Explore the heart of Portugal with these river cruises

Explore the magic of the Douro River in style.

From backpacking to train to bus, there are endless ways to explore the wonders of Europe. One of the most underrated ways to travel across Europe is through river cruises. European countries are abundant with gorgeous scenic rivers that’ll take you to spots off the beaten path. If Portugal is on your wish list of holiday destinations, perhaps consider jumping aboard a cruise and floating down the Douro River. The Douro River snakes through the heart of Portugal and is home to gorgeous vineyards, historic villages, medieval sites and a tonne of other unforgettable treasures. Read on to discover four of the best river cruises to do in Portugal.



Portugal’s River of Gold

$6,495 from Viking River Cruises

Set sail with Viking Cruises down the iconic Douro River in Portugal. Over 10 days, you’ll float in style down the river and through towns boasting rich cultural heritage, culinary delights and unrivalled vineyards.

Your first stop will be Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, where you can see the UNESCO-listed Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower. Next, you’ll dock in Porto, which is home to Port wine. After this, you’ll cruise through towns like Régua, Pinhão, Barca d’Alva and Salamanca – all of which are bursting with gastronomical experiences and rich, medieval history.

The cruise then makes its way back up through Régua and Porto where you’ll get the opportunity to explore the vineyards, taste local wines and learn about the winemaking process.



Douro River Valley

$7,559 from Uniworld

Another cruising option for the Douro River is this eight day adventure from Uniworld, which will take you through the heart of the Duoro Valley. Beginning in the famous birthplace of Port, Porto, you’ll sail through Régua, Pinhão, Barca d’Alva and Salamanca on board the chic S.S. São Gabriel.

On this cruise, you’ll be treated to six days of excursions including things like Douro Museum in Régua, vineyard hikes, wine tastings, walking tours and dinners.

When you’re not busy on an excursion, you can leisurely explore the remnants of Portugal’s medieval past, the impeccable vineyards dotted along the Douro and the culinary delights each city has to offer.


Douro Luxury Cruise – Spirit of Chartwell

$1,244 from Tour Radar

Looking to experience a taste of the Douro River? The Douro Luxury Cruise, which is operated by Portugal Travel Centre, is a short five day trip that will weave you through the must-see sights of the Douro River aboard the luxurious Spirit of Chartwell.

You’ll kick off the cruise at the Gaia Quay in Porto before moving on to Régua where you’ll visit the famous Mateus Palace. The cruise will then take you to Pinhão where you and the other passengers will experience an authentic dinner at a local farm.

You’ll also make a stop into Barca d’Alva and Lamego before heading back to Porto to wrap up your five day adventure.



Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro

$5,753 from Avalon Waterways

Though there’s not a whole lot of variation when it comes to Portugal river cruises along the Douro, there are a few options that offer stops off the beaten path. Avalon Waterways’ Vida Portugal: Vineyards & Villages Along the Douro cruise will take you to a few spots that aren’t often covered by other trip providers.

This includes a stop to Pocinho which boasts archeological wonders and centuries-old cave paintings. You’ll also visit the tranquil and picturesque village of Amarante where you can sail on the small river that weaves through the town. As well as this, you’ll visit more popular destinations like Porto and Régua.

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