The Douro Region

The Douro Region, with demarcated and unique features on the banks of the River Douro, in Northern Portugal, integrated in one of the most dynamic regions of the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, comprises districts and municipalities with specific geographical, historical and cultural features and marks the transition from the North Atlantic coasts to the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula and southern Europe.

Strongly influenced by the Douro River, its tributaries and the rugged mountainous soil, the Douro region is characterized by the existence of important cultural, agricultural and natural resources, particularly in what concerns the non-built areas, the touristic potential, the wine production, the traditional food products, the extractive industry, especially the ornamental rocks, and the raw material for construction.

It is important to emphasize the enormous concentration of heritage classified both by the Portuguese authorities and by the UNESCO- they designated the Douro Region as World Heritage over a decade ago, making the region one of the most interesting national sets, allowing people to explore in an integrated advantageous manner the excellent potential of the region, mingling the natural beauty of the region, the built heritage and the tourist structures that combine harmoniously the history, the tradition and the quality in the art of hospitality.

In addition to these ancient features, there are critical current elements, such as the strong implementation of modern industries with innovative features and the technological upgrading of industries considered traditional, such as the wine production industry, agro industry or the extractive industries. This new economy is based on the existence of important poles of knowledge and research, including the universities of the North of Portugal and of the Southwest of the Iberian Peninsula.

With excellent accessibility to the North and the Northwest of the Peninsula, the Douro region is served by remarkable air, land, railway and sea routes, particularly the Porto Airport with direct connections to Europe and to the world, the ports of Leixões and Aveiro, with capacity to receive large ships, and the region has connections by land to Spain and to the rest of Europe as identified in the map below.

The region is also characterised by its integration in a wide economic area that includes the North and centre of Portugal and the Spanish autonomous regions of Galicia and Castile Leon, representing as a whole almost 10 million consumers with an average GDP per capita of over € 17,000, a value greater than the Portuguese GDP per capita. This vast economic region allows us to consider any investment made in the Douro region in the light of an area that includes a significant number of consumers with a comfortable income per capita in relation to the national standards. In addition, thanks to the strong integration of the European Union- Portugal and Spain are also part of it - to the historic relations between the two countries and the growing regional ties between the North of Portugal and the Spanish regions of Galicia and Castile Leon, there is a growing stream of customers that visit the Beira Douro region. It should be noted that the Atlantic Axis of the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula acts as the agglutinating pole of the region.

With a millennial history, a beautiful landscape, a unique architectural heritage, a focus on the alliance between the agricultural and wine tradition and the modernity of some industries that have been able to adapt the characteristics of the region to the requirements of the markets, a particular attention to harmonious connection between what was done by the imagination of the people and what was generated by the force of nature, a high-end and integrated transport network in an area with several million consumers with above-average economic capacity, the Douro region meets the necessary conditions to be justly considered one of the last opportunities for investment and business in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Despite enjoying a historical harmony and a strong administrative and organizational connection, each of the region municipalities has its own characteristics, which clearly show the enormous richness and variety that can be found on the banks of the River Douro.