Best things to visit in Régua: Douro Museum (Casa do Douro).
Exposição no interior do Museu Casa do Douro.
Exhibition inside the Douro House Museum.
Croça: vestuário tradicional dos trabalhadores rurais durienses. Usado pelos podadores para se protegerem da chuva no inverno.
Croça: traditional attire of Douro rural workers. Worn by vineyard pruners to protect themselves from the rain in winter.
O que fazer na Régua: prova de vinhos no Museu Casa do Douro.
What to do in Régua: wine tasting at the Douro House Museum.

The Douro Museum is housed in the former Casa da Companhia in the center of Peso da Régua, an emblematic building that welcomes visitors wanting to learn more about the natural and cultural heritage of the Douro.

The individual ticket to visit the Douro Museum costs 6.00 EUR, and the guided tour in Portuguese costs 10.00 EUR per group.

However, if you want to add lunch at the Douro Museum Restaurant (A Companhia), the total cost per person is 18.00 EUR.

Explore breathtaking viewpoints (top things to do in Régua)

Miradouro com vista para a Régua e Rio Douro.
Viewpoint overlooking Régua and the Douro River.
Mapa dos Caminhos e Miradouros Durienses.
Map of the Paths and Viewpoints of the Douro Region. Best things to do in Régua.

The Douro Region is known for its vineyard-covered slopes that extend to the banks of the Douro River, so breathtaking landscapes are guaranteed at any viewpoint overlooking the Douro.

Nonetheless, the most well-known viewpoints in the Régua region are the São Leonardo de Galafura Viewpoint and the São Domingos Viewpoint.

Watch the boats arriving at the Cais da Régua

Passeio de barco na Régua.
Boat tour in Régua. Best things to do in Régua.
Barcos no cais da Régua.
Boats at Régua’s dock.
O que fazer na Régua: ver os barcos a chegar ao cais fluvial.
What to do in Régua: watch the boats arriving at the river dock.

Watching the boats arrive at the Cais da Régua is an unmissable experience and an excellent way to feel the essence of the Douro. For me, this is one of the most magical moments for those visiting the city.

For a reason, traveling by boat from Cais de Gaia to Régua is a popular trip!

Many tourists choose to take this cruise to see the landscapes along the Douro River, as this route allows them to see the terraced vineyards, estates, and of course, the majestic Douro River up close.

Cruzeiro no Rio Douro.
Top things to do in Régua: Cruise on the Douro River.
Subir o Rio Douro de barco até à Régua.
Take a boat trip up the Douro River to Régua.
Apreciar as águas tranquilas do Rio Douro.
Appreciate the calm waters of the Douro River.
Cruzeiro das pontes no Rio Douro.
Seeing the bridges over the Douro River on a cruise.
Eclusa no Rio Douro.
Lock on the Douro River. Unique things to do in Régua.

However, if you don’t want to take the cruise, you can always include a visit to the boat dock in your Régua itinerary.

The Cais da Régua is a lively place where you can watch the boats arrive and depart. In fact, I think seeing the boats sailing on the river, filled with happy tourists, is a spectacle that captures the soul of the Douro.

Take the opportunity to snap some photos, as the landscape is postcard-worthy.

Additionally, the Cais da Régua has a number of restaurants and cafes where you can savor typical regional dishes while enjoying the view of the river.

Try a glass of Douro wine, accompanied by a traditional Portuguese meal. It’s the perfect setting for a family moment.

Visit the Régua train station

Estação de comboios da Régua.
Régua Train Station.
Azulejo na estação de comboios da Régua.
Tiles in the train station.
Viagem de comboio entre a Régua e Porto. Regresso do cruzeiro fluvial no antigo comboio regional.
Train journey between Régua and Porto. Return from the river cruise on the old regional train.
Paisagens durienses a partir da janela do comboio regional.
Landscapes of the Douro region from the window of the regional train.

Seeing the Régua train station is a must-do experience, especially for lovers of traditional Portuguese tiles. So, if you are planning a visit to Régua, I recommend adding the Peso da Régua Railway Station to your list of places to visit.

The Régua Railway Station is one of the most beautiful and iconic stations on the Douro Line. This railway line is famous not only for the terraced landscapes that extend almost to the waters of the Douro River but also for the beautiful train stations found along the route.

