First let me start off this blog post by saying that any trip to the Douro valley is going to be a well worth trip! However, there are a few tips I learned while I visited to help you enjoy a family-friendly trip to the Douro Valley.
1. Every Winery (or Quinta/Estate) is Family Friendly
Like most wineries around the world, the Douro valley is no different. If you arrive with children, of all ages, you will be greeted with nothing but kindness and understanding. Like most of us who drink wine, we understand that parents would still like to do things, like go wine tasting. And if you are like me (which I’m assuming most of the world is in this sense) you can’t afford a travel nanny to just come with you and hang out in the room – so what do you do? Bring the kids! While we were wine tasting my 3-year-old was greeted with love, tender smiles, a place set just for her, snacks brought out (without being asked) and everyone made her the star of the show.
2. Bring a Toy or Two
Even with being shown such love and kindness at every winery or Quinta (meaning Estates) we visited, I am still a traveling mom of a toddler and I would still like to enjoy my tasting rather than answer “mom, mom, mom” every two minutes. I have a few toys that I use to help keep her entertained without hauling the entire toy chest with me when I’m traveling.
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3. Stay Outdoors!
Portugal is a magnificent area to visit if you love being outdoors! There are countless activities for you and your family to enjoy, whether you are wine tasting or not! Though most of the activities we partook in were either hiking or drinking wine outside (for me at least).
4. Enjoy the Food!
One of my favorite parts of traveling is when we are able to indulge in the food! I mean come one! And Portugal did not let us down either, when we were in Porto we ordered a sausage appetizer that came on a spike and cooked at the table! If you didn’t enjoy anything else about being outdoors, I highly recommend that you take at LEAST one meal outside. The Douro Valley is a very special place, giant terraces built by hand into the sides of the mountains just to see and experience that alone with a bottle of wine is an experience in and of itself.
5. Take it Slow
I very much so enjoyed the pace of life while we were in the Douro valley. I know we were on vacation but the entire atmosphere that we experienced while we were there was also very relaxed. It remined me how so many cultures don’t live to work but work to live. A lifestyle I strive to immolate as much as possible. However, I can see how the Portuguese take stock in family. It was explained to me while on a wine tour here that so many people in the Douro valley take such amazing pride in where they live (rightfully so) and it is because of that pride and the dedication to love and family that they remain or always return to the Douro Valley. So, while you are there, take life slow! Enjoy waking up late and strolling into breakfast, enjoy taking a pleasant walk outside just to take in the beautiful fresh air and the views, go to dinner at 6pm and stay until 10pm to sit and savor every moment and every sip of wine.
There are just a few tips to help ease your mind when you are traveling to wine country with your family or even by yourself with small children. It is really easy -Don’t be worried about how you will be welcomed because it will be with open arms!