Portugal River Cruising: Off the Beaten Track
Are you ready to veer off the path well-worn and discover what Portugal, one of Europe’s most unspoiled destinations, has to offer? On a sojourn down the majestic Douro River, you’ll be transported back in time at UNESCO World Heritage sites, treated to local port wine in beautiful, terraced vineyards, and provided with incomparable panoramas each and every day. River cruising is a great way to avoid the tourist track, as you enjoy an intimate experience crafted for smaller groups, and the Douro River is the perfect candidate for this kind of holiday! Take a look at some of the highlights you can experience during a river cruise through this incredible region.
Lisbon, typically the starting point of a river cruise in the area, is comprised of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Viking River Cruises in particular specialises in taking passengers around to these landmarks to gain insight into Portugal’s intriguing history and culture. Libson’s Belem is home to the Jeronimos Monastery, which gives passengers the chance to see late Gothic Manueline architecture up-close. The Tower of Belem is another popular stop and is arguably Lisbon’s iconic symbol. Built from white limestone, this tower serves as a strong symbol of Portugal’s era of expansion.
Porto, the birthplace of 6 Portuguese kings, provides passengers with charming riverside excursions. During a tour of this old sailing port, visitors are able to take in incredible bridges, cathedrals and 16th century structures. The centre of this city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those wanting to visit another listed site can take a trip to Guimaraes, a city home to medieval streets, palaces and monasteries from the 10th century.
Peso Da Regua
During an excursion through Peso Da Regua, cruise-goers can tour Vila Real, which is home to Mateus Palace. This opulent, baroque structure is an incredible sight to behold and provides incredible photo opportunities for passengers. Beautifully manicured gardens and lakes add a touch of magic to the palace’s grounds. Quinta do Seixo is another popular stop, with passengers able to visit and learn about the area’s port wine institution. During a tour of the vineyard, visitors can sip on port wine and enjoy beautiful scenery.
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Barca D’Alva’s historic Castelo Rodrigo is one of the country’s incredible parishes. This area is surrounded by almond trees and winding streets, and is home to a church, fascinating history and beautiful 16th century architecture. As Castelo Rodrigo is located 670 metres above sea level, passengers are able to take in unforgettable panoramic views of the area.
Beautiful riverside vineyards and hardworking vintners mark the approach of Portugal’s Pinhao. This civil parish is the starting point for unique shore excursions. From Pinhao, passengers can journey to the tiny village of Favaios. Stemming from the Iron Age settlement, Favaios’ streets are typically characterised by the smell of baking bread. Here, visitors can learn how bread was once made and how it tasted in the old days. After heading to the Douro Wine District, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, passengers can also learn about and sample moscatel wine.
Synonymous with sunshine, a relaxed way of life, pristine scenery and scrumptious local dishes, Portugal is filled with amazing experiences. If you’d like to head off the beaten track and explore the Douro River, call one of our consultants on 1300 954 661 today.
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