The Douro, Portugal’s famous river, linking them to Spain along a stretch of breathtakingly beautiful sun-drenched countryside. As the third longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, at 557 miles long, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the flow of picture-perfect hillside villages and vineyard terraces as you relax on board one of our luxury river cruises. Highlights of the Douro include:
Wander through the UNESCO World Heritage-designated medieval city centre and you will be charmed by the second largest city in Portugal. Located along the Douro estuary to the north, this European centre is rich in history and very much ‘on-the-map’ with visitors and native Portuguese alike. We recommend attractions such as the 19th century Palácio da Bolsa, a promenade along the bustling Santa Catarina shopping street, or perhaps for the more adventurous, climbing the path to the soaring Clérigos Tower. Porto benefits from its centuries-old status as the hub of the Port wine trade and trips to the city’s famed Port cellars are an absolute must.
A region famous for Wine and Port
The Douro winemaking region was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001. Located some distance upstream from Porto, production is specifically centered on the upper Douro River in the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro region. Sheltered by mountain ranges from coastal influences, the region has Portugal’s highest wine classification as a Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC). While the region is associated primarily with Port wine production, the Douro also produces non-fortified wines, typically referred to as ‘Douro wines,’ such as a light, Bordeaux style claret to a rich Burgundy style of wine aged in new oak.
The Douro River Valley
Though many of us will be familiar with Port as typically a sweet, red wine, often served as dessert wine, it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties – so there really is something for every palette as you sample the delights of the region.
Continuing the region’s cultural legacy as a UNESCO World Heritage City, visiting Salamanca provides the opportunity to view stunning medieval architecture, beautifully preserved and fashioned from lustrous golden hued sandstone. The city overflows with Spanish flavour and travellers can explore its 13th century university, relax in the grand Plaza Mayor or enjoy a flamenco show before they return to their luxury cruise vessel in Portugal.
Why the Douro for 2014?
There are a range of truly luxurious river cruises aboard elegant and classic vessels that provide passengers with a sumptuous and magnificent experience that is simply unforgettable. 2014 sees the exciting introduction of new itineraries including a tour on the Royal Barge – exclusively chartered by Titan. Take a look at our full range of Douro river cruises here.