Upon arriving at the station, you will be greeted by a true work of art. The decorative tiles that adorn the station walls are simply magnificent. These tile panels depict scenes of rural life, vineyards, and Douro traditions.

However, the history of the Douro Line is a bit tumultuous.

Built in the 19th century, this railway was vital for the development of the region, as it facilitated the transport of wine and other products.

Unfortunately, many stations along the line were abandoned for years, but it is rewarding to see that they are now restored and appreciated by tourists.

Walk a part of the Camino de Santiago

Exterior da Igreja de Lobrigos.
Exterior of the Church of Lobrigos.
Interior da Igreja de Lobrigos.
Interior of the Church of Lobrigos.
Igreja Paroquial de São João de Lobrigos (Altar).
Igreja Paroquial de São João de Lobrigos (Altar).
Pormenor dos caixotões no teto da Igreja Paroquial de São João de Lobrigos.
Detail of the ceiling of the Parish Church of São João de Lobrigos.

Walking the Camino de Santiago, or even just a part of it, is an experience I highly recommend.

Régua is part of the Interior Camino de Santiago, a lesser-known and less crowded route, ideal for those seeking a more intimate and tranquil experience.

So, if you want to avoid the more touristy and bustling paths of Santiago, I recommend including Régua on your radar.

I had the opportunity to walk the stretch from the Church of São João de Lobrigos to the center of Régua, and it was a fantastic experience.

The path begins at the Church of São João de Lobrigos, a place full of history and architectural beauty. From there, the route follows trails and secondary roads with magnificent views over the vineyards and the Douro River.

Although the part of the path that coincides with the National Road 2 is less interesting due to traffic, the rest of the route more than makes up for it.

Walking through the terraced vineyards, crossing small villages, and interacting with the locals are moments that make the journey unforgettable.

The path is well signposted, making it easy to navigate even for those unfamiliar with the area.

The terraced vineyards, the river winding through the valley, and the small villages are just some of the scenes you’ll want to remember, so don’t forget your camera.

Be sure to bring water and some snacks, especially if you plan to walk on warmer days. The sun can be intense, but the shade of the vineyards and the Douro breeze make the walk enjoyable.

Stamping the National Road 2 passport in Régua

Estrada Nacional 2 em Santa Marta de Penaguião.
National Road 2 (Estrada Nacional 2).

The National Road 2 crosses Portugal from north to south, linking Chaves to Faro, and is known as the Portuguese “Route 66.”

When visiting Régua, don’t forget to bring your National Road 2 passport. This passport is a special document that allows travelers to collect stamps from each locality they pass through.

Régua is one of the must-visit stops on this route, located in the heart of the Douro Wine Region, a region famous for its terraced vineyards and production of quality wines. To stamp your passport in Régua, there are several places where you can do it, with the Tourist Information Office being one of the most popular options.

The Tourist Information Office is located in the city center and is an excellent starting point for exploring Régua. In addition to stamping your passport, you can get information about the main attractions in the region, local events, and recommendations for restaurants and accommodations.

While in Régua, take the opportunity to visit some of its iconic attractions, such as the riverside promenade, where you can see boats arriving and departing for Douro cruises. Régua’s train station, with its traditional tiles, is also worth a visit.

After stamping your passport and exploring the city, consider continuing your journey along National Road 2, discovering other stops along the way.

Tasting Régua’s candies (rebuçados da Régua)

Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego.
Caminho de Santiago em Lamego.
Lamego: Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies.
Painel de azulejos na Senhora dos Remédios.
Tile panel at Our Lady of Remedies.
Interior do Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, em Lamego.
Interior of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego.
Interior do Santuário de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (detalhe do teto).
Interior of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies (detail of the ceiling).

Tasting the Régua candies is a nostalgic experience that is part of my childhood memories. This is because during the popular festivals, I used to receive these sweets as gifts.

Régua candies are very simple but delicious sweets, made from caramelized sugar in an artisanal way. In fact, I think this simplicity is what makes them so special and unique.

The ladies of Régua, who traditionally produced them, sold them at local festivals and fairs, delicately wrapped in colorful papers. It was an additional source of income for many families, and the tradition continues to thrive.

