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As far as Portuguese river cruises go, there are none better than a trip along the Douro. It is one of Europe's most beautiful rivers and its UNESCO listed valley abounds with unspoilt scenic splendour. The Douro River meanders its way through northern Portugal and central Spain on a 556-mile journey, passing by rolling hillsides covered with pretty terraced vineyards and vibrant lemon groves.

Flowing from its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Spain, the Douro winds its way from the province of Soria across to the Portuguese city of Miranda do Douro before running into the Atlantic Ocean, near the fascinating historic city of Porto.

A Douro river cruise is the ideal way to explore the cultural and scenic wonders of Spain and Portugal. Enjoy a daytrip to the enriching melting pot of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage city famous for its university and amazing architectural highlights, which include a magnificent Romanesque cathedral.

On your voyage of Iberian discovery visit beautifully restored palaces, relax in quaint countryside villages, soak up the culture of bustling cities and sample the delectable produce of one of the world's oldest wine regions.

Douro factfile

  • The Douro is the highest-flow river of the Iberian Peninsula
  • The Alto Douro region is on UNESCO‘s World Heritage list as one of the oldest demarcated wine growing regions in the world
  • Since the 1930s the Douro has been harnessed extensively for hydroelectric power and irrigation
  • The major tributaries of the Douro—the Esla, Pisuerga, and Arlanzón, all in Spain—flow from the wetter northern zone; the southern tributaries are less important
  • The presence of vineyards and wine in the Douro region is very old, dating back to the times of Roman occupation in Douro