Are you looking for a new way to celebrate Pesach in 2020? KRC may have a suggestion. How about a trip through a river that shines like gold?
Flowing from Northern Portugal all the way through the Atlantic Ocean is the Rio Douro. This 500-mile river is an easy favorite of anyone who frequently goes on kosher river cruises. The UNESCO-listed valley is the go-to wine land of wine fans all over the world.
If you love wine, or just love going on adventures, Douro is the perfect place for you and your family. The scenery leaves you breathless every time. But take a deep breath, because the adventures that await you will be exhilarating. Here are some of the things you must do when you’re in Douro.
Get a Taste of Douro’s Wine Culture
The best introduction to Douro is through its steep vineyards. See where the grapes are grown before they turn into the wine the place is known for. Quintas and wineries have tours prepared, and they’re not that expensive.
Before you go, remember to book the tour ahead. Some days may be full or unavailable. It’s best to have the day exclusively reserved for your group.
If you get there around September to October, you can witness the grape harvest. There’s a bunch of things to do under the heat of the sun. You can participate in the harvest, or you can stomp on the grapes.
In any other days of the year, the wine in Douro Valley is always available. They have been making their wine in the town since the 17th century — they probably know a thing or two about wine-making. There’s a wide variety of wine, and you can even bring a bottle home as a souvenir.
Embrace Timeless Beauty
The streets of Porto is an urban wonder and one you should definitely check out. UNESCO made sure these places are preserved for the appreciation of generations to come. Take a tour on the blue and gold churches, or walk along the Bolhao market.
There’s a collection of local delicacies in the Bolhao market that redefines exotic food. They have something called a lamprey, an eel from the river cooked in red wine with rice. People often try the papas de sarrabulho or pork innards in blood. (No way is that kosher, but that sure sounds interesting.)
The food culture in Douro is a big deal. Other types of food like the cabrito, the polvo frito, the bolo de bacalhau are some of the local favorites. If you could use a pass from all the lamprey, however, you can check out the hilltop museum where they house a piece of street art that is around 30,000 years old.
Have Clean, Good Fun by the Atlantic
If you’re looking to take classic time off just sitting by the beach and having a lazy day, look for the suburb of Foz do Douro. Breathe in Douro under palm trees, or get a drink in one of the various beach bars.
It’s where locals go after a long day to chill out. They’re usually very friendly. Try and talk to one for some local stories you can bring home.
The Jewish community was making important contributions in Porto long before their deportation from Portugal in 1496. A trip to the Douro is not only a luxurious getaway, it’s also one of the best Jewish heritage tours any family could ask for. Plan the next trip to the Douro and expect an adventure of a lifetime.