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The river Douro reaches from Madrid through Portugal into the Atlantic Ocean. It is the third longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, at 557 miles (897 km), and has an incredible colourful experience of both Portuguese and Spanish culture waiting for any who sails it.


Rising in the Sierra de Urbion in Spain, the Douro flows through the five provinces of Castile and Leon: Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Zamora and Salamanca. The Spanish course of the Douro is unnavigable for river cruise ships, but Douro cruises feature additional excursions to Salamanca.  
A 70 mile section of the Douro runs along the border of Spain and Portugal. This section is under protection and comprises of the International Douro Natural Park in Portugal and los Arribes Del Duero on the Zamoran bank. At the southern point of this river section, the Douro heads east into Portugal after converging with the Agueda River. 


The navigable part of the Douro begins south of Vega de Terron, where cruises take you through the Portuguese vineyards, serene villages and countryside boasting a blend of almond, cherry and other trees that give stunning views. As you travel down the Douro, you’ll be taken to many small and comfortable villages, pousadas (country estates) and quintas (wine estates). The town of Regua offers a visit to the nearby baroque Mateus Palace, while Lamego has a history dating back to the 5th century. At the river’s mouth to the Atlantic Ocean, the colourful city of Porto will quench your thirst with some fine Port wine.

Weather & when to go on a Douro river cruise

Cruises on the Douro operate from March to October. In summer, the weather is sunny and tropical with temperatures between 15 °C (59 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F). For cooler temperatures, May and September are the months of choice, although there are occasional periods of coolness during the summer.

Where will my Douro cruise start?

Most Douro cruises start from Porto and run to Vega de Terron, where you depart for Salamanca. Some cruises may have a pre or post stay in Lisbon.

Popular ports in Douro

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