The Douro is one of the Iberian Peninsula’s major rivers, flowing from Duruelo de la Sierra in northern Spain and emptying itself into the Atlantic at Porto. It has been shaping the harsh landscape of the Douro region since time immemorial, sculpting and irrigating its riverbanks to sustain the tradition of viniculture that has produced fine port wines for centuries.

On its 557-mile run through northern Spain and Portugal, the Douro meanders through steep-sided valleys laden with regimentally straight stripes of vines; the wine-growing region has been appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural beauty. The hillsides, arid and barren further inland from the river, are scattered with low-lying quintas (wineries) where wines can be sampled and bought. Once the river arrives in Porto, separating the main city from its counterpart Villa Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank, the waterway flows under six bridges – including two designed by students of Gustave Eiffel of French tower fame – and becomes crowded with watercraft.

The Douro is a hard-grafting money-spinner for Porto; not only has it enabled the growth of the multi-million-euro export of port wines, but it is also a leisure destination coveted by hundreds of thousands of wine tourists, cruise passengers, fishing enthusiasts, hikers and cyclists every year.

Practical Info

Boat trips down the Douro River leave from the quays around Alfândega and Cais de Ribeira in Porto. There are multiple watercraft options for trips down the river, including traditional wooden rabelos, small cruise boats and yachts.

Tours & Tickets

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Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Portuguese Lunch and Optional River Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 196 Reviews

Visit Portugal’s prestigious Douro Valley on this full-day wine tour from Porto! Famous for its production of port wine, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $88.68

6-Day North Portugal Tour: Porto, Braga, Fátima, Coimbra, Guimaraes, Aveiro and Batalha, from Lisbon

Explore northern Portugal on a six-day tour. Departing from Lisbon, discover important cities like Porto and Braga, as well as historical locations like ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 6 days (approx.)

From USD $875.69

Day Trip to Douro

4.5 star rating: Recommended 24 Reviews

See one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, where Man has overcome the slopes of the land, planting vines in what can be considered open air ...  Read more

Location: Porto, Portugal
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $105.30

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