Quinta do Vallado + Paleolithic art

By: Lee Hanle Younge
This item appears on page 26 of the August 2018 issue.

My husband and I stayed at a quinta (villa) in Portugal that I think ITN readers would be interested in knowing about.

Quinta do Vallado (Vilarinhos dos Freires, 5050-364, Peso da Régua, Portugal; phone +351 254 323 147, www.quintadovallado.com) is located in the Douro Valley, northeastern Portugal, near the Prehistoric Rock Art Site in the Côa Valley (near Spain’s border).

The quinta was small, with only eight rooms, two of which were well-appointed cottages with porches overlooking the Douro River. We stayed three nights in one of them, May 6-8, 2018. Our cottage cost $320 per night. Breakfast was included.

Other meals were also available, priced at 25 (near $29) per person, with wine and port included. Usually, there were four courses. Accommodations could be made for dietary issues.

Getting to the quinta was quite exciting! There was a 3.5-kilometer single-lane road going down the mountain, and if we came across a car or truck going in the opposite direction, it was tricky. After a few trips, it became familiar.

This was one of the most serene, relaxing hotels I have ever stayed in. It was surrounded on three sides by vineyard and on the fourth by the river. The congenial staff provided the highest level of service, and we felt the food and wine were some of the best in Portugal.

As for the rock art, it’s some of the best we’ve ever seen.

There’s a wonderful museum for the rock art site in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, only a few kilometers from the quinta, and I highly recommend going there first. It explains the rock art, and you can purchase tour tickets there for the site.

They take only a few people at a time to the site, in 4-wheel-drive vehicles, and you must be escorted. It’s on a riverbed, so walking is easy. Take a hat, as it’s in the sun, and wear walking shoes.

You’ll see engraved drawings dating back to 22,000 BC.

LEE HANLE YOUNGE

Delmar, NY