Pinhão is situated in the heart of Portugal’s Douro Valley, famed for its role in port wine production. The region is emerging as one of the hottest river cruise destinations thanks to its plethora of vineyards, wineries, and historic cities. Sleepy Pinhão isn’t going to knock your socks off, but one of its landmarks — decorated with elaborate ceramic tiles — just might.
What We Love
Pinhão Train Station: That’s right: We’re advocating that you visit the local train station — and for good reason. Pinhão’s sun-drenched rail terminal dates to 1937 and is adorned with elaborately hand-painted azulejo tiles that depict the production of port wine throughout the country. Widely regarded as the most beautiful train station in Portugal, it's a photo op you won't want to miss.
The Waterfront: The area where most river cruise ships dock is situated just alongside the Douro River, and Pinhão has constructed a nice oceanfront walk (of sorts) to allow visitors to stroll casually along its banks, so long as they don’t mind drifting through the odd parking lot.
Best Known For
Port Wine: Need we say more? The Douro Valley is the epicenter of port wine production, and Pinhão serves as a jumping-off port for many day trips to surrounding vineyards and wineries.
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Who It's Best For
Wine Lovers: Make no mistake about it: The main calling card of Pinhão is its close proximity to dozens of local port wineries.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Watch Out for Traffic. The main center of town — particularly outside the train station — is a congested area filled with cars, scooters, slow-moving tourists, and several blind corners. To stay safe, stick to the sidewalks and make sure you watch where you’re headed.
Port Packs a Punch: A day of wine tasting might leave you on the tipsy side. It's always advisable to stay hydrated and drink responsibly.
Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.