Six Senses Douro Valley Portugal, Europe
57 Rooms & Suites
What we love
I love Portugal for many reasons but if I had to choose two of my favourite things firstly it would be the delicious range of regional food and wines to try! Secondly the diverse beauty of the country is astounding, from the golden beaches of the Algarve to the dramatic Douro Valley, there is just so much to explore!
With an exquisite coastline of sandy beaches and coves, superb beachfront resorts and long hot summers, all less than a three hour flight away, Portugal has long been known as one of Europe’s best destinations for a relaxing beach break. But aside from the Algarve, there are also the beautiful, historic cities of Porto and Lisbon, and the picturesque Duoro Valley with its fine gastronomy and wealth of vineyards.
On the Algarve’s coastline there are a string of pretty towns and villages as you make your way west from Faro, and so it is well worth dragging yourself away from your sunlounger and hiring a car to explore. The fish market at Lagos, and the sheer variety on offer is something to behold, while on the most westerly tip, the laid back town of Sagres with its lighthouse and white-walled fortress dating back to the 1400’s is popular with surfers of all abilities thanks to the rolling swell of the Atlantic ocean. Heading north, the wilder west coast is largely made up of national park and the countryside is wonderful, with tiny coves and fantastic views that are best explored on foot.
The capital city of Lisbon is one of Europe’s sunniest, boasting an average of over 2,700 hours of sunshine a year. Peppered with century-old wooden trams and iron funiculars that still lurch and rumble their way through the city, visitors can experience a bygone heritage in the Baixa district, where age-old herbalists, haberdashers and tailors work side by side in the ornate, Baroque streets. The Unesco World Heritage site of Sintra also makes an easy day trip from the city, with its rippling mountains, lush forest and fairy-tale palaces overlooking the Atlantic. In the summer months, locals head out of the city to the beachfront suburbs of Cascais and Estoril to cool off in the cool Atlantic waters or to enjoy a classic dish of garlicky clams.
Further north again, with its medieval heart and signature tipple, Portugal’s second city of Porto is also well worthy of a visit. Carved in two by the Douro River, downtown Porto has a classical sophistication, while the seaside suburbs have witnessed something of a revival in recent years, and are now home to a fabulous array of local bars, restaurants and cafes. The Douro River is arguably one of the most beautiful waterways in Europe; winding its way through vineyards, villages and Porto itself, where it is spanned by the city’s iconic iron bridge. The Duoro Valley is the by-product of over 2000 years of winemaking, and with chic hotels, superb dining and a stunning landscape it is now one of the best destinations for an easy weekend break.