Did you know that one of the most beautiful roads in the world is Portuguese? We are talking about Estrada Nacional 222, winding through the incredible Douro wine region.
THE National Road 222or EN222, which connects Vila Nova de Gaia Vila Nova de Foz Côa, is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. Among the reasons that make this northern route seduce all those who travel along it, is its route and its surrounding landscape, namely in the sections along the Douro river.
If you like driving and exploring the most beautiful scenery in our country, you can’t miss Estrada Nacional 222, which many compare to the mythical route 66. Follow our itinerary and live unforgettable moments in the Douro region.
Where does Estrada Nacional 222 begin and end?
Estrada Nacional 222 is part of the National Road Network, with 226.3 kilometers long. It starts in Mafamude, in the center of Vila Nova de Gaia and ends in Almendra, in the municipality of Vila Nova de Foz Coa. A unique journey worldwide, as it brings together three destinations classified as World Heritage: Ribeira Porto, Alto Douro Vinhateiro and the Rock Engravings of Foz Côa.
The most acclaimed section
The most beautiful part of this road, and the one that offers the greatest driving pleasure, is the section Ruler – Pinion. There are 27 kilometers and 93 curves that follow the meandering of the Douro, in the company of a truly inspiring terraced scenery.
National road 222: obligatory stops
If you have limited time, you can shorten this adventure. Use the fastest roads to cut corners and enjoy only the Régua – Pinhão section. However, the perfect trip starts at Cais de Gaia, first thing in the morning. After admiring the historic center of Porto and the Douro riverbed crossed by the iconic bridges, head to Estrada Nacional 222 and all its treasures, including picturesque villages, breathtaking viewpoints and gastronomic specialties to eat and cry over. more. Here are our favorite stops:
A municipality with a rich built, cultural and gastronomic heritage. Highlight for the villages of greetings, Bustelo da gravel, gravel and Valley of Popes. Kid with oven-baked rice, pork liver “papas miles” or firecrackers are unmissable specialties.
Land of delicious cherries, it is part of the National Road 222 itinerary. House of Torre da Lagariçawhat Eça de Queiroz immortalized in his book “The Illustrious House of Ramires”, as well as the thermal complex of Caldas de Aregos.
One of the highlights of this route, there are several spaces here where you can learn more about the history of Douro wines, in particular Port wine. THE Douro Museum and the Quinta do Vallado, with its fantastic wine cellar, are a must. go up to the Viewpoint of Sao Leonardo de Galafura and share in the ecstasy felt by Miguel Torga in the face of this magical landscape.
It is here, in Régua, that the most memorable part of this journey begins, which will take you to the beautiful village of Pinhão. Along the way, be sure to visit the Quinta do Seixo, where you can do a wine tasting and enjoy superb views. In this section you will also find one of the best national restaurants: the DOC. – by renowned chef Rui Paula. It is located in Folgosa, in the municipality of Armamar.
The tiles of railway station are one of ex-libris from this charming village, from where you can depart on a pleasant – and highly recommended – boat ride. Before returning to Estrada Nacional 222, travel the few kilometers that separate Pinhão from the village of Loivos couplewhere you will come across one of the most incredible viewpoints in the region.
Sao Joao da Pesqueira
Village and vineyard municipality belonging to the district of Viseu, São João da Pesqueira deserves your attention. Stroll around Praça da República, and learn more about the region at the Wine Museum. Already the Viewpoints of Sao Salvador do Mundo and the Lady of Lourdes give you fabulous panoramic views over the Douro Valley. Still carry in your memory the rustic beauty of the villages of Saint Shale it’s from Clover.
It is in this municipality that our road trip by Estrada Nacional 222. Its most famous attractions are the cave engravings it’s the museum of Côa Valley Archaeological Park. Don’t miss this millennial heritage and then, to rest and relax, go for a dip in the river beach on the river Sabor.
If you want to be strict, finish the tour in almond, the village where the road ends. The Igreja Matriz, the Pelourinho, the fountain, the chapels and the 15th century layout of many houses, give the place an interesting historical atmosphere.