Even today, you can find caramel candies sold at the main festivals in the region.

In addition to the festivals in Régua, these candies can also be found near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego. The sanctuary is a place of pilgrimage, and for many, the visit is not complete without tasting these traditional sweets.

Sleeping in a wine barrel at Quinta da Pacheca

Miradouros na Régua.
Viewpoints in Régua.

Sleeping in a wine barrel at The Wine House Hotel – Quinta da Pacheca is a unique experience that certainly doesn’t happen every day. Imagine yourself resting inside a Porto wine barrel, surrounded by vineyards…

These barrels are true works of art that provide an unusual and memorable experience.

But it’s worth mentioning that each barrel is equipped with all the necessary comforts for a pleasant stay, including a bed, bathroom, and a spectacular view of the vineyards.

On the other hand, if you prefer something more conventional, The Wine House Hotel – Quinta da Pacheca also offers elegant and comfortable rooms. Staying in one of these rooms allows you to enjoy all the charm and hospitality that the estate has to offer.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the vineyard and learn more about wine production.

Walking through the vineyards, learning about the winemaking process, and, of course, tasting the wines of the estate are activities that complement your stay.

Visiting the Wine Producers in Régua (Quintas da Régua)

Quinta do Seixo, en Valença do Douro (entre a Régua e Pinhão).
Quinta do Seixo, in Valença do Douro (between Régua and Pinhão).
O que fazer na Régua: visitar as quintas do Douro.
What to do in Régua: visiting the Douro estates.
Quinta produtora dos vinhos Ferreira.
Ferreira wines producer.

The estates (quintas) in this region are famous both for the production of prestigious wines and for the privileged view that each one enjoys.

To make the most of the estates in Régua, we suggest visiting them, doing wine tastings, participating in grape harvesting if it’s the right season, or staying overnight at one of your preferences.

In this regard, here are some suggestions of estates in the Douro where you can stay overnight.

Accommodation in Régua

Hotel Vila Galé, na Régua.
Hotel Vila Galé, in Régua.
Quintas na Régua.
Finding accommodation in Régua.

Because it’s a highly touristic region, there’s no shortage of accommodation options in Régua, ranging from secluded rural lodgings, wine-producing estates, to extravagant hotels.

So, Casa do Salgueiral is a good option at friendly prices, and Quinta do Vallado Wine Hotel is perfect for luxurious getaways.

Hotels in Régua, Portugal

What to Do and Visit Near Régua

Caves de Santa Marta.
Wine cellars of Santa Marta de Penaguião.
Espumante Raposeira.
Sparkling wine Raposeira (espumante).
Entrada para as caves Raposeira.
Entrance to Caves da Raposeira.
Visitar as Caves Raposeira.
Visiting Caves Raposeira.
Museu nas Caves de Raposeira.
Raposeira Cellars: see ancient artifacts.
Prova de espumante nas Caves Raposeira.
Tasting of sparkling wine at Raposeira Cellars.
Estação de Comboios de Pinhão.
Pinhão Train Station.
Azulejos na Estação de Comboios de Pinhão.
Tiles at Pinhão Train Station.

You must have realized by now that there is a lot to see and do in this region of the Douro, so it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed.

Therefore, based on my experience and considering the proximity to Régua, here are my suggestions for what to visit. I’ve included the distances, as well as what activity I recommend in each place.

  • Visit the Santa Marta de Penaguião Caves (7 km);
  • Do a sparkling wine tasting at Raposeira Caves (16 km) or at Murganheira Caves (24 km);
  • See Pinhão Train Station (26 km).

Everything you need to know before traveling to Régua

Lugares a visitar na Régua.
Places to visit in Régua.
Fazer um cruzeiro do Cais de Gaia até ao Cais da Régua.
Take a cruise from Cais de Gaia to Cais da Régua.

How long do you need to visit Régua?

At least two days are needed to visit Régua, but if possible, stay for an extra day.

Of course, it depends on the activities you plan to do and the places on your visit list.

In any case, considering a visit to the Douro Museum, exploring the historic center, the boat dock, and the train station, you really need to stay overnight in the city.

