The Douro River Valley abounds with natural beauty, making it a popular spot for river cruises. Many of these cruises start out in the historic city of Porto, taking you past Gustave Eiffel's Dom Luis Bridge, before heading out into the countryside. From here you can travel the breadth of Portugal before crossing the border into Spain.
Douro River, Porto
This route takes you through terraced hills sporting large groves of olive and almond trees, along with some of the premier vineyards in the country. For port fans the town of Pinhão, at the heart of the region's wine industry is the best place to disembark in search of the perfect vintage.
The main draw of the river is its tranquillity, with certain parts only navigable by smaller vessels. Many cruises linger and some of the luxury liners can take as long as a week to travel the river's full length. If you prefer to spend longer in the picturesque villages, roads wind alongside the river as far as Pinhão, offering some of the best vistas in Portugal.