Blend in Douro

Douro

The Douro Valley could as easily be called the enchanted valley, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer.

Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (table wines and Port wine), produced on its hillsides, also end up, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. None will leave you indifferent.

Following a route between the viewpoints that offer the best vistas, you need to cross the river from north to south and back again. But along the way you can admire breathtaking landscapes over the river and visit vineyards, towns and villages until you reach Miranda do Douro, the point at which the river enters Portugal.

Start at Vila Nova de Gaia with a visit to the lodges where Port wine is aged. Here you will get to know this wine a little better, taking the opportunity – how could you do otherwise? – to taste the precious nectar. And you can still see the old rabelo boats on the river, the vessels that carried the wine from the quintas where it is produced to the mouth of river, before the various dams that made the river navigable were built.

In Peso da Régua, the Douro Museum will provide a different perspective on the region and wine growing. Not far away, on the south bank, is Lamego, one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Portugal, located at the base of an immense blue and white tiled flight of steps leading to the Shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. In Pinhão, right by the river, the railway station is a must-see to admire its ancient tiles dedicated to the cultivation of vines.

Before arriving in Pocinho, you can make a detour on the south bank to visit the castle of Numão and enjoy the view over the skyline. A little further to the east is the Vale do Coa Archaeological Park, an open-air rock art gallery, classified as a World Heritage Site, and the attached Museum in Vila Nova de Foz Coa.

Once you get to Barca de Alva, you enter the International Douro Natural Park, as the river from here to Miranda do Douro makes the border between Portugal and Spain. At this point, the course of the river narrows, running between tall escarpments until it reaches the small border town on entering Portugal.

The Douro Wine Region Valley, up to Barca de Alva, is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. First, the river carved the deep valleys out of the land and then Man transformed the schist mountains into soil and walls and planted the vines, green in summer, flame-coloured in autumn. With knowledge handed down from generation to generation, he inclined the terraces to expose the vines to the rays of the sun which give the grapes the warmth that the wine craves. It was from the fruits of the land and Man’s labour that this unique wine and landscape were made.

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The investment qualifies for the Portuguese Golden Visa program (ARI/Golden Visa).

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Portuguese Golden Visa

The Golden Visa Program is one of the fastest and more reliable choices for foreign investors or third-country nationals who want to be granted a residence permit, through investment activities conducted within Portugal territory. The main benefits of the program are the various choices of investments, a quick and unbureaucratic procedure and, lastly, a minimal requirement for residency. This makes the portuguese Golden Visa the fastest-growing investment immigration program in Europe.

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The portuguese Golden Visa Program is intended for all third-country nationals who exercise an investment activity, either personally or through a company incorporated in Portugal or in another EU State and having a permanent establishment in Portugal.

Why invest in Portugal

The Portugal Golden Visa program has proven to be one of the most popular schemes in Europe, attracting many investors due to its flexibility and the benefits provided.

Since its launching in 2012 the Golden Visa program has been actively promoted internationally by the Portuguese Government, allowing the investors to obtain a residency permit, which may include its family.

Real Estate Investment

The property market in Portugal like many southern European countries suffered with the credit crisis and prices in 2015 are typically 20% – 30% below their peak. However there is a clear turn in the market and property above the €500,000 investment visa limit is seeing huge demand particularly in the capital, Lisbon.

Investors buying into the real estate market in Portugal for the Golden Visa now have excellent prospects for capital gain in the coming years. Advice is recommended for serious buyers as there are clear distinctions between typical vacation homes on the coast in Portugal and city properties such as Lisbon.

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