A river cruise along the Douro will give you a special perspective of Spain and Portugal´s many arresting landscapes. From lush vineyards in the Douro Valley, to steep Spanish hills dotted with charming terraced houses further up river.
River Cruise in Spain
You´ll enjoy plenty of sunshine too.
Here are some highlights…
The Spanish Douro
One of the major rivers on the Iberian peninsula, the Douro flows across northern central Spain and into Portugal, all the way to the Atlantic coast and the cosmopolitan city of Porto. In Spain, the river crosses the great Castilian meseta, the vast inner plateau of the country. Major towns on the Spanish side of the river include historic Soria, Almazán, Aranda de Duero, Tordesillas and Zamora.
Not far from the banks of the Douro, and available as an excursion on most Spanish river cruises. The historic city of Salamanca is home to some spectacular ancient treasures. The city’s skyline is dominated by two grand cathedrals, excellent examples of medieval architecture and the Spanish Gothic style. Also worth a visit is the Plaza Mayor, the beating heart of Salamanca where locals and tourists alike go to socialise, shop or just sit with a coffee in the sunshine. This 18th Century Square is beautiful place to have a drink on an outdoor terrace and admire the architecture.
Check out these Handy tips for Packing for a River Cruise
One of the best things about a river cruise is that you will visit places that are slightly off the beaten track. The town of Tordesillas is a small but interesting place with a number of historic landmarks that you can visit. The town is famous as the home of the treaty of Tordesillas, a 15th century map that divided the world into Spanish and Portuguese spheres of influence.
Find out more about this pivotal time in Iberian history at the Museo del Tratado de Tordesillas.
No cruise along the Douro is complete without visiting the Portuguese section of the Douro, famous the world over as a top wine producing region. The importance of the region was recognised by UNESCO in 2001, as a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. Towns like Régua and Pinhão may not be household names, but winelovers will be able to learn a great deal about the history of winemaking in the area, as well as tasting the wines too.
At the end of your cruise down the Douro, you will arrive at the vibrant city of Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. This is a cosmopolitan city, with many bars, restaurants and things to see and do. The city is famous for Port Wine, which is exported internationally from the surrounding region. Architecturally, the city has a history that stretches back thousands of years. You’ll be able to see buildings ranging from Roman times up to innovative social housing projects built more recently.
Take a soothing holiday along the Douro River – enjoy the sights, the wine and the people of Spain and Portugal.