Then there are the Douro vineyards, as well as the viewpoints. It’s really a beautiful region with a lot to see and do.

When is the best time to visit Régua?

Amendoeiras no pico de floração.
Almond trees at the peak of flowering.
Visitar a Régua no verão.
Visiting Régua in the summer.
São João do Rio.
São João do Rio.

Visiting Régua is worthwhile at any time of the year, as there are attractions and activities available throughout the year.

However, there are certain times of the year with festivals or events that can enhance your visit to the region.

So here are my suggestions for the best times to visit Régua:

  • Between February and March: Experience the Almond Blossom Route.
  • Spring: Witness the terraced vineyards emerging in shades of green.
  • June 24th: Celebrate the São João do Rio.
  • July: Attend the Medieval Days of the Douro, which commemorate the passage of D. Sancho I through Canelas. It includes medieval reenactments with jugglers and noble minstrels.
  • August: Join the Feast of Our Lady of Succor in Peso da Régua.
  • Autumn: Enjoy the vineyards of the Douro Valley adorned in shades of yellow, gold, and brown.

What’s the most beautiful stretch of the Douro River?

Rio Douro perto da Régua.
Douro River near Régua.
Rio Douro entre o Pinhão e a Régua.
Douro River between Régua and Pinhão.
Estação de comboio de Gouvinhas.
Gouvinhas train station.
Lugares imperdíveis e visitar na Régua.
Best places to visit in Régua.

It’s really challenging for me to choose just one stretch as the most beautiful part of the Douro River because every time I travel to the region, I encounter something new and surprising!

Moreover, the short distance between where I live and the Douro region makes it easy for me to visit several times a year.

Sometimes I only explore the area for a day or two, but overall, I spend many days there each year! And I love it!

So, all this to say that if I had to choose just one stretch of the Douro River as the most beautiful, I would say it’s between Régua and Pinhão.

Map and How to Get to Régua

From the city of Porto to Régua, it’s 117 km, but if your journey starts in Lisbon, you’ll have 358 km ahead of you.

However, don’t be discouraged by the number of kilometers, as we’re talking about a world-famous destination that’s well worth your visit.

👉Check how much it cost to rent a car to visit Douro Region.

From Porto

Which are the best tours to visit Régua, in Douro, from Porto?

Estação de São Bento, no Porto.
São Bento Train Station in Porto.
Estação do Pocinho, Douro.
Pocinho Train Station.
Passar a eclusa do Rio Douro
Passing through the lock on the Douro River.
Fazer um cruzeiro fluvial do Porto até à Régua.
Taking a river cruise from Porto to Peso da Régua.

If you don’t want to rent a car but still have Régua on your list of priorities to visit, then I have two suggestions for you.

On one hand, you can choose to take a boat cruise on the Douro River, or alternatively, take a tour departing from Porto.

The cruises depart from the Gaia dock, which is on the other side of the city of Porto, and you can easily walk there. My recommendations are as follows:

Additionally, if you don’t want to include the boat cruise, my suggestion is to take a tour departing from Porto.

There are different tours and excursions that explore the Douro region, with the main differences being the places they visit and whether they are private or with other people.

Furthermore, some tours include meals, which can increase the cost of the experience on one hand, but on the other hand, you have the opportunity to taste some local products.

Therefore, regarding tours departing from Porto to visit the Douro, I recommend the following:

Why is it called Peso da Régua?

Peso da Régua o que visitar.
Visiting Régua.

Actually, Régua and Peso da Régua are two names that refer to the same place. This is because initially, the upper part of the city was called Peso, which developed downhill to the locality of Régua.

In other words, the older area is Peso, while Régua only developed with the arrival of the railway line to the region.

Indeed, the Douro Line, between Porto and Pocinho, revolutionized Régua, as it facilitated not only people’s mobility but also the transportation of local products.

Famous people who were born or lived in Régua

Several illustrious Portuguese were born and/or lived in Régua, with the most well-known being the writer João de Araújo Correia, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, known as the Ferreirinha and a driving force behind Port Wine, Antão de Carvalho, one of the founders of Casa do Douro, the poet and essayist Joaquim Manuel Magalhães, the painter Jaime Silva, and also the bishop of Angra, Dom José Correia Cardoso Monteiro.

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