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2022 is the year to invest in Douro real estate

2022 is the year to invest in Douro real estate

The new golden visa regime only allows residence in Portugal for those who invest in real estate properties in the interior. It is the right time to look at the Douro vineyards.

The Alto Douro Wine Region, which is the most representative and best preserved continuum of the Douro Demarcated Region (the oldest demarcated and regulated wine region in the world, dating back to 1756), has been a UNESCO living and evolving cultural landscape for two decades, since 14 December 2001. The celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the classification of the Douro as a UNESCO World Heritage Site start on 14 December 2021 and continue throughout 2022.

The celebration includes the premiere of the opera "Mátria. Here on Earth" - the first original opera created in Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, written from the work of Miguel Torga, with libretto by Eduarda Freitas and music by the composer Fernando Lapa -, concerts and exhibitions, seminars and conferences, marketing activities for the territory and internationalization, activities linked to education and heritage, and also an award for best practices in viticulture. The Douro Architecture Prize, launched 15 years ago to promote good architectural practices in the World Heritage Site, will also be reissued. In 2019, the architect Eduardo Souto Moura won this award, with the work of the Tua Hydroelectric Power Plant, which went almost entirely underground to harmonize the building with the landscape of the World Heritage Douro. Both awards will be presented in 2022.

The classified area of the Alto Douro Wine Region comprises 24,600 hectares, about one-tenth of the Demarcated Region (250,000 hectares), stretching along the slopes of the River Douro and its tributaries. The cultural landscape, much centred on viticulture and the production of Port and Douro wines, is commonly described as being a "combined work of man and nature made over centuries". The region's distinctive features include its antiquity, the terraces supported by schist walls and the intermingling of cultures.

The classified area covers the municipalities of Mesão Frio, Peso da Régua, Santa Marta de Penaguião, Vila Real, Alijó, Sabrosa, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Torre de Moncorvo, Lamego, Armamar, Tabuaço, São João da Pesqueira and Vila Nova de Foz Côa.


Related: Investment growth in luxury properties in the Douro region, Portugal


Over half a million overnight stays in 2019


The Douro scenery attracts thousands of tourists every year. They arrive by car, helicopter, train and boat, all hoping to do wine tastings, buy wine, walk through the vineyards and, many of them, also hoping to buy a house there. In 2019, the Douro registered over half a million overnight stays in hotel units, not counting rural tourism spaces. As regards 2021, almost 8,000 passengers travelled on the Historic Douro Train, which corresponds to 96% occupancy, informed CP - Comboios de Portugal (Trains of Portugal). In 2022, it will be time to start looking at the Douro as a historic real estate investment opportunity.

The change in the Residence Permits for Investment Activity programme, which imposes, as of January 2022, the end of Golden Visas in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon, Porto and Algarve, favouring investment in the islands and in the interior of the country, places the Douro region at the top of the list of the most desirable national territories. The best opportunities are for those who arrive first. And there are already those who are strengthening their investment in the region, especially with a focus on wine tourism.

Douro Enoturismo




In fact, the classification of the Douro as a World Heritage Site represented a great opportunity for the development of wine tourism in the region and has, over the last two decades, launched many owners of historic farms into the adventure of tourism, making a relevant contribution to the socio-economic development of the region.

The vice-president of the North Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-N), Célia Ramos, interviewed by Lusa stresses that the classification "blossomed in the Douro the dimension of the complementarity of tourism and wine tourism in relation to viticulture". She recalls that the farms are not limited to production, but also have a "story to tell".  It is a great opportunity for investors, because there is only one Douro. She notes, however, that "the opening of wine-producing properties to wine tourism has happened in various other regions of the world - and some are not even World Heritage Sites".


Related: A Wine Tour of the Iberian Peninsula

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