East of Peso da Régua, the minor N222 hugs the south side of the Rio Douro, with the train on the north side, until reaching the small port-wine town of PINHÃO, 25km to the east, and the heart of the Douro region. It’s a wonderful route and there’s a real sense of arrival at Pinhão, where the river broadens and the terraced hills close in. Cruise boats tie up along a broad riverside promenade, where a couple of bars look out over a fjord-like vista and there’s a welcome breeze in the evening air. If you’ve come by car, don’t miss the short, winding 7km drive up to the miradouro at the small village of Casal de Loivos (Favaios–Alijó road) – some say there’s no better view along the whole of the Douro.

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