Located right in the middle of port-wine producing territory, Pinhao is a small rural town located on the banks of the Rio Douro in northern Portugal, about 25 kilometres east of Peso da Regua. Mountains, terraced hills and a mighty river all come together here, making Pinhao one of the most photogenic towns in the country – if not the world.
Although famous for its exceptional port-wine, Pinhao also produces excellent table wine and is the perfect place to visit a winery and learn all about the winemaking process.
The town of Pinhao itself is rather small, and beyond quaint white-washed houses and charming cobblestone streets, there’s very little to see. However, it is an excellent base from which to explore more of the gorgeous terrain and the accompanying vineyards that surround the Rio Douro.
Cruise ships dock along the banks of the Rio Douro in the heart of town. Most dock just a short walk away from the train station, which is in the centre of town.
The port at Pinhao is very basic and passengers will need to walk into town to find the facilities they need to make their arrival as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
Facilities nearby include:
- Internet access
- Cafés and restaurants
- Shopping and souvenirs
- ATMs and Foreign Exchange
- Tourist Information Office.
Taxis can be booked in advance to take passengers around town. There are also some car hire offices scattered about (bookings are essential).
There are also various accommodation options throughout Pinhao.
How To Get Around
The town of Pinhao is small enough to get around on foot. However, to visit some of the outlying vineyards, a taxi will be required.
Travel times from the cruise port:
- It is a 10 minute journey to the Restaurante Ponte Romana.
- It is a 25 minute journey (approximately €16 taxi fare) to the Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House.
Currency – The local currency in Pinhao is the Euro (EUR). Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500 denominations. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations.
Time Zone – Pinhao is on Western European Time (WET). It is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – The climate in Pinhao is warm and temperate. During summer (June to August) the average daytime temperature hovers around 20 degrees Celsius. The average daytime temperature during winter (December to February) is around 8 degrees Celsius. Pinhao sees about 1,197mm of rainfall annually, with greater than average amounts falling in January.
Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House – Spread out over rolling hills surrounded by centuries-old vineyards, this establishment is a hotel, restaurant and winery all in one and is the perfect place to head out on a hike. There are three hiking trails that set out from here, allowing intrepid walkers the chance to explore more of this beautiful terrain. After a hike, hikers can then grab a drink at the restaurant and sample local wine whilst overlooking the mighty Rio Douro, or join a winery tour. Wine tours with tasting cost €12 per person, and are conducted at 11am, 3pm and 5pm (bookings are essential).
Restaurante Ponte Romana – Gorge on traditional Portuguese fare while overlooking the Ponte Romana (Roman stone bridge) at this excellent restaurant only a short walk from the town centre. The spectacular views are complemented by friendly service and great value for money (mains start at around €8). The restaurant also stocks a great selection of local wine, all at reasonable rates. The Restaurante Ponte Romana is open from Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Driving the Alto Douro – Get behind the wheel in Pinhao and spend a few hours driving through some of the most spectacular scenery in Portugal. Weaving in and out of the mountainous terrain, drivers and their passengers will zoom past countless terraced hills, vineyards, and small villages nestled along the Rio Douro. Of course, stopping at a number of local wineries and cafés on the way is all part of the experience, so bring an empty stomach along with your camera.
Boat trip along the Douro – Spend an hour cruising upriver into the heart of the Alto Douro on a traditional flat-bottomed boat. A truly immersive experience, passengers can sit back and take in the picturesque scenery whilst sipping on local wine. It’s definitely one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy your time in Pinhao. One-hour cruises start at around €20.