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Day 3 on board AmaVida

Day 3

So we are off to the small town of Lamego for a visit to the Sanctuary for a morning tour.

The coach ride took 30 minutes through some of the most picturesque scenery we have seen yet. There are many winding roads along the Douro and the coach drivers do such a great job as many of the roads are very narrow and steep.

Arriving in Lamego, a very busy small town set back from the Douro, we visited the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios, which is one of the most important pilgrimage centres in Portugal. There are 660 steps leading down to the town centre, there were options to go down by coach or to walk, we opted to walk off the delicious breakfast we had consumed before the tour. The views from the top steps was quite daunting as you could see hundreds of zig zag stairways approximately 10 at a time leading down to the centre of Lamego. We started our decent and before we knew it we arrived at the bottom, it was much quicker then we thought, on the way down there are tiled murals every few levels which definitely takes your mind off of how many stairs there are.

A short walk down the road to our next wine tasting visit and what a beautiful setting it was. What seemed like a small shop from the front opened out into gardens with high tables and benches for all of the guests to relax. The sun was shining and the wine was sparkling (our favourite!). Alison and I felt we owed it to our readers to try all three on offer, a white, rose and sweet option – our favourite being the sweet 🙂 Following the wine tasting we had free time to explore Lamego and we chose to wander through the markets, town and visit their cathedral.

We headed back to the ship to indulge ourselves in yet more delicious cuisine for lunch. I had the pasta option of carbonara while Alison opted for a standing order and chose burger and chips, and I quote – Alison said ‘this is the best burger I’ve ever had’.

We set sail for our next port of call – Pinhao. We sailed through another lock which seemed even larger then the last. Along the Douro there are many small villages with a handful of scattered homes, they are very pretty, white and terracotta in colour, with the backdrop of lush green rolling hills. We of course made use of the pool to enjoy the views and peaceful sailing.

Arriving in the quaint town of Pinhao we had an evening excursion planned to the Quinta da Avessada. It took us approximately 45 minutes to get there, we were travelling up the steep hills and when we arrived we were greeted by a local band and a glass of Muscat. The owner, Luis Barros came to meet all of the guests and welcomed us to his Quinta, we had a guided tour of the 100 year old warehouse where the Barros family heritage is one of the main attractions, they have barrels which have his great grandfathers Muscat which they are very proud of. We were then taken into the most amazing glass extension of the main building where we were hosted for a traditional Portuguese meal with wine produced from their own grapes and farm. I have to admit, this is one of the best tours I have ever been on, the whole experience was just perfect. It was so great to meet such a passionate individual like Luis who is very proud of what his family have built over the years and is continuing to take forward. They actually produce 30 million bottles of wine a year and 90% is distributed within Portugal.

After an evening of singing, dancing, fun, great wine and traditional food it was time to head back to the ship. We had a nightcap in the lounge and decided to call it a night ready for our next visits tomorrow…………

PS – The T-Shirt marks are starting to blend 🙂

To be continued……………..

 

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