Natural beauty, fascinating culture, plenty of things to do — Portugal has it all. It’s not surprising that Travel + Leisure named it the 2016 Destination of the Year and that more than 15 million tourists visited the country last year, a number that’s been steadily growing in recent times. Inspirato Members love the country, too.
The club offers accommodations in Portugal’s Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most historic winemaking regions. Members stay at Six Senses Douro Valley, housed inside a refurbished 19th century manor with stunning views of the river and valley.
This renovated old manor with a chic, contemporary decor is the perfect place to relax while traveling in Portugal. To have the Douro Valley wine experience, try the wine tasting at the hotel's wine library. The food at the Six Senses is delicious and all vegetables are grown at the property. The view from the Panorama Suite is truly fantastic.Rafael D.Inspirato Member
Wine has been the dominant attraction in the Douro Valley for centuries, with vineyards growing here since almost the start of the Roman Empire. The valley’s signature varietal is Port, perhaps the most famous fortified wine (wine with a grape spirit, or brandy, added during the production process), but in the past decade, a dedicated group of winemakers has been aiming to raise the profile of the valley’s other fortified wines. It seems to be paying off – wines from the Douro Valley have ranked on Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines of the Year” every year for more than a decade.
A visit to a local winery is an absolute must for any Douro Valley itinerary. But beyond excellent vintages, the Douro Valley’s historic landscapes feature plenty of ways to stay entertained. Helio Lima, concierge at Six Senses Douro Valley, shares his favorite things to do in the area.
See how Portuguese nobility lived at Casa de Mateus, where the palace and its gardens today look very much like they did when first built in the first half of the 18th century.
Cruise the Douro River on a sailboat or in a traditional wooden rabelo boat, which used to transport wine popes form the Douro to Porto.
Traditional Portuguese family style cooking — simple ingredients like cod fish, smoked pork, and tapas carefully prepared — rules at Taberna do Jerere. Whether you arrive by car or boat at DOC Restaurant, go for one of the sleek outside tables overlooking the river.
In Portugal and all across Europe, Inspirato’s vacation options feature something for every traveler. Stay in a historic villa on the banks of Lake Como, gaze into the Mediterranean Sea in Mallorca, or take in the idyllic scenery of Provence. Wherever members go, Inspirato’s Member Care specialists take care of all the details along the way.
This post was adapted from Port Side by Alexander Lobrano, originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of Inspirato magazine.