PESO DA RÉGUA (usually just Régua) was declared the first capital of the demarcated port-producing region back in the eighteenth century. While it’s Pinhão, further east, that’s the more interesting place these days, Régua is still a popular stop – not least because it’s the hub of the Douro river-cruise trade, with the boats disgorging hundreds of passengers for lunch, train trips and wine-lodge visits. Although it’s not a particularly pretty place, and is dominated by a vertiginous motorway bridge, for most of the year there’s an agreeable hubbub along the waterside promenade, where ornamental barcos rabelos lie anchored on the wide river. What’s more, wine-trade patronage has resulted in some excellent local restaurants and enticing quinta accommodation in the vicinity.

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