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All About Portugal | January 19, 2021

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Douro River Cruises

Clara Campos

Douro River and its Valley form one of the most beautiful Portuguese landscapes Discovering it on a cruise makes it more special and magical

Visiting Douro region is a memorable experience, doing it by boat is magical. Coming from Spain, where it rises, Douro River enters Portugal to wind along a valley of an incomparable beauty, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 2001, mainly due to its ledges covered by the vineyards that hold the grapes used in the production of the world famed Port wine.

There are several theories for the River’s name. Some say that it comes from the Celt term dur (water), others believe than in its waters used to be seen small and shiny rocks that turned out to be ouro (gold). But my favorite says that the name Douro derives from the Latin word durius that means “duro” (hard), confirming the hardship of its winding course surrounded by rocky and tall scarps.

Douro River is more than a water course. It is the main responsible for the Douro region prosperity has its waters were the route for the transportation of the Porto Wine casks. By then, the river was dangerous and treacherous due to strong currents, rapids and underwater rocks; therefore only a type of small boats, called Rabelo, were able to navigate in the Douro, making possible the transport of the precious nectar from the Douro Valley into the river’s mouth where are located Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia cities. Even though the Rabelos’ importance had decreased throughout times, they became part of the river’s scenery and nowadays are considered an icon of this region.

The construction of several dams along the river’s bed controlled the wilderness of its waters, making it navigable, thus making it possible for us to discover the beauties of the area from a totally new perspective.

Today there are several companies offering different types of cruises on the Douro River. Click here to search internet for further information and offering.

Douro River Cruises gallery

Douro River Cruises circuit

View Douro River Cruises in a larger map

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