Running from Porto through the Douro Valley, this stunning riders’ road deserves a better name…

The Douro Valley in Portugal is sometimes known as the Enchanted Valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stretches from Porto in the west to the eastern edges of the country. Following the Douro River nestled in valleys lined with vineyards is the N222.

An unassuming name for one of the best European roads that does not cross high mountains. Its low altitude and warm Portuguese climate mean the riding season is much longer than% those of its mountain competitors elsewhere in Europe. 

You don’t need to start from Porto. Come inland to Castelo de Paiva and then head east. Navigation could not be simpler – follow the N222. The well-maintained grippy surface twists and turns as it tracks the Douro River as closely as it can.

It is about 65 miles from Castelo to Peso da Regua, when you will be ready for a break. Form here the character of the road changes for a while as it runs directly along the banks of the river, sweepers rather than twisties.

That is until it turns away from the river and climbs through the vineyards with stone walls on one side and steep drops on the other. By Vliarouco the best is done. Turn back and ride it again – it is completely different in reverse. 

Want to ride this?

The N222 is just one of the ‘Greatest Roads’ you can ride with Motorrad Tours. Motorrad Tours is an independent tour operator that specialises in taking the hassle out of the planning and logistics of riding the world’s greatest motorcycle routes, without taking away your freedom to ride and explore.

You can take on the riding focussed Mountains: Picos and Asturias tour or their more relaxed two weeks Portugal and the Picos Mountains. To find out more visit